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UAE humanitarian efforts reach Afghanistan, Pakistan Palestine and Syria

ABU DHABI // Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and Syria are among the countries that continue to benefit from the UAE’s humanitarian efforts, state news agency Wam said yesterday.

Besides the active role played by the Armed Forces units in supporting the Afghan government’s bid to restore security in the country, the UAE has also provided Dh5.5 billion in aid, mainly devoted to infrastructure projects such as building roads, schools, mosques and hospitals.

The UAE is the only Arab country performing humanitarian activities on the ground in Afghanistan, according to Wam and it is committed to building confidence and strengthening cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours, particularly Pakistan.

Given Pakistan’s proximity to the Arabian Gulf region, the UAE is keen to promote stability in the country and the Project to Assist Pakistan is carrying out 28 development and humanitarian projects worth Dh200 million in South Waziristan province, including schools and colleges.

In Palestine, the UAE is a major contributor to humanitarian assistance and development projects, as well as the Palestinian Authority’s budget, Wam said.

Overall, the Emirates has provided more than Dh11bn in aid to Palestinians, including development funds for infrastructure, housing, hospital and school projects. The country has also donated Dh639m towards reconstruction in Gaza.

As the second-largest Arab economy, the UAE’s foreign policy is also geared towards creating greater commercial opportunities with partners.

“The UAE’s fast-developing position as a financial hub for the region has further solidified and strengthened its position as a member of the global community,” Wam said.

The country places great emphasis on nurturing an expansion of commercial and investment links with countries and institutions worldwide.

In line with this approach, the Government aims to strengthen cooperation through bi and multilateral partnerships with African countries.

“The UAE is keen to fight poverty and ensure that Africa receives a fair and equitable share of global prosperity,” Wam added in its report.

And with the continued economic development of Asia, the UAE has stressed its desire to consolidate and develop ties with a number of Asian countries, including China and India.

(Source / 24.06.2013)

Kaart-actie voor Bah en Koulibaly


kaartZe zijn allebei ternauwernood aan uitzetting ontsnapt, ze zijn allebei al geruime tijd in hongerstaking en ze zijn allebei in het Justitieel Medisch Centrum in Scheveningen: meneer Bah en meneer Koulibaly.

Allebei kunnen ze jouw support in deze zware tijd goed gebruiken: stuur ze een kaartje!

Dit is het adres:

dhr. Bah / dhr. Koulibaly

PI Haaglanden, Justitieel Medisch Centrum (JMC)
Postbus 87810

(Source / 19.06.2013)

Announcing a Poetry Festival for the Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem

ARCH presents

Mamilla Poetry Festival

“A Dialogue with Memory”

7-9 September 2013


In cooperation with
Mahmoud Darwish Foundation and Museum, Ramallah
Campaign to Preserve Mamilla Jerusalem Cemetery

Guidelines & Submission Form (PDF download)

In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me.

– Mahmoud Darwish

Resting just west of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, Mamilla Cemetery—necropolis of shrines, distinguished mausoleums, modest graves, and the ancient Mamilla Pool—is facing final desecration and destruction.

Mamilla’s venerable history is as rich as it is layered. Having been adopted first by the Byzantines, whose 4th century church and cemetery marked it as holy ground, Mamilla was then designated an Islamic burial site as early as the 7th century, when the remains of the very first Muslims—the Sahabah, companions of the Prophet Muhammad—were reputedly laid to rest in its sacred soil. Aside from a brief period as a Christian cemetery during the Crusades, Mamilla served without interruption as Muslim burial grounds over the course of a 1,400 year-period of Islamic rule over Jerusalem. Growing to become the largest Islamic cemetery in the city, it housed a diverse community of Muslims, from the respected soldiers of ruler Saladin to generations of Jerusalemites spanning a wide socio-economic spectrum. Tombs of emirs, muftis, Sufi shrines and Mamluk-era mausoleums—amongst other ancient monuments and gravestones—further attest to its hallowed history. Indeed, so holy was Mamilla that in the 14th century A’lam, interment there was likened to being buried in heaven.

Today, Mamilla stands not only as a symbol and vestige of Palestinian—and Muslim—religious and cultural heritage but also as a site of exceptional universal value.  In light of its sacred significance, the plan to build a so-called “Museum of Dignity and Tolerance” on its soil is an affront to memory and identity.

Encouraged by a renewed hope for the preservation of Mamilla, ARCH (Alliance to Restore Cultural Heritage in the Holy City of Jerusalem) joins hands with the Mahmoud Darwish Foundation and Museum and the Campaign to Preserve Mamilla Jerusalem Cemetery to organise an International Poetry Festival.

With the aim of protecting and preserving the cemetery as a place of living memory and of eternal sanctity, we welcome poetry that celebrates Mamilla as a resting place for generations of Palestinian families.  Likewise, we welcome submissions that meditate upon and imagine the lives of notables and ordinary people alike who have been buried in its holy grounds.

Inspired by Seamus Heaney’s claim that every poet has double citizenship—one of locality, one of conscience—we invite poets to reflect upon locality to explore universal themes that transcend geographical boundaries.

Poetry’s crucial role in the formation of cultural identity is undeniable, especially when it provides agency in the protection and preservation of memory.  As Mahmoud Darwish affirmed, “Poems can’t establish a state.  But they can establish a metaphorical homeland in the minds of the people.  I think my poems have built some houses in this landscape.”

This land absorbs the skins of martyrs
This land promises wheat and stars
Worship it!
We are its salt and its water
We are its wound, but a wound that fights.

– Mahmoud Darwish

A distinguished panel of six literary figures from around the world will review all content received to select twenty final submissions, which will then be performed live (or digitally broadcast) between the 7th and 9th of September at the Mamilla Poetry Festival, hosted by the Mahmoud Darwish Foundation and Museum in Ramallah. The festival will be recorded, and then streamed online; finally, an anthology will be published. Circumstances permitting, the festival will conclude with a candlelight reading of Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry in Mamilla Cemetery and/or at other vulnerable cultural sites in the Holy City of Jerusalem.

In addition to conducting widespread outreach to generate global awareness and solicit international involvement, we are committed to galvanizing nearby communities and engaging local youth. Not only will a special prize be offered for the best poem submitted by a secondary-school student, but local schools will also be invited to attend and students will be encouraged to participate.

We invite all interested parties to visit the cemetery—albeit virtually—by reviewing the biographical details of some of the earliest-recorded deceased; these can be accessed via an online petition to protect the cemetery from further encroachment that was signed by 60 descendants of those same deceased.

For further information:

Petition to preserve Mamilla

“The Mamilla Cemetery; A Buried History” by Asem Khalidi

Download the PDF file of “Mamluk Epitaphs from Mamilla Cemetery” by Tawfiq Da‘ādli

(Source / 11.05.2013)

Sweden upgrades Palestinian diplomatic status

FILE - A Palestinian woman holds her national flag as she protests against Jerusalem's third annual marathon on March 1, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/MARCO LONGARI)
FILE – A Palestinian woman holds her national flag as she protests against Jerusalem’s third annual marathon on March 1, 2013.

STOCKHOLM: Sweden on Wednesday became the ninth European country to upgrade the status of a Palestinian representative office to that of an embassy.

Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to ratify a June 28 agreement between Stockholm and Ramallah on upgrading the Palestinian Authority’s mission here.

The agreement gives the Palestinian Authority’s representation in Sweden “the same privileges, immunities, exemptions and privileges as embassies and their representatives.”

But lawmakers rejected an amendment calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state, with 179 votes against and 140 votes in favour of the proposal.

In November, Sweden backed a resolution recognising the Palestinians as a non-member observer state at the UN, but members of the ruling centre-right coalition disagree on the issue of recognising Palestinian statehood.

Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Cyprus are the other European countries to have given Palestinian representation the status of an embassy.

(Source / 06.03.2013)

Malaysia donates $6.4 million for Gaza construction projects

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Malaysian government will donate $6.4 million for construction projects in the Gaza Strip, a Hamas official said Tuesday.

Secretary-general of the Hamas-run cabinet, Abdul-Salam Siyam, said a delegation from Gaza visited Malaysia last week and signed an agreement with the government.

According to Siyam, $4 million will be allocated for the construction of a Malaysian Technical school in Gaza City, $1 million to build administrative offices for Hamas’ cabinet, $700,000 to add a new floor to a Gaza City hospital, and a similar amount to rebuild a mosque destroyed during Israeli attacks.

(Source / 05.03.2013)

Abu Subbah and Belgian Delegation Discuss Prosecuting Israel Internationally


The Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Dr. Atallah Abu Subbah received on Thursday a Belgian delegation to discuss ways to prosecute the Israeli occupation officials internationally.

The delegation was headed by Judge Philip Pavar, head of the Al-Aqsa Foundation Mohammed Al-Hajjaji and Coordinator of the Committee Mohammed Baroud.

The two sides discussed effective ways to prosecute the Israeli war criminals before the Belgian judiciary and the need to proceed with filing lawsuits despite the continued Israeli pressure.

Abu Subbah hailed the delegation’s efforts in supporting the Palestinian cause through filing lawsuits against the occupation crimes before international courts.

“You are international human rights activists and we hope that you will defend the oppressed in the world,” the Palestinian minster said.

He pointed out that the legal delegations are ready to provide all the necessary assistance so that the war criminals will appear before international courts.

He also stressed that the documentation of the occupation crimes, conducted by his ministry, does not only include crimes committed during the war on Gaza, but it rather documents all the crimes the occupation has been committing.

(Source / 03.03.2013)

Palestine Goodness

Palestine Goodness Organization is working for ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of war and other situations of violenceو the poor, refugees and the category of youth unemployment in Palestine ( Gaza/West Bank/East Jerusalem )


We’re an impartial, neutral and independent organization that works to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening universal humanitarian principles and trying to eliminate poverty and unemployment in Palestine.


We strive to protect the poor by preventing or putting a stop to violations committed against them, and defending their rights under international humanitarian law.

We’re part of a big family that helps people across the globe.

Algemene Informatie
We welcome you to join in and share your voice in our community. While we value honesty and different perspectives, we reserve the right to delete comments that contain:

* Offensive statements against a culture, race, religion or gender
* Abusive language, anger, hate, violence or pornography
* Personal information, such as names, addresses or phone numbers
* Third party marketing, including links to third party websites

Note: it might take time before one of our page managers can get back to you. Many thanks for your patience.

Please: donate to relief for poor families in Palestine.
Ways to Help:

Donate online
Monthly giving
Fundraise to save lives.

you can do that by www.paypal.com
This is our account email: palestinegoodness@gmail.com

من فضلك : تبرع لإغاثة الأسر الفقيرة في فلسطين .
طرق المساعدة :

تبرع مباشر
تبرع شهري
جمع الاموال لانقاذ الارواح

Center for Constitutional Rights

The Center for Constitutional Rights, in collaboration with the National Lawyers Guild and other organizations, groups and individuals,* is organizing the Palestine Solidarity Legal Support initiative in order to protect and advance the constitutional rights of Palestinian rights activists across the U.S. When it comes to speech and activities supportive of Palestinian rights or critical of Israeli policies, First Amendment rights are under increasing pressure. Government bodies are surveilling and criminalizing the human rights advocacy of the growing movement for Palestinian rights, along with other movements for social justice in the U.S. and abroad.  Private groups are also intensifying efforts to silence, by legal and other means, the growing call for peace and justice for Palestinians. Our work aims to assist activists by providing legal advice and representation, developing resources for activists and lawyers involved in this work, and providing litigation and advocacy support to the movement for Palestinian human rights and its supporters.

What we do:

  • Track incidents of repression of Palestinian rights activism
  • Provide legal advice, referrals or representation
  • Undertake advocacy to support activism
  • Provide activists with legal and advocacy resources


ccr-logo-h65The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.


nlg-logoThe National Lawyers Guild was formed in 1937 as the nation’s first racially integrated bar association to advocate for the protection of constitutional, human and civil rights. For decades, the NLG has sent delegations to the West Bank and Gaza to investigate international law violations by the Israeli government against Palestine. The Guild also works to defend the free speech rights of students and community activists who are in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Student Speech Working Group

CCR is working closely with the Student Speech Working Group (SSWG). This is a coalition of civil rights organizations and lawyers, legal workers, students, and other groups and individuals dedicated to supporting the free speech of students advocating for Palestinian rights, and other Muslim and Arab student activists.  The coalition includes the Asian Law Caucus, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild, the Council on American-Islamic Relations – San Francisco Bay Area, American Muslims for Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, and other individual lawyers and students. As part of CCR’s collaboration with the SSWG, this website also serves as a place where Muslim and Arab student activists can seek legal support and report incidents of repression related to post-9/11 their organizing and speech activities, including law enforcement surveillance, discrimination, and harassment on campus.

(palestinelegalsupport.org / 28.01.2013)

Americans condemn US support of Israel amid economic crisis

Americans have taken to the streets in Washington DC to condemn US President Barack Obama’s ongoing financial support of Israel, as his country continues in its economic doldrums, Press TV reports.

“We are providing a big part of the budget to a country…spending a lot of money in Israel and we are not asking any questions about how the money is being spent,” said Cathy Lisa Schneider, with the Jewish Voice for Peace, at a rally march held in the nation’s capital.

Activists criticized the US for its incontestable financial support of Israel, particularly at a time when numerous polls also indicate that a majority of Americans are not in favor of the White House’s policies regarding the handling of the economic crisis.

“We should question what is being done with that money and if the country is violating international law, domestic law,” added Schneider.” 

The demonstrators went on to condemn Washington for supporting Israel’s aggression against the Palestinian people.

“We are giving Israel aid to help the country to demolish other people, to demolish their homes, to obstruct peace,” said Ibrahim Oweiss a former professor at Georgetown University.

Experts point out that US financial and military support of Israel has been deeply embedded in an ongoing cycle involving aspects of politics, business, and society.

“Our tax dollars are going in and then that money is coming back to US contractors, US companies that in turn have a lot of lobbies that support US military aid to Israel,” a protester said.

Conservative estimates put US aid to Israel at USD 123 billion since the late 1940s, but that number may be much higher due to indirect funding through various US agencies.

(www.presstv.ir / 20.01.2013)

Foreign activists enter Gaza on solidarity mission

A delegation of pro-Palestinian activists, mainly French and Egyptian, crossed into Gaza from Egypt on Thursday to deliver aid, AFP correspondents at the border reported.

The “Welcome to Palestine” delegation of about 90 people is to stay in the territory until January 1, in solidarity with the people of Gaza and in protest against the Israeli blockade in force since 2006, organisers say.

Organised by French group EuroPalestine, the delegation includes 60 French members and 25 Egyptians, and entered Gaza through the Rafah border terminal, the only land crossing between the territory and the outside world not dependent on Israel, which also maintains an air and sea blockade.

The visitors brought drugs, surgical supplies and French textbooks, the organisers said.

In the past, several similar “Welcome to Palestine” initiatives failed when activists were refused entry by air to Tel Aviv and by land from Jordan into the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The Israeli blockade on Gaza was first imposed in June 2006 following the capture by militants from the territory of an Israeli soldier, who was eventually freed in October 2011 in a trade for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

It was strengthened in 2007, when the Islamist Hamas movement took control of Gaza, then eased somewhat following an international outcry over the killing of nine activists in a 2010 Israeli commando raid on a flotilla trying to break the naval blockade.

In 2011, a UN report found the commandos used excessive force but ruled that the blockade itself was legal.

Israel says that its restrictions do not affect the civilian population of Gaza and that it allows 50,000 tons of goods to enter each week.

(www.expatica.com / 27.12.2012)