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> PFN Newsletter [# 1 ] December 2006
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PFN Newsletter [# 1 ] December 2006
submitted by Palestine Family.net

Dear friends of Palestine,

it is an honour to send you this the first Palestine-Family.net (PFN) Newsletter, which will go out monthly, and will be sent to all those who have registered at Palestine-Family.net.

Although PFN was only officially launched in October, we already have over 2000 entries on the site, many of them submitted directly by you, the users. And since that launch more than 1000 individuals have visited the site each month, and that number is increasing with each passing day. The word is being spread, and we hope soon to be reaching all those out there who are interested in Palestinians heritage and identity and who have online access.

The launch on October 21 was organised by AEI-Open Windows and held at the Bethlehem Peace Center. Together with James Prineas, Leyla Zuaiter, Toine van Teeffelen, and Fuad Giacaman from the editorial committee, and with the generous support of the Artas Folklore Center dabke troupe, the event was a great success. Almost all the members of the new advisory committee of PFN were able to attend - their names appear below this introduction.

The launch was a unique occasion, not simply because we can't recall when the launching of a website was the reason for a special festivity in Palestine, but also because the meeting brought together so many cultural and heritage NGOs as well as personalities from our region. It was great to feel that we all stood for a common cause – preserving and making accessible the Palestinian identity to a truly world-wide audience.

And there was a surprise as well. Many visitors discovered that James Prineas was capable to do more than setting up exciting multimedia projects. His photographic exhibition “Spirit of Sumud” showed wonderful landscape and ‘humanscape’ photos of Palestine, taken at Wadi Kilt, Bethlehem, the Wall, and the village of Artas. The exhibition included remarkable pictures of performers at the Artas Lettuce Festival, showing their pride, beauty, and grace. Just take a look at his pictures – which are also available as postcards - http://www.sumud.net. Those interested in ordering the postcards can send a mail to Toine@palestine-family.net.

If you, like us, impatiently wait for each new monthly issue of This Week in Palestine then you will already been able to enjoy James’ photos in this wonderful magazine. The November issue of This Week in Palestine also carried a major story by Leyla Zuaiter on the launching of PFN – see below under PICK OF THE MONTH. Each issue can also be viewed online in PDF-Version: http://www.thisweekinpalestine.com .

Another article about the launch appeared in the national newspaper Al-Quds (22/10/06) by George Zeineh. The English translation can be found at:

PFN's growth would not have been possible without the public submissions and also from those working within institutions. We are happy to announce that presently two young collators are collecting entries for PFN: Haneen Masa’eed, who is working for PFN at the Turathuna Heritage Center of Bethlehem University, and Mila Tumova, a Czech volunteer who came over to work on PFN at AEI-Open Windows with the help of the European Voluntary Service. Mila’s first piece is an article in which she makes short work of the main stereotypes which exist about Palestine – see below under PICK OF THE MONTH.

We also hope to feature YOUR submissions in a future newsletter. Did your parents or grandparents ever tell you memorable stories - happy or sad - of their lives? Or a Palestinian song or poem you can remember? Then simply put them on the site - it is of course free and easy - so that we can all enjoy them. It is also the best way to ensure that you descendants will one day read them too.

Last but not least, dear friends: don’t hesitate to spread the word about PFN. And it goes without saying that any suggestions for future newsletters and for the development of PFN are much appreciated.

Wishing you happy holidays, and a good Christmas and Al-Adha feast,

The PFN Team
For contact and information:
toine@palestine-family.net (Toine van Teeffelen, Bethlehem)
james@palestine-family.net (James Prineas, Berlin)

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>Palestine-Family.net’s advisory committee
Hania Bitar (Director, Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation)
Andre Dabdoub (Project manager, historian)
Julia Dabdoub (Director, Arab Women’s Union)
Dr Kholoud Daibes (Director, Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation)
Mohammed Hourani (Ministry of Tourism)
Dr Sharif Kanaana (Anthropologist and folklorist, Birzeit University)
Dr Adnan Mousallem (Historian, Bethlehem University)
Maha Saca (Director, Palestinian Heritage Center)
Fadi Sanad (Director, Artas Folklore Center)
Mike Salman (Businessman, historian)
Dr Saliba Sarsar (Political Scientist, Monmouth University).
Dr Khalil Shokeh (Historian, member of the Bethlehem municipality council)
Prof. Dr Qustandi Shomali (Communication and information sciences, Bethlehem University)

If you are interested to host his "Spirit of Sumud" photo exhibition, please contact James Prineas at james@palestine-family.net. There is already a set of framed prints in Palestine for use and more can be arranged for other regions and continents. Postcards and exhibition prints are also available through AEI-Open Windows (aei@p-ol.com, 02-2744030) in Bethlehem.

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>Virtual Voyage to Palestine— No Visa Required
submitted by This Week In Palestine
By Leyla Zuaiter 

Dear All,
you are used to hearing about all my adventures and misadventures in this beautiful and intriguing country. Now, standing 359º east of Truth and 2º south of Cyberspace, I am about to embark on one of the most fascinating voyages to date. By the time you read these words, Palestine-family.net (PFN) will have finally been launched and set sail on cyan cyberseas for Diaspora shores to gather the sons and daughters of Palestine and bring them home. With them will be a few intrepid travelers who dare to tread where few have been-deep into the heart of Palestine. There to see it off will be the ship’s builder, James Prineas, flying in from Berlin at his own expense, members of the Arab Educational Institute-Open Windows (AEI)-PFN’s local partner-invited guests, members of the advisory board, and interested members of the public.
Read further:

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>PFN Volunteer in Palestine
submitted by Miluse Tumova
Welcome to palestine-family website!

My name is Mila. I am a Czech volunteer who came to Palestine nearly a month ago to spend here one year (contact: aei.mila@seznam.cz, Skype-nick: aei.mila). I work at the Arab Educational Institute (AEI) in Bethlehem and the topic of my work is the documentation of the cultural heritage of the Palestinian people and writing articles for www.palestine-family.net about Palestinian culture, history, the contemporary political situation, daily life and of course also about my personal experiences here. 

I have just started the fifth week of my stay in Palestine. I have a lot of very interesting impressions and stories which I would like to share with you.
Read further

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>Dajani Family Tree
submitted by Mohammed Dajani Daoudi on 07.11.2006

You can view the beautiful handrawn Dajani Family Tree by clicking on this link:


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> Editorial Committee
Palestine-Family.net’s Editorial Committee - James Prineas, Leyla Zuaiter, Fuad Giacaman, Dr Toine van Teeffelen, Maisoun Al-Zawahra and Tamara Habash - conducts editing tasks and decide about issues of policy concerning the site. The editorial committee checks incoming entries, encourages persons and institutions to submit, and approves the choice of projects and partnerships.

>Website Team in Berlin:
Christopher Jones, CreativeSenses.com
James Prineas
Maisoun Al-Zawahra
Stephan Jensen, Skygate.com
Tamara Habash

>Website Team in Palestine:
Fuad Giacaman
Leyla Zuaiter
Toine van Teeffelen
Haneen Masa’eed (at the Turathuna, Bethlehem University)
Milose Tumova (at AEI-Open Windows)
Wesam Ahmad

>Organisations which work together with us:
Creative Senses (Website Design): http://www.creativesenses.com
Skygate Internetworking (Website Programming): http://www.skygate.de
National Council for Development, Hebron. http://www.nc4d.org

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