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> PFN Newsletter [#8] April 2008
> PFN Newsletter [#7] December 2007
> PNF Newsletter [#6] November 2007
> PFN Newsletter [#5] July 2007
> PFN Newsletter [# 4] June 2007
> PFN Newsletter [#3] April 4 2007
> PFN Newsletter [# 2] March 2007
> PFN Newsletter [# 1 ] December 2006
Dear friends of Palestine,
These are difficult days for Palestine. Recently youngsters were seen handing out stickers to car drivers on the streets of Bethlehem with a message with the message “the idea of Palestine is larger than all of us together.” If that phrase is taken as a sign to be modest on a personal level and to co-operate for the larger cause, it is surely right on target. At the same time, let us not forget that Palestine is also and mainly about its people. Our website is surely an expression of that.
>Checkpoints and creativity
We recently received some remarkable submissions relating to the ubiquitous and tragic presence of checkpoints in Palestine. Prima Soho reminds us of the film of Emily Jacir, “From Texas With Love,” which is a one-hour film of somebody driving in a car around without stopping and only looking ahead. She is listening to a sound track of songs chosen by Palestinians in Palestine who were asked to choose those songs they would like to listen to when they would be able – for once – to drive unobstructed by checkpoints. (Toine’s wife’s choice: “Binti Shamaliyeh,” sung by Fairouz).
This submission reminded us of a very different piece of Palestinian culture related to checkpoints and submitted to our site; namely, a Palestinian woman from Jenin inventing special socks to help Palestinians suffering from swollen feet as they wait at Israeli military checkpoints. See below for both items. The moral: Even the dull, dire and cruel checkpoints cannot rob Palestinians of their inventiveness and creativity.
>Family connections and household items
On the “family front,” we recently received a couple of questions about the families Kattan from Bethelem and Zeidan from Beit Jala (see below), while a member of the Tannous family in the Gulf wrote to us privately to ask whether we could assist in finding his origins in the city of Ramallah. He gave us various details about his parents, so if there is anybody from the Tannous family in Ramallah (from the Tannous building near Manara?) who is willing to help him, please contact us. It would be much appreciated.
Our Czech volunteer Mila Tumova is back from her exams in Prague and will join the Arab Educational Institute in uploading items for PFN. Recently she brought in a series of beautiful photos of traditional Palestinian household artifacts collected by AEI’s women’s group. See under “Local photography/handicrafts and artifacts” on the site.
>More site users
You may have noticed that the number of site users who are simultaneously on-line, which can be seen the counter on the left when you login on the site) has been significantly increasing. The site is becoming more popular. And entries continue to come in. Now we are passing the threshold of 3000. The well-known Palestinian sociologist Salim Tamari wrote to us from the University of California/Berkeley where he was temporarily teaching: “I very much enjoyed your site, and follow it regularly. I have also been referring many students and scholars here to this valuable resource.” We indeed hope that the site is useful for professional or amateur students of Palestinian culture whereever they live.
James Prineas, email@example.com
Toine van Teeffelen, firstname.lastname@example.org
>Ana Kattan - San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Family village or town of origin: Bethlehem
Hi, my family's origin is from Bethlehem, Palestine, I am a member from the Kattan's family, my father was still a young man when emigrated to Honduras. I still have family in Bethlehem, My Aunt Julia Kattan Nassar, If you know her, send her my love. I would like to contact Alex Kattan and know if he is related to our family. Regards and continous success in your work. Ana
>Judeh Comandari Zedan - Miami, Florida USA
Family village or town of origin: Beit Jala
First I want to congratulate for the excellent work are you doing. I would like to know more about my family, I was born in Beit Jala but my parents move to El Salvador I would be grateful for your help.
FROM TEXAS WITH LOVE, 2002
Prima Soho. 05.07.2007
From Texas with Love was filmed in west Texas where Emily Jacir drove for one hour without stopping and filmed the road ahead.
The accompanying sound track is a compilation of 51 songs chosen by Palestinians living in Palestine.
Jacir asked each person. "If you had the freedom to get in a car and drive for one hour without being stopped (imagine that there is no Israeli military occupation; no Israeli soldiers, no Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks, no 'by-pass' roads), what song would you listen to?"
This piece is simultaneously about Palestinians living in the homeland and those living in exile. Jacir says of her piece: "It is in moments where I experience the most freedom (like being able to drive nonstop) that the brutal occupation and imprisonment of my family, my friends, and my people in Palestine becomes magnified and emphasized.
The ability to actually experience such a freedom in other countries is a painful marker and reminder of the impossibility of experiencing such a basic human right in Palestine." The transformation of Palestine to Texas reinterprets the land and the road from a symbol of expansive freedom to a metaphor for coercion and claustrophobic oppression.
Emily Jacir was born in 1970. She lives and works in Ramallah and New York.
>Palestinian invents Queuing Socks
BBC News 19/3/2007
Palestinians can find themselves waiting for hours at checkpoints
A West Bank woman has developed special socks to help Palestinians suffering from swollen feet as they wait at Israeli military checkpoints.
Maram Abdel Latif, from Jenin, spent three years on the design and produced her first prototype in February.
The socks are made from nylon and gel that moulds around wearers' feet to prevent discomfort, even if they stand for hours, as they sometimes have to. Ms Latif, 22, says the socks are ideal for pregnant women and the elderly. The carer at an elderly home says she got the idea after facing long waits at Israeli checkpoints in the occupied West Bank.
The Israel army has erected dozens of permanent checkpoints and roadblocks, severely restricting Palestinian movement in the West Bank and their access to services and employment.
Israel says the travel restrictions are necessary to protect Israeli citizens from militant attacks.
The garment is bulky and wearers must wear bigger shoes than normal to accommodate the sock. Ms Latif says the socks are "like sleeping on a waterbed, which is far more comfortable than a regular mattress".
Ms Latif believes there is market for the socks which she calls "watersocks". She says she is looking for company to invest in the self-funded project. "My dream came true by designing the socks, but I need to work more on it," she says. Ms Latif says that if her idea takes off than she would use the profits to support her parents and family.
>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, appointed as Minister of Tourism)
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
Prof. Dr Qustandi Shomali (Communication and information sciences, Bethlehem University)
The 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
Stephan Jensen, Skygate.de
Thorsten Singer, Skygate.de
>Website Team in Palestine:
Toine van Teeffelen
Milose Tumova (at AEI-Open Windows)