Showing 21 - 40 from 100 entries
> Het netwerk
> The network
> Under, through, over the Wall
> Onder, door, over de Muur
> Trails and maps
> Bussen en bewegingsvrijheid
> Buses and freedom of movement
> The permit issue revisited: toward the Easter...
> De schoolbus
> Liberation seeds
> Impressions of Gaza
> The Mad Permit Game
> Verdwijntruc: landeigenaars in Betlehem
> Vanishing Act: Land owners in Bethlehem
> The Crow Cries - Bethlehem 2006
> Sylvana Giacaman
> Odette El-Sleiby
> Sandra Nasser
During an evening, my son Tamer and I play badminton in front of our house in Bethlehem. The shuttle goes high and touches an electricity wire. That thread, I discover at that moment, brings light from the street to a lamp that lights the grotto with the sculpture of the Virgin Mary in our garden. After a while the top of the thread burns with a sizzling sound. Suddenly the light falls out around our house and in the street and even, we hear later, in a radius of one kilometer around our house. Just like that, for two days. Fragile, that network.
In the northern area of Bethlehem it happened that the Wall destroyed the network of the area around Rachel’s Tomb. When the colossus was erected some eight years ago, the inhabitants were desperate. The Sumud Story House in the neighborhood became a community initiative that tried to build peace from the grassroots up by weaving new threads between women in that area and beyond. Rania is at the moment coordinator of the House in which four groups come together. All the women and their families struggle with the many restrictions in their freedom of movement and development possibilities as a result of the building of the Wall, settlements, checkpoints and land expropriation.
The peace concept they use, sumud, literally means steadfastness or standing your ground despite all the odds. However, the women give it also another meaning: that of a light, moving, connecting energy. Their latest initiative is a “Wall museum.” The Wall – 8-9 meters high and erected out of the energy of a Caterpillar – serves as an underground for dozens of large poster-plates carrying personal stories of Palestinian women. They are brief, English stories of creativity, mutuality, solidarity, sense of duty, challenge and resistance. Stories of human energy and hope. When the poster-plates were developed, Rania emphasized that the stories should be flanked by a traditional Palestinian embroidery thread. Within the Palestinian culture, embroidery takes an important place. Some embroidery motifs evoke the now unreachable sea. The thread should not surround the story, she said, because then the story would be closed, in the same way as the people here are imprisoned. Rather, the story and the thread should create new connections.
People are fragile but strong, is the message of the stories. The power is in the connections which Rania sees: the stories inspire, should be photographed, told further. Peace is fragile but strong when all threads come together and are nourished by human energy. The Wall looks strong. However, despite all its killing and divisive power it is ultimately fragile.
Toine van Teeffelen
This is a blog written for a competition issued by IKV Pax Christi (Netherlands). “Powered by Peace” is the motto of this year’s Dutch Peace Week which addresses the issues of war, peace, scarce energy and mineral resources. The blog should answer which association the expression “powered by peace” evokes. What is the power of peace, does peace give energy, how is peace fueled, and does peace give energy, and if so, how? Do you know somebody who is much “powered by peace”?