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In co-operation with the Arab Educational Institute-Open Windows in Bethlehem, Palestine-Family.net aims to preserve and reflect the rich heritage of a wonderful region. Members of the community are invited to submit their family collections or local archives of Palestinian stories, photographs, recipes, maps, oral histories, biographies, historical documents, songs and poems, home remedies etc. to the site. Uploading directly to the site is easy, but if you wish you can also send your collections to us by email or post and we will submit them for you. Thus we can help make available valuable and interesting material for current and future generations, and inspire young Palestinians to learn more about their fascinating heritage.
Arab Educational Institute (AEI)-Open Windows, affiliated to Pax Christi International, is the local Palestinian representative of PFN. AEI fosters educational opportunities for Palestinian communities and youth to share and communicate to others the reality of daily life of Palestine, including its rich diversity of cultural and religious identities.
AEI first became aware of Palestine-family.net through Leyla Zuaiter, an unaffiliated family historian. Leyla conducted a workshop entitled “Exploring Your Personal and Cultural Identity through Family History and Genealogy” in the AEI’s 2005 Summer School of Communication. Seeing a good fit between the site and our mission of “Communicating Palestine,” she urged us to seek the role as the local representative of Palestine Family Net, which had not yet been officially launched. AEI became excited about cooperation with PFN because this website is a creative educational response to the fragmentation imposed upon the Palestinians. By linking up to this site it becomes possible for different communities of the Palestinian people, presently often unable to even meet each other, to share their community histories and cultural experiences and by doing so, to contribute to the national Palestinian history and cultural identity. AEI feels that learning about one's history and culture is essential to create a common future vision and perspective for the Palestinian people. For more Information about AEI-Open Windows, see www.aeicenter.org
Palestine-Family.net’s Editorial Committee - James Prineas, Leyla Zuaiter, Fuad Giacaman, 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.com
Website Team in Palestine:
Toine van Teeffelen
History of this website
This website was conceived by the Australian James Prineas in 2001 who works in the multimedia industry in Berlin, Germany. It was first implemented at www.kythera-family.net, for the Greek island of Kythera and was an instant success with more than 6000 entries being submitted by the general public and over 1.3 million page impression registered in the first 2 years online.
The site was programmed by Skygate Internetworking GmbH (Berlin) led by Stephan Jensen. Skygate is one of Berlin and Germany's top addresses for the development of online solutions. Large corporations and institutions such as Daimler-Chrysler, the pharmacetical giant Shering and a number of German governmental institutions such as The Ministry of Education and Research have all trusted the development of their websites to Skygate.
Christopher Jones, an Australian web-designer stationed in Berlin, had already been involved in the commercial website industry for 5 years before electing to design the first of the culturesafe sites. He has created a visually exciting website for younger users while at the same time keeping it simple-
to-use for those with little internet experience. His one-man company, Creative Senses, is also responsible for many other intelligent internet solutions.
This Website System
The cultural archive website system - called "Culturesafe" - developed here for Palestine is now available for other national, regional, ethnic and cultural groups. With the proceeds of further sales of this system we hope to be able to improve it continuously and to maintain its place as the finest online community archiving system of its kind.
If you are interested in aquiring our culturesafe system for your community please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.