Edmonton Israeli Apartheid Week 2016

March 3, 2016

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MARCH 21 – 24, 2016 ** ALL EVENTS FREE **

Palestine Solidarity Network presents a week of presentations, film screenings, and panel discussions in solidarity with Palestinian resistance to Israeli apartheid policies, and to raise awareness about the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

All IAW 2016 events are open to everyone, and are free of charge. Directions on how to get to the venues is below.

Edmonton IAW 2016 is organized by Palestine Solidarity Network with support from Independent Jewish Voices-Alberta, the Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism (ECAWAR), and the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG).

For information about Israeli Apartheid Week events around the world, visit apartheidweek.org.

MONDAY, MARCH 21

Apartheid in Palestine
Featuring Dr. Ghada Ageel
Monday, March 21 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) Room 1-190
SW corner of 87 Avenue & 114 Street, U of A campus (map)

RSVP and invite your friends on the Facebook event page.

Despite its use by former US Presidents, South African activists, and even Israeli government officials to describe the situation faced by Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank, Occupied East Jerusalem and Israel proper (’48 Palestinians), the term “Israeli apartheid” is still routinely attacked as an unfair framing of the conflict.

Based on her newly released book, Apartheid in Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences, Dr. Ghada Ageel will look at the use of the term apartheid to describe the Palestinian experience under occupation, looking at both the analogy to South African apartheid and the formal definition of apartheid as enshrined in international law.

Dr. Ghada Ageel is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta and a columnist for the Middle East Eye, an online news portal based in London, England. A third-generation Palestinian refugee, Ghada was born and raised in the Khan Younis Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip. She holds a PhD and MA in Middle East Politics from the University of Exeter and a BA in Education from the Islamic University of Gaza.

She is the contributing editor to the new book Apartheid In Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences, published in January by the University of Alberta Press. Dr. Ageel’s work has also been widely published in numerous newspapers, magazines and journals worldwide, including The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Hill, CNN, BBC, The Guardian, The Journal for Palestine Studies, Palestine Chronicle, and many Arabic newspapers throughout the Middle East.


TUESDAY, MARCH 22

Witnessing Apartheid: Activist Experiences in Palestine
Featuring Eoin Murray, Dawn Waring, and Carmen Jarrah
Tuesday, March 22 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) Room 1-190
SW corner of 87 Avenue & 114 Street, U of A campus (map)

RSVP and invite your friends on the Facebook event page.

The reality of the Palestinian experience of Israeli apartheid is seen by most Canadians through the lens of mainstream media coverage and, increasingly, hasbara-driven misrepresentations of the situation in Palestine/Israel. Experiencing the plight of Palestinians first-hand offers an entirely different – and much more realistic – understanding of the conflict.

This panel will feature the voices, experiences, and reflections of three Edmonton activists – Eoin Murray, Dawn Waring, and Carmen Jarrah – who have recently returned from their own individual visits to Gaza, the West Bank, and Occupied East Jerusalem.

Carmen Taha Jarrah is a local writer who retired recently from a 35-year career writing and editing professional communications for government. She is a peace activist, local and international volunteer and has travelled widely in the Middle East, including making multiple visits to Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories.

She is the author of the book, Smuggled Stories from the Holy Land, which was published last March, and based on her experiences as a member of the Arab Jewish Women’s Peace Coalition from Edmonton and as a volunteer picking olives for Palestinians.

Dawn Waring has been to Palestine and Israel numerous times, including co-leading exposure trips to the region in 2009 and 2012. With the support of the United Church of Canada, in mid-December she returned from her third three-month term with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (2012, 2013, and 2015). She is a committed activist for peace with justice.

Eoin Murray is an Irish author who lived in Gaza during the Second Intifada. He recently returned from his latest trip to both Gaza, the West Bank, and Occupied East Jerusalem.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23

The Wanted 18
Film Screening
Wednesday, March 23 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Education Centre South, Room 129
87 Avenue & 113 Street, U of A campus (map)

RSVP and invite your friends on the Facebook event page.

It’s 1987, and the first Palestinian Intifada (uprising) against the Israeli occupation is spreading across the West Bank.

Residents of the village of Beit Sahour want local alternatives to Israeli goods, including milk, which they’ve been buying from an Israeli company. Activists in the town decide to create a co-operative dairy farm, and purchase 18 cows from an Israeli kibbutz and transport them to the West Bank.

And so begins the strange story of the 18 cows.

After some trial and error, the newly minted “lactivists” succeed, the population comes to depend on the “Intifada milk,” and the cows become a symbol of freedom and resistance. But soon the illegal cows, cherished by the Palestinians, were being sought by the Israeli army and declared “a threat to the State of Israel.”

Will the Wanted 18 live to milk another day?

With humour and passion, this film captures the spirit of the First Intifada through the personal experiences of those who lived it. Acclaimed Palestinian artist Amer Shomali illustrated The Wanted 18 and co-directed it with veteran Canadian filmmaker Paul Cowan, combining stop-motion animation, interviews, drawings and archival material to bring to life one of the strangest chapters in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Poignant and thought-provoking, humorous and serious, it shows the power of grassroots activism, peaceful resistance and courage.

National Film Board of Canada, 2014, 75 minutes


THURSDAY, MARCH 24

BDS, Dissidence, and the Fight for Free Speech
Featuring Nisha Nath and Dax D’Orazio
Thursday, March 24 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) Room 1-190
SW corner of 87 Avenue & 114 Street, U of A campus (map)

RSVP and invite your friends on the Facebook event page.

On February 22 the Parliament of Canada passed by a margin of 229-51 (with 57 absences or abstentions) a Conservative motion to “reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement” and “call upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.”

The motion was the just the latest in a string of international moves aimed at slowing the rapid growth of support for the global Palestinian-led BDS movement. More than two dozen nation, state, or local laws against BDS have been put forward in the United States since 2015, the UK recently banned publicly funded institutions from participating in BDS, and Israel itself has had an anti-BDS law in place since 2011.

But these official moves are just the most recent attack on free speech related to BDS. For years, BDS campaigns by Palestinian solidarity activists on university campuses have been stifled or silenced by anti-boycott campaigns.

This panel will explore the aims of the BDS movement, official reactions to it, the relevance of the anti-BDS backlash in the context of increasingly neoliberal and militarized spheres of power, and what the implications are for broader movements of marginalized/oppressed/dissident people’s movements and free speech.

* While PSN cannot provide childcare for this event, this event is child inclusive so children of all ages are welcome in the room during the panel.

Nisha Nath is a long-time supporter of Palestine Solidarity Network-Edmonton and is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. Nisha is also a contributing editor with Voices-voix and the Dissent, Democracy and the Law Research Network. Her research looks at race, security, dissent and citizenship in Canada.

Dax D’Orazio is former member of Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) at Carleton University in Ottawa, which campaigned for the university to divest its pension fund from four companies complicit in human rights violations in Palestine. He is now a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta.


GETTING THERE

For events on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday: The Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) is located on the southwest corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street on the University of Alberta campus (map). ECHA is adjacent to the Jubliee Auditorium.

The building’s north entrance is closest to Room 1-190.

Parking

Parking is available at the Jubilee car park (map) and just across the street on the northeast corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street the Education car park (map).

Transit

Take the LRT to the Health Sciences Centre Station, which is located just south of ECHA.

Take Edmonton transit to the 114 Street and 89 Avenue stop of the University of Alberta bus loop (map) and walk just south to ECHA.

Cycling

Ample bicycle parking is located near the north entrance of ECHA.

For Wednesday‘s event: Education Centre South is located on 87 Avenue at 113 Street on the University of Alberta campus (map).

Parking

Parking is available the Education car park (map), located just west of Education South on the northeast corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street.

Transit

Take the LRT or Edmonton transit to the University Station and walk one block south to Education Centre south (map).

Cycling

Ample bicycle parking is located near the east entrance of Education Centre South.


The Great Book Robbery

February 7, 2016

 

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The Great Book Robbery: Chronicles of a Cultural Destruction
Film Screening and Discussion
Wednesday, February 10 (6:00 pm)
Education Centre South Room 255
87 Avenue at 113 Street, University of Alberta Campus
(Click here for map)

Help spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Please join PSN-UAlberta for the first of our winter semester series of documentary film screenings on Palestine. There is no charge for entry and everyone is welcome.

About the Film

Thirty thousand books were systematically “collected” during the 1948 war from Arab neighbourhoods in Western Jerusalem by the newly born State of Israel.

The drive to “collect” the books came from the management and librarians of Israel’s National Library – a leading cultural institution of the Zionist movement and the state of Israel – where all the valuable books ended up. Another 40,000 Palestinian books were “collected” in Haifa, Jaffa, Nazareth and other places.

Today, about six thousand of the these books can be found on the shelves of the National Library, organised like a fossilized army of a dead Chinese emperor, accessible but lifeless, indexed with the label AP – Abandoned Property.

This entirely unknown historical event came into light by chance; an Israeli PhD student – while researching in various state archives – stumbled upon documents from 1948-9 that mentioned “collecting books in Arabic from occupied territories.”

The plunder affair is a remarkable illustration of how one culture emerges from the dust of another after it has laid it to waste; the moment Palestinian culture is destroyed is also the moment a new Israeli consciousness is born, based not only on the erasure of the Arabs’ presence in Palestine but also on the destruction of their culture.

Dramatic new light illuminates the disaster inflicted upon the Palestinian people and their culture in 1948. A particularly chilling document from March 1949 lists tens of Jerusalemites whose libraries were “collected” – it reads like a Who’s Who of the Palestinian cultural elite of the time.

For decades Zionist and Israeli propaganda described the Palestinians as “people without culture.” Thus, the victorious Israeli state took upon itself to civilise the Palestinians who remained within its borders at the end of the 1948 war. They were forbidden to study their own culture or to remember their immediate past; their memory was seen as a dangerous weapon that had to be suppressed and controlled.”


‘Apartheid in Palestine’ Book Launch

January 13, 2016

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Apartheid in Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences
Book Launch featuring Dr. Ghada Ageel
Thursday, January 28 (3:30 – 6:00 pm)
Room B-87, Henry Marshall Tory Building, University of Alberta
(click here for map)

Help spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

PSN is thrilled to be a co-sponsor of the book launch for long-time PSN supporter Ghada Ageel’s new book, Apartheid in Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences, published by the University of Alberta Press. PSN’s Reem Skeik is also one of the book’s contributors.

Everyone is welcome to this free event. Dr. Ageel’s talk will be followed by a Q&A and reception. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

About Apartheid in Palestine

There are more than two sides to the conflict between Palestine and Israel. There are millions. Millions of lives, voices, and stories behind the enduring struggle in Israel and Palestine. Yet, the easy binary of Palestine vs. Israel on which the media so often relies for context effectively silences the lived experiences of people affected by the strife. Ghada Ageel sought leading experts—Palestinian and Israeli, academic and activist—to gather stories that humanize the historic processes of occupation, displacement, colonization, and, most controversially, apartheid. Historians, scholars and students of colonialism and Israel-Palestine studies, and anyone interested in more nuanced debate, will want to read this book.

With contributions from: Ghada Ageel, Richard Falk, Samar El-Bekai, Reem Skeik, Tali Shapiro, Rela Mazali, Huwaida Arraf, James Cairns, Susan Ferguson, Abigail B. Bakan, Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Keith Hammond, Sherene Razack, Edward C. Corrigan, Ramzy Baroud, and Rafeef Ziadah

About Ghada Ageel

Ghada Ageel is Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta and a columnist for the Middle East Eye, an online news portal based in London, England. She holds a PhD and MA in Middle East Politics from the University of Exeter and a BA in Education from the Islamic University of Gaza.

Praise for Apartheid In Palestine

“Of all the crimes to which Palestinians have been subjected through a century of bitter tragedy, perhaps none are more cruel than the silencing of their voices. The suffering has been most extreme, criminal, and grotesque in Gaza, where Ghada Ageel was one of the victims from childhood. This collection of essays is a poignant cry for justice, far too long delayed.”
—Noam Chomsky

“This book, edited by Ghada Ageel, is an intimate study of a people and place both central to, and isolated by, current international policy. The writing is personal and articulate, reflecting Ageel’s own history as a child of Gaza, a respected academic, and a gifted author. It should be read by all of us who love or want to better understand Gaza and the people who live there.”
—Craig and Cindy Corrie, Parents of Rachel Corrie who was killed in Gaza in 2003

“Ghada Ageel was for some time the Guardian’s ever-brilliant, brave and astute fixer in Gaza. On a visit there I found her local knowledge and sense of history to be invaluable in understanding the Palestinian side of the intractable and endless conflict which has been a tragedy for so many. She brings those qualities to her writing, which is often informed by her own personal experiences, and those of her family and friends.”
—Alan Rusbridger, Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, a constituent college of Oxford University

 

This event is co-sponsored by University of Alberta Press, Palestine Solidarity Network, the University of Alberta Department of Political Science, Middle East and Islamic Studies Research Group, Faculty4Palestine-Alberta, Canada Palestine Cultural Association, and the Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism (ECAWAR)


Speed Sisters at Global Visions Film Festival

May 1, 2015

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Speed Sisters
Edmonton Premiere at the Global Visions Film Festival
Saturday, May 9 (Noon – 2:00 pm)
Metro Cinema (Garneau Theatre)
8712-109 Street

Buy advanced tickets to the screening or the festival.

Help spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Despite restrictions on movement, a motor racing scene has emerged in the West Bank. The races offer a release from the pressures and uncertainties of life under military occupation. The spirited competition between cities brings spectators out in the thousands, lining rooftops and leaning over barricades to snap photos of their favorite drivers and to catch their final times on the scoreboard.

Brought together by a common desire to live life on their own terms, five determined women have joined the ranks of dozens of male drivers — competing against each other for the title, for bragging rights for their hometown, and to prove that women can compete head on with the guys.

The Speed Sisters are the first all-women race car driving team in the Middle East. They’re bold. They’re fearless. And they’re tearing up tracks all over Palestine.

Both intimate and action-filled, Speed Sisters captures the drive to defy all odds, leaving in its trail shattered stereotypes about gender and the Arab world.

Speed Sisters in an Hot Docs 2015 Official Selection.

Watch an interview with director Amber Fares and driver Noor Daoud on Canada AM.


Palestinian Bazaar 2015

February 8, 2015

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The Palestinian Bazaar
Saturday, March 14 (Noon – 10:00 pm)
Citadel Theatre
9828-101A Avenue
(Click here for map)

Help spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Humanserve International is hosting the third Palestinian Bazaar, a full-day festival celebration of the cultural richness of the Palestinian people!

We know the struggles. We know the politics. We know the pain. Do we really know the talent of the people?

It is time to celebrate the contributions Palestinians make to society through their art, film, food, products, knowledge, literature and their music.

The free, all-ages Bazaar runs from noon – 5:00 pm,  featuring fashion, food, music, dance, vendors and art.

The evening event, Comedy With a Cause, features Dean Obeidallah and Amer Zahr, along with local Edmonton talent. Doors open at 6:30 pm, show starts at 7:00 in The Club, Citadel Theatre. Please note that the evening event is age 15+ (infants & small children will not be permitted into the theatre)

Comedy with a cause advance tickets are $40 (including GST and fees), tickets at the door are $45 (including GST and fees).


Palestine Sessions at International Week 2015

January 11, 2015

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This year’s University of Alberta’s International Week 2015 runs from Monday, January 26 to Friday, January 30. As in past years there are a number of sessions related to Palestine and the broader Middle East of interest to PSN supporters. Most events are free, and all are open to the general public. For information about all International Week events, you can visit the website or download the program guide.

Photographs from Palestine-Israel: Living in a Context of Conflict
January 20 – February 9
Rutherford Library South, Galleria
(Click here for map)

Opening reception on Monday, January 26 at 5:00 pm in the Rutherford Library South, Foyer

Peak behind the headlines about Palestine-Israel to have a closer look at walls, snow, protests, olive trees, peace activists, checkpoints and World Cup Soccer in this context of seemingly unending conflict. This is an exhibit of photographs of people’s daily lives and challenges in Palestine and Israel taken by Ryan Roderick Beiler, a young American photographer living in Bethlehem from 2010-14.

Sponsored by the Mennonite Central Committee

Gaza: The Horror of Displacement
Featuring Dr. Ghada Ageel, Department of Political Science
Thursday, January 29 (3:30 – 4:50 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy 2-140
South Corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street, U of A Campus
(Click here for map)

For 50 days in the summer of 2014, Israel bombed the Gaza Strip from air, land and sea, killing more than 2,200 Palestinians and wounding more than 11,000. At the height of the bombardment, roughly one third of Gaza’s population was displaced and, by the time the August 26 cease-fire was declared, over 17,000 homes had been destroyed and another 67,000 homes damaged. Dr. Ageel was there and describes the bombardment and chilling aftermath as “the scariest and most stressful trip” of her life. Join Dr. Ageel as she reflects upon her experience, the new wave of displacement (i.e. “refugeed” refugees) and the prospects for Gaza’s future.

The Middle East After the Arab Spring
Featuring Dr. Mojtaba Mahdavi, Department of Political Science & Office of Interdisciplinary Studies
Friday, January 30 (11:00 – 11:50 am)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy 1-498
South Corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street, U of A Campus
(Click here for map)

Where is the Middle East heading after the Arab Spring? The rise of ISIL/ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the civil/proxy war in Syria and Yemen, the return of military rule in Egypt, and the deep political crisis in post-Gaddafi Libya have contributed to the revival of an old discourse of “Middle East Exceptionalism”, meaning the Middle East is exceptionally immune to the process of democratization and remains resistant to democracy. This talk problematizes the root causes of the current crisis and sheds light on problems and future prospects of grassroots democratization in the region. It suggests that the Arab Spring is an “unfinished project” and the quest for human dignity, social justice and freedom will continue to generate democratic social movements in the region.

 

 


4th Annual Mahmoud Darwish – Commemoration in Poetry

August 5, 2014

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4th Annual Mahmoud Darwish: Commemoration in Poetry
Tuesday, August 12 (8:30 – 11:00 pm)
Rouge Lounge
10111-117 Street
(Click here for map)

Help us spread the word! Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

On August 9, 2008 Palestine and the world lost a powerful and incomparable voice for justice with the passing of Palestine’s national poet, Mahmoud Darwish. His poetry explored life and politics, using words that sought to change history and to humanize.

As the horror in Gaza continues to unfold, please join PSN for its fourth annual evening commemorating the life and words of Mahmoud Darwish, and his unparallelled capturing of the struggle and steadfastness of the Palestinian people.

The evening will feature readings in both Arabic and English of a number of poems by Darwish.

If you are interested in reading a poem by Darwish in either Arabic or English as part of the evening’s commemoration, please email Sara at shussein07@gmail.com.

The evening is presented in collaboration with the Breath in Poetry Collective. Entry is by donation (no one turned away), with all proceeds going to UNWRA relief efforts in Gaza.

Sorry, no minors.

You can learn more about the life of Mahmoud Darwish below in the two-part Al Jazeera feature on Darwish made shortly after his death on August 9, 2008.

Part 1:

Part 2:

You can hear Darwish reading his poetry here and find many of his poems in both Arabic and English online.