Dispossessed but Defiant photo exhibition

Dispossessed but Defiant:
Indigenous Struggles from Around the World

Photo Exhibition
November 1 – 30
Mon-Fri
: 8 am-9 pm; Sat: 11 am-6 pm; Sun: 11 am – 9 pm
Rutherford Library Gallery, University of Alberta (map)

The Dispossessed but Defiant: Indigenous Struggles from Around the World photo exhibition features over 120 visually compelling photos which examine different aspects of Indigenous peoples’ experiences of dispossession, and their inspiring struggles to resist these processes. The exhibition touches on the experiences of three different peoples: Blacks under Apartheid South Africa, the Palestinians, and Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.

The struggles of Indigenous peoples for human rights, respect and recognition can last generations. Although each Indigenous people is unique, the struggles that Indigenous peoples around the world have faced follow many common themes. Among these themes are loss of land; expulsion from traditional lands; military occupation; destruction of homes and communities; restrictions on movement and residency; detention and imprisonment; cultural dispossession; discriminatory educational policies; pressures to assimilate; barriers to integration; and criminalization of peaceful resistance.

Presented by the Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta; the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (MEIS) Program, University of Alberta; the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities Chair in Islamic Studies, University of Alberta; the Canada-Palestine Cultural Association; the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta; and the CJMPE Foundation.

100 Years Later …

100 Years Later …
Presentation by Debbie Hubbard and Dean Reidt
Thursday, November 2 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Education Centre South Room 158
87 Avenue & 113 Street, U of A campus (map)

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

Balfour_declarationOn November 2, 1917 a promise was made by the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to the Zionist Federation that “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.”

A century later, the promise laid out the Balfour Declaration has indeed been fulfilled, but at what cost? Generations of Palestinians have only known dispossession from their homes and land and a military occupation that has violated their basic human rights.

In this presentation, human rights observers Debbie Hubbard and Dean Reidt will provide an overview of the occupation as it relates to international law and human rights, Canada’s foreign policy in relation to Israel/Palestine, access to education for Palestinian children, military detention and arrests of children, and house demolitions and the appropriation of land in the West Bank.

They will conclude with ways for all of us to participate in current national and international campaigns.

About the speakers

Debbie Hubbard and Dean Reidt served as human rights observers and accompaniers in Occupied East Jerusalem and Bethlehem in 2014-2015. Debbie recently returned to the West Bank for three weeks in March 2017. Since 2015, they have continued to share their experience and their ongoing learning about the realities of the Israeli occupation on the daily lives of Palestinians. Their goal is to see an end to the occupation and a just peace.

Debbie and Dean recently moved to the Okanagan after 25 years as residents of St. Albert.

PSN is a working group of the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG), and we thank APIRG for its ongoing support.

The Language of Palestinian Tatreez

PSN is thrilled to host a presentation and two hands-on workshops on the history, meaning, and story behind the Palestinian traditional art of tatreez.

The Language of Palestinian Tatreez
Presentation by Wafa Ghnaim and Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim
Friday, September 29 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) Room 2-190
Corner of 114 St & 87 Ave, University of Alberta (map)

RSVP for this free presentation on Facebook or Eventbrite.

For generations, Palestinian women have gathered together with their daughters to work collectively on traditional Palestinian tatreez embroidery projects, bonding with one another over a cup of tea. Over time, and after the exodus of Palestinians from Palestine in 1948, embroidery has become an endangered art that has been subjected to decades of cultural appropriation.

But embroidery represents more than just a village craft of old Palestine — it became the primary form of communication for Palestinian women who used needlework as a way to express their opinions, share their stories, and document their protest of occupation, war and violence.

In this presentation, Wafa Ghnaim and her mother Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim will decode and discuss the meaning and history of traditional tatreez embroidery patterns, bringing traditional Palestinian embroidery to life by revealing the profound depth in meaning, inspiration, and storytelling power that is encapsulated in each motif.

This event is free and open to the public.

PSN is a working group of the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG), and their support has made this event possible.

About the presenters

Wafa Ghnaim is an American born Palestinian businesswoman, writer and artist. Her father’s side of the family is from Yaffa, Palestine, though they now reside in Amman, Jordan. Her mother was born in Safad, Palestine, twice displaced — first, to Damascus, Syria and then to Amman, Jordan. Wafa and her two sisters began learning Palestinian embroidery from their mother when they were each about 4 years old.

Wafa is the author of Tatreez & Tea: Embroidery and Storytelling in the Palestinian Diaspora, which is based on over 30 years’ worth of oral history interviews, recorded demonstrations, lectures, journal entries and photographs from her and her mother. In the book Wafa documents, decodes and preserves the patterns, meanings and oral history of over a dozen traditional Palestinian embroidery designs passed on for generations between women in her family.

Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim was born in Safad, a northern city in Palestine. During the 1947-48 war, her and her family fled Palestine for refuge with the intention of returning after the war was over. Her family first fled to Damascus, Syria. Then to Manbej, a town in Northern Syria near Aleppo where they resided until 1952 when they moved to Irbid, Jordan.

Feryal learned embroidery from her mother and grandmother in Syria. Palestinian women have gathered together for generations with their daughters to work collectively on embroidery projects, bonding with one another over a cup of tea, and Feryal found solace in continuing the tradition with her own daughters.

Feryal has dedicated her life’s work to teaching young women of color the traditional art of Palestinian embroidery and fabric art, and still leads workshops and classes at all educational levels in public schools in Oregon, and is a four-time grant recipient of the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program through the Oregon Folklife Network.

For full bios of Wafa and Feryal, visit tatreezandtea.com.

Getting There

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 2-190.

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.


Palestinian Tatreez Workshops
With Wafa Ghnaim and Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim
Saturday, September 30
$20 regular | $12 low-income/student

Morning workshop: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Afternoon workshop: 2:00  pm – 5:00 pm
University of Alberta campus

** Please note that both workshops are now full.  **

Participants will learn how to embroider a traditional Palestinian embroidery motif, using the cross-stitch technique, to create a small wall-hanging to frame. The workshop will be hosted by Wafa Ghnaim and Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim, who will provide a hands-on tutorial to participants on how to embroider using traditional Palestinian techniques, focused on the preservation of the indigenous, endangered art of Palestinian embroidery.

The workshop is centered on Wafa’s book, Tatreez & Tea: Embroidery and Storytelling in the Palestinian Diaspora, which attempts to preserve the craft of embroidery as well as the art of storytelling that is encapsulated in each traditional Palestinian motif.

Wafa and her sisters grew up learning the time-honored folk art and tradition of embroidery from their mother, Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim. Researching over thirty years’ worth of oral history interviews, recorded demonstrations, lectures, journal entries and photographs from her and her mother, Wafa documents, decodes and preserves the patterns, meanings and oral history of over a dozen traditional Palestinian embroidery designs passed on for generations between women in her family.

For generations, Palestinian women have gathered together with their daughters to work collectively on embroidery projects, bonding with one another over a cup of tea. Over time, and after the exodus of Palestinians from Palestine in 1948, embroidery has become an endangered art that has been subjected to decades of cultural appropriation. But embroidery represents more than just a village craft of old Palestine — it became the primary form of communication for Palestinian women who used needlework as a way to express their opinions, share their stories, and document their protest of occupation, war and violence.

All materials will be provided. Due to the preparation required for the workshop, we cannot offer refunds for cancelled registrations.

PSN session at Ignite Change 2017

Intersections of Advocacy
Part of Ignite Change 2017
Tuesday, August 22 (2:45 pm – 3:45 pm)
Grant MacEwan University

PSN is pleased to be hosting a session, Intersections of Advocacy, at the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Right’s Ignite Change 2017 conference.

Join this diverse panel for a lively discussion about the intersections of struggles for equity and justice in the face of oppressive institutions and misinformed citizens. Activists from the Palestinian and Indigenous communities will trace their justice movements and discuss the differences and similarities between their movements. This intersectional panel will provide a broad perspective on the never-ending work that is undertaken to abolish hatred.

You can register for Ignite Change 2017 online, and if money represents an impediment to attend the conference, JHC is sponsoring spots (free admission) and accepting donations (pay what you can).

About the speakers:

Ranya El-Sharkawi is a first generation Canadian with Palestinian roots in Gaza and Jaffa. She is a political science (hon.) student at the University of Alberta and the Vice President External for the Political Science Undergraduate Association. Ranya’s research explores how generations of diasporic Palestinians conceptualize Palestine as a homeland.

April Eve Wiberg is an advocate, survivor and founding member of the Stolen Sisters & Brothers Awareness Movement, a 100% grassroots movement raising awareness on the national epidemic of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Men and Boys. April Eve continues to strive at breaking the cycle of poverty and violence, committing herself to being a strong voice against racism, sexual exploitation and other human rights abuses.

Moderated by Fatme Elkadry, representing the Palestine Solidarity Network. Fatme Elkadry is a first-generation Canadian Muslim with roots in Safed, Palestine. She is pursuing her undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta in Human Geography (hon.). Fatme actively seeks opportunities to engage her local community in the preservation of a lost Palestinian culture and in advocating for the human rights of Palestinian people.

Souls by Aksam Alyousef at the Fringe

Souls at the Edmonton Fringe
August 18 – 27
Venue #4 – Academy at King Edward
8525 101 St

Souls, a play exploring the situation in Israel-Palestine is part of the 2018 Edmonton Fringe Festival.

“Do you see an end to this struggle?” asks Hannah, the protagonist of Syrian playwright Aksam Alyousef’s new play Souls. This daring and sensitive play explores the notions of justice, guilt, redemption, and the complex emotions and opinions that swirl around the ongoing conflict in Israel-Palestine.

It tells the story of Hannah, a Canadian lawyer who moves to Israel with her husband, and into the home of a displaced Palestinian family. Hannah’s conscience is shaken when she meets the soul of the previous resident – a woman killed by a settler’s bullet.

Venue #4
Academy at King Edward
8525 101 St

Showtimes:

Friday, August 18 at 9:30 pm
Monday, August 21 at 3:45 pm
Wednesday, August 23 at 2:15 pm
Thursday, August 24 at 8:45 pm
Friday, August 25 at 12:00 pm
Sunday, August 27 at 8:00 pm

Tickets $13 – Students/Seniors $10. Tickets go on sale at noon on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. You can purchase tickets in advance on the Fringe Festival website or call (780) 409-1910. Tickets can also be purchased in person at any of the Festival Box Offices.

If you can’t make it to the play, you can also make an online donation to support the costs of the production of Souls.

Presented by Multicultural Theatre
Written and directed by Aksam Alyousef
Featuring: Sarah Spicer, Shawn Prasad, Amena Shehab and Gnin Alyousef
Stage managed by FengYi Jiang
Stage design by Sarah Kostaska
Poster art by Aboud Alsamlan
Dramaturgy by Morgan Norwich

Al-Quds Day 2017 Rally

Al-Quds Day 2017 Rally
Saturday, June 24 (6:00 pm)

Alberta Legislature Building
10800 97 Avenue NW, Edmonton
(Click here for map)

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

The International Day of al-Quds is an annual event, supporting a just peace for Palestine, and opposing apartheid Israel’s control of Jerusalem (al-Quds in Arabic: القـُدْس), the international city that stands as a powerful symbol to three of the world’s great religious traditions. It is held each year at the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan.

On June 24, 2017, organizers in Edmonton will host the 6th annual Al-Quds Day rally. On this day, all across the planet, a commemoration is held to honour the Palestinian plight for justice. With the current series of bloodshed, torture and injustice, we cannot afford to remain silent.

Remember, you don’t need to be Palestinian to care, you simply have to be human.

Confirmed speakers include Dr. Ghada Ageel (editor of Apartheid in Palestine) and Carmen Jarrah (author of Smuggled Stories from the Holy Land).

Join the May 25 global hunger strike for Palestinian prisoners

International solidarity activists have issued a call for a global one-day hunger strike on Thursday, May 25 in support of more than 1,500 hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners who have been participating in the Strike for Dignity and Freedom for more than month.

The strikers’ demands are for basic human rights: an end to the denial of family visits, proper health care and medical treatment, the right to access distance higher education, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.

Pledge to take part on May 25

If you are in Canada, please make a pledge to join the Palestinian prisoners in a one-day solidarity hunger strike on May 25 (or another day)

You can connect with other Canadian participating in the day of solidarity and share your story on the Canadians in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners Facebook page.

Other actions you can take

Stay up to date and share widely on social media the daily updates on the hunger strikers from the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network (read the latest update from May 23, Day 37 of the hunger strike) and the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.

If you are in Canada, use this online tool from Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University to call on the Canadian government to support Palestinian prisoner demands

Sign the Americas-wide petition in support of the hunger strikers.

Update your social media profile pics to the image below:

Follow and share tweets with the hashtags #FreedomAndDignity, #DignityStrike, and #PalHunger.

Respond to the calls from Palestinian civil society to grow support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. (Read BNC support statements from April 17, May 9, and May 24).

Palestine: Paving the Path from Occupation to Justice

Palestine Solidarity Network is pleased to be part of the University of Alberta International’s International Week 2017, which runs from January 30 – February 5.

PSN-U of A is presenting the following session:

Palestine: Paving the Path from Occupation to Justice
Monday, January 30 (3:00 – 4:30 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy 1-182
South Corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street, U of A Campus
(Click here for map)

2017 marks the 50th year of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. This panel features Palestinian and international solidarity activist voices, who will introduce the reality of the situation in Palestine and explore the various forms of nonviolent resistance that Palestinians and international solidarity activists are undertaking to bring an end to the occupation and ensure a transition to a peaceful co-existence between Palestine and Israel.

About the speakers:

Mohammad Othman (via Skype from Palestine) is a Palestinian non-violent activist, community organizer and film producer with over a decade of experience working for and founding various NGOs across Palestine and traveling around the world speaking on behalf of Palestinian rights. As youth coordinator with the Stop the Wall campaign, Mohammad worked with students all over Palestine leading community building and leadership programs. As a tour guide, his clients have included former American President Jimmy Carter and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Mohammad is now the Executive Director of SkateQilya, a youth empowerment program that uses skateboarding as a tool to teach art, community building, and leadership skills to Palestinian girls and boys in the West Bank.

Eoin Murray is an Irish author who lived in Gaza during the Second Intifada. In late 2016, Eoin travelled on his latest trip to Gaza, the West Bank, and Occupied East Jerusalem.

Fatme Elkadry is a first-generation Canadian with familial roots in Safed, Palestine. She is currently studying Human Geography at the University of Alberta and is particularly interested in food deserts and social housing within cities. In her spare time, Fatme enjoys drawing, playing the ukulele, and advocating for Palestinian human rights.

Scott Harris is a member of Palestine Solidarity Network. During Israel’s 2008-09 attack on Gaza (Operation Cast Lead), he volunteered in the West Bank with the International Solidarity Movement.

***

We encourage you to check out the other great sessions taking place throughout the week. You can get full session information on the iWeek website or by downloading the program guide. One additional session of note to those interested in Palestine is:

Muslims and the Middle East in a Post- Trump Era
Friday, February 3 (1:00 – 2:30 pm)
Telus Centre Room 134
Corner of 111 Street & 87 Avenue, University of Alberta Campus
(Click here for map)

Featuring Dr. Mojtaba Mahdavi, ECMC Chair in Islamic Studies and the Department of Political Science

What does a Trump presidency mean for the current crisis in the Middle East? Many in the world are anxious to learn about Trump’s policies on Syria, Iraq and ISIS, as well as his plans for addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Iran nuclear deal. This session will shed light on how US President Trump’s policies will affect Muslims around the world, particularly those living in North America.

 

Gaza Calls: Canada Answers

Gaza Calls: Canada Answers
Live Canada-wide video conference with Gaza
Saturday, November 26 (10 am – 1 pm)
Southminster-Steinhauer United Church 
10740 19 Avenue (map)

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

PSN is pleased to be one of the Edmonton sponsors of Canadian Friends of Sabeel‘s Canada-wide live three-hour video-conference on Gaza, with Q&A and opportunities to take collective action.

On Nov 26th, three Palestinians will connect with over a dozen locations across Canada for an in depth discussion on current medical, social, and legal issues in Gaza! The three panelists are:

  • Suhaila Tarazi (director of Al Ahli Arab Hospital, Gaza)
  • Sami El-Yousef (regional director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association – CNEWA)
  • Raji Sourani (lawyer, recipient of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and director of Palestinian Centre for Human Rights – Gaza)

Nearly 2 million people in Gaza live in an open air prison, under a severe blockade imposed by the government of Israel. According to a recent UN report, Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020 if things continue along the current trajectory. Please join us for this vitally important opportunity to hear voices from Gaza.

This is a free event, but donations will be accepted, with all proceeds going medical relief projects in Gaza.

Free parking is available.

Local sponsors:

Edmonton Interfaith Centre
Edmonton Presbytery, United Church of Canada
Garneau United Church
Independent Jewish Voices
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Alberta
Palestine Solidarity Network
Southminster-Steinhauer United Church

National sponsors:

Anglican Church of Canada
Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)
Presbyterian Church of Canada
United Church of Canada
United Network for Peace and Justice in Palestine/Israel (UNJPPI)

Why BDS Matters: A Town Hall Discussion

 

Why BDS Matters: A Town Hall Discussion
Wednesday, October 26 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) Room 2-190
SW corner of 87 Avenue & 114 Street, U of A campus (map)

RSVP and invite your friends on the Facebook event page.

[If you’re in Calgary, here’s the Facebook event page for the October 27 town hall in Calgary]

At its August 2016 convention in Ottawa the Green Party of Canada passed a policy resolution to become the first (and only) party with representation in the House of Commons to publicly support elements of the Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) to pressure Israel to respect international law, and oppose efforts to “prohibit, punish or otherwise deter expressions of support for BDS.”

The Green Party quickly came under intense pressure from pro-Israeli organizations for its democratic adoption of the resolution. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May reacted by expressing her disagreement with the resolution, firing three members of her shadow cabinet who publicly supported the resolution, and calling a “special general meeting” on December 3-4 in Calgary to revisit, and potentially reverse, the resolution.

This public town hall is an opportunity for students, the general public, members of all political parties, and Green Party members of all perspectives on the resolution to learn more about the reality and aims of the Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS), why the Green Party resolution is significant, and what can be done to support BDS and the resolution.

The evening will feature presentations by Dimitri Lascaris, former Justice Critic of the Green Party of Canada Shadow Cabinet and author and submitter of the resolution; and Yves Engler, author of the new book, A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation, followed by ample time for discussion and debate from attendees.

This is a free event, donations are welcome.

Organized by Palestine Solidarity Network and the Campaign to Defend the Green Party of Canada’s BDS Policy.

About the speakers:

Dimitri Lascaris was the author and submitter of the Green Party resolution on “Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” and was justice critic in the Green Party of Canada Shadow Cabinet before he was removed in September by leader Elizabeth May.

He graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1991, and is a practicing lawyer called to the bars of Ontario, the State of New York, and the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York. In 2012, Canadian Lawyer Magazine identified Mr. Lascaris as one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada, and in 2013, Canadian Business Magazine identified him as one of the 50 most influential people in Canadian business.

Lascaris is Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Unity Project for the Relief of Homelessness, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Real News Network, an independent, not-for-profit media organization based in Baltimore, Maryland. He previously served as a Board member of Toronto 350.org.

In the 2015 federal election, he ran as the Green Party candidate in the riding of London West.

Yves Engler, the former vice-president of the Concordia Student Union, is a Montréal-based activist and author. the former vice-president of the Concordia Student Union, is a Montréal-based activist and author. He is the author of the recently released book A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation, and has published eight other books including The Ugly Canadian: Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy, The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy (Shortlisted for the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non Fiction in the Quebec Writers’ Federation Literary Awards), and Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid.

Chris Alders is a former broadcaster, journalist, publisher and professional political organizer. He is currently a Senior Policy Adviser to a company in Calgary. A native of Nova Scotia, Chris holds three degrees in political science, two undergraduate from Acadia University and a graduate degree from Brock University. His research has focused on political leadership and democracy. He is a former Atlantic Canada Organizer for the Green Party of Canada and has participated in 37 campaigns with the Green Party vote going up 36 times. In the summer of 2015, he was a finalist for the position of Campaign Manager of Jill Stein for President. He has been a member of the Green Party of Canada since 2004.

Getting there:

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 2-190.

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 or 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.

Bike

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