The Village Under the Forest: Film + Discussion

PSN – Edmonton is pleased to present a screening of the film ‘The Village Under the Forest’. The film will be followed by a panel discussion and question and answer session.

A meditation on erasure:
The Village Under the Forest
film screening & discussion 

6 pm, Wednesday, April 7, 2021

The Village Under The Forest explores the hidden remains of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya, which lies under a purposefully cultivated forest plantation called South Africa Forest.

Directed by Emmy-winner Mark J Kaplan and written and narrated by scholar and author Heidi Grunebaum, The Village Under The Forest unfolds as a personal meditation from the Jewish Diaspora. Using the forest and the village ruins as metaphors, the documentary explores themes related to the erasure and persistence of memory and dares to imagine a future in which dignity, acknowledgement and co-habitation become shared possibilities in Israel/Palestine.

The event starts at 6 pm MDT (5 pm PDT) on April 7, 2021. There will be a brief introduction and participants will receive a free link to the film. After viewing, we will reassemble one hour later for the panel discussion.

Please register to join this Zoom webinar

About the panelists

Ghada Ageel is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta, a columnist in Middle East Eye London and the editor of Apartheid in Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences. She holds a PhD and MA in Middle East Politics from the University of Exeter (Britain) and a BA in Education from the Islamic University/Gaza. Dr. Ageel research interests focus on rights-based approaches to forced migration, Palestinian refugees in comparative perspective, oral history, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the permanent status issues involved in the Middle East peace process.

Ghaida Hamdan is a fourth generation Palestinian refugee born and raised in the Gaza Strip. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta in Human Geography and Political Science, and holds a Masters in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University. The focus of her research was on the role of collective memory and oral histories, in solidifying national identity in resisting the colonial projects of memoricide. After graduation she completed a post-grad course on the Greek Island of Lesvos that focused on the recent crisis of refugee flows into Europe. In 2020, she interned with the United Nations Department of Global Communications in New York.

Lucia Pizarro is the Founding Spiritual Director at the Jewish Liberation Theology Institute. In 2017 she became a mom and the first Mexican woman ordained as a rabbi in the Conservative movement. She holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Essex in the UK, and has been involved in Palestine solidarity work since 2002. She is a member of Independent Jewish Voices’ Spiritual and Cultural Network, and Jewish Voice for Peace’s Rabbinical Council.

PSN event faciliators: Dr. Masoud Shadnam, Jeff Winkelaar, Suliman Elatrash

Stand by Me: Palestinian Children and Military Detention

Stand by Me: Palestinian Children and Military Detention
Saturday, October 24 (1:00 – 2:30 pm)
Online (register)

Since 1967, Palestinian children and their families have been living under a military occupation. From our vantage point as Canadians, we can scarcely begin to understand what that means. Their day-to-day reality includes home and school demolitions, water rationing, the loss of family land, checkpoints and military gates, night raids, detentions and imprisonment.

Please join us for this 90-minute interactive workshop. Using a variety of tools (polls, small and large group discussion, and film clips) we will explore what protections all children have according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We will then hear about the lived experience of some Palestinian children and how their rights are routinely violated by the actions of the Israeli military. We will finish with an invitation for each of us to take one small action to stand up for Palestinian children by signing the e-petition sponsored by MP Paul Manley.

This is a free event, but registration is required.

The facilitators for the workshop will be Debbie Hubbard and Yara Shoufani. Debbie lives in Kelowna and has visited the occupied Palestinian territory three times. She served as an Eccumenical Accompanier in 2014-2015 in East Jerusalem with the World Council of Churches. She is a member of both CJPME:Okanagan and PalNet Pacific. Yara is the Executive Director of Canadian Friends of Sabeel.

The workshop is hosted by Canadian Friends of Sabeel (CFOS), CJPME: Okanagan, and PalNet Pacific.

Meet Green Party leadership candidate Dimitri Lascaris

Meet Green Party Leadership Candidate Dimitri Lascaris
Tuesday, August 18 (8:15 pm)
Wilbur McIntyre Park (83 Ave and 104 St (by the Strathcona Gazebo))

Longtime Palestinian rights activist Dimitri Lascaris is running for the leadership of the Green Party of Canada. Join Dimitri in Edmonton for an event will discuss his foreign policy platform, which includes:

Ending Sanctions that harm the innocent. End Canada’s deference to the U.S. on its withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran.

Opposing both annexation and the illegal settlements on Palestinian land in Israel.

Supporting the universal application of international law. The International Criminal Court (ICC) needs to apply its mandate without discrimination around the world.

Stopping the exporting of arms. Cancel the Saudi arms deal and take similar measures toward states that do not comply with UN Human Rights protocols

Supporting nuclear disarmament. Accede immediately to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Resuming relations with Iran. Don’t follow isolationist American policy on Iran.

Those attending will have an opportunity to join the Green Party and support Dimitri’s leadership bid. If you can’t make it to the event to see Dimitri in person, check out his campaign website and consider joining the Green Party in order to support his leadership bid.

Gaza Fights for Freedom Online Webinar

Gaza Fights for Freedom Online Webinar
Saturday, March 28, 11:00 am MDT
Online via Zoom (register here)

Please join us for a film webinar for the screening of Gaza Fights for Freedom, a film by US journalist Abby Martin.

This screening is presented by Social Justice Event Collective and co-hosted by Canadian Boat to Gaza, Independent Jewish Voices-London and People for Peace-London, Ontario.

Please register in advance for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the screening and webinar.

Filmmaker Abby Martin will join us after the screening to discuss the making of her documentary, including a questions and answers period. Filmed during the height of the Great March Of Return protests, it features riveting exclusive footage of demonstrations. The documentary tells the story of Gaza past and present, showing rare archival footage that explains the history never acknowledged by mass media. You will hear from victims of the ongoing massacre, including journalists, medics and the family of internationally acclaimed paramedic, Razan al-Najjar. At its core, Gaza Fights For Freedom is a thorough indictment of the Israeli military for war crimes, and a stunning cinematic portrayal of Palestinians’ heroic resistance.

We will also be joined for part of the discussion by a Palestinian participant from We Are Not Numbers, a group of aspiring and inspiring young journalists telling their stories of daily life in the Gaza Strip.

The Canadian Boat To Gaza raises awareness and support for the FreedomFlotilla’s sailing against the blockade of Gaza, with a focus on the children and youth of Gaza. The FreedomFlotilla’s next sailing, called For the Children of Gaza, will challenge the blockade, while focusing attention on young people in Gaza, who form more than half of the population in that tiny blockaded area. The Canadian Boat to Gaza is part of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, which contributed for a decade to initiatives including the Women’s Boat to Gaza (2016), Solidarity with Gaza Fishers (2017), and Right to a Just Future for Palestine (2018). We welcome all support and endorsements that contribute towards the goals and principles of our campaigns.

If you wish to donate to UNWRA’s COVID-19 urgent response appeal for healthcare in Palestine, see here.


Thursday, March 12, 7:00 pm
Humanities Centre Lecture Room 2 (HM L-2)
University of Alberta campus (map)

Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Soufra, Arabic for “dining table,” is a film to celebrate Universal Women’s Week 2020 in Edmonton. It follows the unlikely and wildly inspirational story of intrepid social entrepreneur, Mariam Shaar – a generational Palestinian refugee who has spent her entire life in the Burj El Barajneh refugee camp just south of Beirut, Lebanon.

The film follows Mariam as she sets out to change her fate by launching a catering company, Soufra, and then expand it into a food truck business with a diverse team of fellow refugee women who now share this camp as their home. Together, they take their future into their own hands through an unrelenting belief in each other. In the process, Mariam is breaking barriers, pulling together Syrian, Iraqi, Palestinian and Lebanese women to work side by side while running this thriving business.

Soufra will shine a new and revealing light on people inside an “extreme economy.” But this film is ultimately about hope, grit, passion and bringing people together. Though Mariam is officially “stateless,” she is a beacon of hope and home for thousands upon thousands of women in the most unlikely of places, and for viewers now of the Soufra story.

The film’s Edmonton screening is organized by the Palestine Solidarity Network (PSN), Mobilization for Justice (M4J), and CEPAL, a group of Canadians volunteers teaching refugee youth in Lebanon.

This event is free of charge, and all are welcome. Palestinian foods and the Soufra cookbook also will be available for sale.

For more information, or to confirm attendance, email

Unlawful Bottle of Wine

Unlawful Bottle of Wine: A David-and-Goliath Struggle for Truthful Labels on Israeli Settlement Wines
Featuring Dr. David Kattenburg
Tuesday, March 3, 7:30 pm
Hudson’s Pub, Side Room
10307 Whyte Avenue (map)

Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Over a glass of wine (or beer) come hear Dr. David Kattenburg recount his three-year struggle for truthful labeling of wines from the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and for the rule of law in Canada. Last summer, the Federal Court of Canada agreed that wines produced in the occupied Palestinian territories cannot be described as products of Israel. That decision is now under appeal by the federal government.

Dr. Kattenburg will discuss how this case touches on free speech and ethical shopping, and the implications of the federal government’s decision to appeal.

Note: Dr. Kattenburg is giving a similar talk at 3:30 pm on March 3, in Room 113 of the Law Centre on the University of Alberta campus (map).

Palestinization of Kashmir

Palestinization of Kashmir
Featuring David Barsamian
Friday, November 22, 6:00 pm
Room 150, Telus International Centre
Corner of 111 St and 87 Avenue, University of Alberta Campus (map)

Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

The Mobilization for Justice (M4J) is hosting renowned journalist David Barsamian for a lecture on the crisis in Kashmir and its parallels with Palestine.

This is a free event, everyone is welcome.

Organized by M4J and the ECMC Chair in Islamic Studies at University of Alberta.

About David Barsamian

One of America’s most tireless and wide-ranging investigative journalists, David Barsamian has altered the independent media landscape, both with his weekly radio show Alternative Radio—now in its 34th year—and his books with Noam Chomsky, Eqbal Ahmad, Howard Zinn, Tariq Ali, Richard Wolff, Arundhati Roy and Edward Said. His latest books are with Noam Chomsky: Global Discontents: Rising Threats to Democracy and Edward Said: Culture and Resistance. He lectures on world affairs, imperialism, capitalism, propaganda, the media and global rebellions.

David Barsamian is the winner of the Media Education Award, the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. The Institute for Alternative Journalism named him one of its Top Ten Media Heroes. He is the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Democracy Alliance of Vancouver, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center and the Radical Desi. He has collaborated with the world-renowned Kronos Quartet in events in New York, London, Vienna, San Francisco and elsewhere.

Barsamian was deported from India due to his work on Kashmir and other revolts. He is still barred from traveling to “the world’s largest democracy.”

As a kid, David was a bit of a rebel and frequently played hooky from school. Growing up in New York in the shadow of the Armenian Genocide sparked an interest in history and politics. His first interview was with his mother, Araxie. He says, that interview was the most difficult he has ever done. He then went on to do a series of interviews with survivors.

He says he was further radicalized when his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team moved to Los Angeles. He said, “That’s all I needed to know about capitalism.”

Making Ground for Sumoud

Making Ground for Sumoud on World Refugee Day
Thursday, June 20 (Noon – 1:00 pm)

Telus Building Room 131
Corner of 111 St & 87 Ave, U of A campus (map)

You are invited to this free noon-hour presentation delivered to mark this year’s World Refugee Day.

The event features two University of Alberta-based speakers who will use their involvements with Palestinians to consider how local groups or individuals can lend further support to refugees. The speakers’ experiences are separate and different, but they similarly rely on the importance of sumoud (roughly translated from Arabic as “steadfastness”) among Palestinians. It’s a condition which describes well the actions and outlooks of camp residents in Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon. While it’s an attitude upheld by refugees in these countries, it also might be adopted by others, in struggles to support them globally.

Coffee will be provided, BYO lunch.

About the speakers

Dr. Ghada Ageel is a visiting professor in Political Science, an independent scholar, and is active in Faculty4Palestine-Alberta)

John Doyle, who retired in 2018 from his position as programs director with the Alberta School of Business’ Centre for International Business Studies, recently taught at two Palestinian refugee camps in Sour (Tyre), Lebanon.

About World Refugee Day

June 20 is the annual, UN-designated day to commemorate strength, courage, and perseverance of refugees, who now number more than 25 million globally, over half under 18 years old. Schools, municipalities, faith groups, and NGOs in Canada have used this Day to share ways for standing with refugees, as well as asylum claimants and internally displaced persons.

Gaza Calls, Canada Answers

Gaza Calls, Canada Answers
Live Canada-wide video conference with Gaza
Saturday, June 8 at 10:00 am
Lendrum Mennonite Church
11210 59 Ave NW (map)

Invite your friends to the Facebook event!

Join us on June 8 for a nationwide call with Gaza! Local groups in nine cities across Canada will join a call with a group of speakers from Gaza who will share their experiences living in Gaza and the daily struggles Gazans must endure due to the blockade of Gaza and Israeli military strikes in the Gaza strip.

The call will be joined by the following guest speakers from Gaza:

Dr. Mahmoud Matar is the founding head of the Limb Reconstruction Surgery Unit at Shifa Hospital in Gaza. He has been the head of the Orthopaedic Surgery Department at Al-Shifa since October 2014. He is also an instructor at the Primary Trauma Care Course.

Bolos Swelem is a third-year dentistry student at Haider Abdel Shafi Dentistry College at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. He is also the leader at the at Arab Orthodox Scout Group of Gaza.

Please RSVP for the Edmonton event.

For more information about events in other cities across Canada, visit the event page at the Canadian Friends of Sabeel.

This is a free event, but donations will be accepted.

Local sponsors:

Canada Palestine Cultural Association
Lendrum Mennonite Church
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Alberta
Palestine Solidarity Network

National sponsors:

Canadian Friends of Sabeel
United Church of Canada
United Network for Peace and Justice in Palestine/Israel (UNJPPI)


Al-Quds Day 2019

Al-Quds Day 2019 Rally
Saturday, June 1 (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
Alberta Legislature Building
10800 97 Avenue (map)

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

On June 1, Edmonton will host its ninth annual Al-Quds Day rally.

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.

Al-Quds Day is commemorated all over the planet and we are doing our part in Edmonton. We will honor the Palestinian resistance for justice. With the current series of injustice, we cannot afford to remain silent. Remember, you don’t need to be Palestinian to care, you simply have to be human.

Organized by Mobilization for Justice.