Update on 14/3: Thank you all for coming and for your great questions and interest in non-violent movement in Palestine. To find out more about volunteer possibilities in Beit Ummar or about the work of Mousa’s organisation, please go here.
Česky zde. You are cordially invited to a lecture by a Palestinian human rights activist from Beit Ummar in the West Bank, which takes place on Wednesday 13 March at 7 PM at „ROH družstevní kavárna“ (U božích bojovníků 606/3, Prague 3-Žižkov, bus stop U památníku or Tachovské náměstí, a map here).
Mousa Maria will talk about a new approach to the development in Palestine through non-violent strategic action, about grass-root movement, and his organisation Center for Freedom and Justice. Working language English, if needed with a possible interpretation into Czech.
Facebook event here.
About the speaker:
Mousa Abu Maria comes from the agricultural town of Beit Ummar, southern West Bank. During his secondary education, he became inspired by nonviolent strategic action. In 2004, he entered university (administration and economy). Mousa worked in the agriculture sector, as is tradition in his family. He started to be more active in the political sphere because of the difficult circumstances in the region. He loved the study of literature and political science, and through his field experience, he found his own modern means to express his political motives for nonviolence.
As a result, he launched the idea a peaceful non-violent movement in 2005, which was novelty in the town of Beit Ummar. The main purpose of this movement is to work directly with Israeli supporters who believe in peace and the rights of the Palestinians and by it, begin to bring Palestinians and Israelis together and diminish the fear among Israeli institutions when working with Palestinians.
In 2006, the work took a more serious turn. There was a need to build an array of programs for the local community. As such, the Center for Freedom and Justice was founded, which would from then on serve the community of Beit Ummar by making developmental programs for non-violent action, community empowerment and sustainable agriculture. Since then, many peace conferences have been held, both locally and internationally, to promote the strategy of non-violent action, to bring together Israeli and Palestinian communities, as well as to empower impoverished Palestinians.
- Introduction of an agricultural project in Beit Ummar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aR6CtLciAe8
- Interview with Mousa Maria (2013): https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/podcast-youth-west-bank-village-under-constant-attacks-israeli-army
- Video with a non-violent action – farmers from Beit Ummar work their field next to an illegal Israeli settlement of Karmei Tsur, when settlers call the army which then detains non-violently protesting Mousa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zan2SDbW100
- Video interview with Mousa Maria (2013): https://vimeo.com/67174271
The Center for Freedom and Justice (CFJ) was formally established in 2010 as a mean to address the lack of community development and organising programs in rural Palestinian communities. Through a combination of educational and development programs, the Center seeks to build the collective and strategic power of these communities, and improve the lives of rural West Bank residents. CFJ offers a wide range of opportunities for participants to develop their communication, advocacy and strategic nonviolence skills, as well as several microeconomic initiatives which empower local residents to overcome the many obstacles they face. The Center also works to restore devastated agricultural land through tree planting and land rehabilitation initiative. Through its wide range of empowering, community oriented programs, the Center has built strong ties of support and solidarity among rural West Bank residents, and has laid the groundwork for a new way of organising in Palestine: one that transforms society from the bottom up. The Center also hosts international visitors and volunteers looking for a deeper understanding of the condition of Palestinian communities like Beit Ummar, and offers insight into a more hopeful side to Palestinian communities, where the struggle for human and political rights is mirrored with positive community development.