March 15, 2015
Film and Dessert with Rafah Filmmaker Fida Qishta

Sunday, March 15
Details to come!

Mark your calendars for the Annual Rachel Corrie commemoration event: Film and Dessert with Rafah filmmaker Fida Qishta and her ground-breaking Where Should the Birds Fly?

From the film’s web site:

Where Should the Birds Fly? is the first film about Gaza made by Palestinians living the reality of Israel’s siege and blockade of this tiny enclave. It is the story of two young women, survivors of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead. Mona Samouni, now 12 years old and the filmmaker, Fida Qishta, now 27, represent the spirit and future of Palestinians.

The film is a visual documentation of the Goldstone Report. But it is so much more. It reveals the strength and hope, the humanity and humor that flourishes among the people of Gaza. Few films document so powerfully and personally the impact of modern warfare and sanctions on a civilian population.

The film itself breaks the blockade. Filmmakers in Gaza have never had the opportunity to make a full length, professional documentary of their reality. Fida Qishta, born and raised in Rafah, Gaza, began her filmmaking career as a wedding videographer, and soon moved on to working with international human rights observers in Gaza, documenting day to day life under siege. Her commentary on the siege was published in The International Herald Tribune. Her video reports of Operation Cast Lead were published widely including in the UK newspaper The Guardian and in their weekly news magazine The Observer.

Fida founded The Life-Maker’s Centre, Rafah, Gaza. She was the manager and a teacher at this free facility for 300 children affected by war. The center continues to provide a safe place to play and offers counseling and English language tutoring.”

February 12, 2015
Lecture on the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

Thursday, February 12
Madison Central Library, Room 104
201 W. Mifflin St.
6:30 pm

David Williams of the Peregrine Forum will speak on “The 1948 War: the Founding of Israel & Mass Expulsion of the Palestinians” as part of a monthly series on Palestine and Israel.

For a quick and easy background he recommends the website and Facebook page of the UK-based organization 1948: Lest We Forget, which can be found at 1948: LEST WE FORGET or 1948: Lest.We.Forget | Facebook.

For longer reading two excellent books on this subject are Ilan Pappe’s Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2007) and Michael Palumbo’s The Palestinian Catastrophe: the 1948 Expulsion of a People From Their Homeland (1987).

The first book is a thorough, scholarly treatment based on recently declassified Israeli archives by an Israeli revisionist historian, who was consequently forced to leave Israel and relocate to the UK.

The second book is by an American historian and writer on human rights. It is shorter and less dense, written for a nonacademic audience and effectively conveying the main events in 1948.

Co-sponsored by the Peregrine Forum, Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative, and the Madison Infoshop Free Skool. For more info, call 284-9082.

Palestine Scores!

Midfielder Jaka Ihbeisheh scored Palestine’s first goal in a major international tournament against Jordan. (ESPN)

The final result never really mattered, because the apperance of Palestine in the Asia Cup was a victory in its own right, writes Amin Abbas.

Amin Abbas, New Matilda, 23 Jan 2015

Following the six-day war in 1967 when Israel occupied Gaza and the West Bank, Haj Hashem Atta Shawa, the founder of the Bank of Palestine, was asked to change its name. “Call it anything but the Bank of Palestine or we will close it down,” he was told.

When he refused, the occupiers covered the word Palestine in black paint in every bank office and branch, and halted all bank operations.

Continue reading

Book Group for “Mornings in Jenin”

January 28 & Ongoing
Madison Central Library
7 – 9 pm
See the Facebook Event page!

Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison, the Peregrine Forum and the Madison Infoshop Free Skool are partnering to host this book discussion in Madison.

Mornings in Jenin is a sweeping, heart-wrenching historical saga about four generations of the Abulheja family. From Jenin to Jerusalem to Beirut to Philadelphia, the novel follows the family from its displacement from Ein Hod village in 1948 through love and loss over decades of life in Palestine and the diaspora.

Participants should read the first two sections, “Nakba” and “Naksa”, for the first meeting. If you plan to attend, please RSVP before January 20 to rafahsistercity (at) for room size. We also have information on the availability of printed and eBook copies and financial assistance. The book was originally published under the title Scar of David, and there should be no significant difference between the two versions.

We hope you will consider joining us. If you have any questions, please contact rafahsistercity (at)

Librarians and Archivists with Palestine

information workers in solidarity with the Palestinian people

One Book, Many Communities: Mornings in Jenin. January 2015.9781608190461

This winter, join Librarians and Archivists with Palestine for an exciting international reading campaign: “One Book, Many Communities: Mornings in Jenin.” The project draws inspiration from the “one book, one town” idea — wherein people in local communities come together to read and discuss a common book. Librarians and Archivists with Palestine invites readers, librarians, and others to organize gatherings in January 2015 to discuss Mornings in Jenin, the acclaimed novel by Palestinian-American author and activist Susan Abulhawa. (See the toolkit for a promotional code for discounts on book purchases.)

Continue reading