#lap13 has just about wound down. The first-ever delegation of librarians and archivists to Palestine has come and…well, not gone. Among the items on our agenda now are reporting back to our various communities at home, building a network founded on solidarity and skillsharing, and conducting tangible campaigns (for example, around equal rights to access of information).
This evening we held a public forum in Ramallah to present some of our findings and ideas and have a discussion with local librarians, archivists, and other interested people. Here is the handout we gave to attendees, which includes a full (unless we inadvertently missed one – there are a lot!) list of the people and organizations we visited and/or met with. Stay tuned for a full report and lots more from us.
Apologies for not posting more until now. It has been a jam-packed week and there we have had very little free time. Today is the first day of the 3 days we’ve devoted to “independent” work– several delegation members are spending the day at Adammer (a prisoner rights organization); others are meeting again with librarians at Birzeit Unversity; others are off doing a range of other kinds of networking and documentation. I’m taking the morning to organize my photos and videos so that we can possibly use them in our report-back in Ramallah on July 4. I haven’t been taking many photos; I’ve been focusing on using video to document our meetings. But i do have a few photos and have posted them, finally, on our flickr site. Hopefully other delegation members will post their (far more copious amounts of) photos soon. Our flickr group is at: http://www.flickr.com/groups/2216306@N20/). And I will post some video as soon as possible!
During my visit to Bethlehem on Monday the 1st, I heard some sad and disturbing news. Mohammad Al-Azzeh, the young man our group met briefly at Lajee Center who leads the film department there AND was shot in the face in April of this year, was arrested late Sunday night. The only weapon he held is his camera.
The Israeli forces stormed his family’s home and made the arrest:
All the folks I spoke with on Monday in Aida Camp were distressed about this news, especially because they were told the soldiers hit Mohammad repeatedly in his bad eye during the arrest process. Mohammad still requires two surgeries on his cheek and eye to make a good recovery from the injury. Members of his family were also injured in the raid.
For more about the shooting of Mohammad in April, check out this article:
The man, while bleeding, took his own photos, and when he could not do it anymore, he made sure his friend had the camera on the right settings to get the best possible photos.
To learn more about the Lajee Center, and to see some of Mohammad’s work, visit: http://www.lajee.org/; or find him on YouTube.
This is an 8 track railroad crossing in Lyd, a historically Palestinian city within pre-67 borders Israel (called simply “48” by most Palestinians) which is very poor and is undergoing a heavy process of Judaization (the structural and ideological process of converting more and more parts of Palestine into Jewish-only areas). This crossing is the ONLY entry into “the Station”—the name of the largest Arab neighborhood. Over 300 trains pass by in a day from all directions, so Palestinians have to wait for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, or more EVERY time they want to cross in and out of their neighborhood. This is the most dense train crossing in all of Israel, conveniently structured to block off the Palestinian neighborhood.
(Jenna posting for Josh)