Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Jerusalem Women discuss issues 3-28 to 4-16, 2005

PARTNERS FOR PEACE 1250 4th, SW, Suite WG-1 Washington, DC 20024 For More Information Contact

Michael Brown or Amanda Frie Phone 202-863-2951 Cell Phone 202-215-9057 Michael Brown

202-316-5838 Amanda Frie
E-mail partnersforpeace@yahoo.com
Web www.partnersforpeace.org

Jerusalem Women Speak:Three Women, Three Faiths, One Shared Vision
March 28-April 16, 2005

Three women ­ Christian, Muslim, and Jewish ­ who are living the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will share their experiences and hopes for a just peace with audiences all over the United States.They are mothers, daughters, wives and working professionals and all involved in their own way in resolving the conflict.Diana Kattan - Christian Palestinian living in East Jerusalem. Her family home was seized during the 1948 war. Holds an MA in English Literature from Hebrew University. Speaks English and Arabic.Nina Mayorek - Jewish Israeli living in West Jerusalem. Left Poland in 1968 to escape anti-Semitism. Relatives perished in Treblinka during the Holocaust. Is Senior Biochemist in the Dept. Of Human Nutrition and Metabolism at Hebrew University. Speaks English and Hebrew.Aitemad Muhanna - Muslim Palestinian living in Gaza Strip. Grew up in Shati refugee camp after parents fled the village of Masmeia, now in Israel in 1948. Just started a PhD program in Development Studies at Swansea University. Speaks English and Arabic.More complete bios at the end of press release. They have witnessed the deterioration around them over the past four years of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, but have also seen the recent renewed efforts to rekindle talks. All have made a commitment to address American audiences about their hopes for the future and what must be done to improve today’s tenuous situation.These three women are willing to travel together on a national speaking tour for 20 days (March 28-April 16) to address realities of the conflict ­ loss of family homes, persecution, occupation, suicide bombings, and the separation barrier currently being constructed in the West Bank. They are here to demonstrate that peace, while difficult, is possible. The response to the tour in past years has been remarkable. Audiences have been fascinated andthrilled to hear their stories and see that even today in the midst of the ongoing conflict there arePalestinians and Israelis willing to travel together to talk about their lives, their fears, and theirhopes for a better and peaceful future.These are not internationally recognized women, but within their own communities they are doing impressive work. We refer to them as extraordinary ordinary women. If there is to be a real and warm peace they are the ones who will make it happen. Interviews, talk shows appearances, and community presentations are currently being scheduled. They may be arranged by contacting Partners for Peace. Partners for Peace is an NGO based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to help bring about a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is the ninth tour since 1998. Tour ScheduleWashington, DC ­ March 28-30Sarasota, FL ­ March 31-April 1Iowa ­ April 2-4Minnesota ­ April 5-8Wisconsin ­ April 8-11South Bend, IN ­ April 12Chicago, IL ­ April 13-14Washington, DC area April 15-16Speakers’

BiosDIANA KATTANChristian Palestinian ParticipantA Christian Palestinian, Ms. Kattan lives in East Jerusalem and holds an MA in English Literature from Hebrew University. During the 1948 war, Ms. Kattan’s family took refuge in a church as the family home in West Jerusalem was seized. In a highly unusual process, Ms. Kattan’s grandfather slowly was able to buy back his own home. Today, however, Ms. Kattan lives in Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem. After a two-week trip in 2004 she returned at 3:00 am to find the separation wall looming directly opposite her home. She is now cut off from friends and family by the barrier which wends its way through the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem. Ms. Kattan is the Centre Director for the Martin Luther Community Development Centre, which offers educational, vocational, and recreational programs. She is also active with the Sabeel Ecumenical Centre for Liberation Theology. She writes, "Having been born in the west side of Jerusalem and yet working and living in the east side, I strongly believe in the importance of a just and enduring peace for Jerusalem. It should be a city for two nations and three religions."

NINA MAYOREKJewish Israeli ParticipantA Jewish Israeli, Ms. Mayorek is Senior Biochemist in the Department of Human Nutrition and Metabolism at the Hebrew University. She and her husband moved to Israel in 1968 to escape the anti-Semitism of the Polish government of that time to which her parents lost their academic positions. Earlier, her aunt and grandmother perished in Treblinka during the Holocaustand her grandfather died in one of Stalin’s concentration camps. She lives in West Jerusalem and is a member of the Israeli women’s human rights organization Checkpoint Watch, which participates in weekly observations at checkpoints in the West Bank. She usually monitors checkpoints around Nablus. While Ms. Mayorek has pursued a research interest in diabetes, she has also steadily promoted better understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. From1996-1998 she was the coordinator of Israeli volunteers at a Palestinian school in El-Khader. Later she was a lecturer on Women and Family Health at the Ibda Community Center in Bethlehem’s Deheisheh refugee camp. She is here in the United States to "persuade public opinion that the ongoing policy of Israelicolonization and supremacy in the West Bank is devastating for both Palestinians and Israelis."

AITEMAD MUHANNAMuslim Palestinian ParticipantA Muslim Palestinian, Ms. Muhanna is the first tour participant from the Gaza Strip. She grew up in the Shati refugee camp after her family fled the village of Masmeia, now in Israel, in 1948. She has just begun a PhD program in Development Studies at Swansea University. Educated in UN schools, Ms. Muhanna is now a development professional with over 10 years ofexperience in gender and participatory approaches to development issues. She is a strong advocate for women’s rights, having worked to lessen domestic violence in Gaza and to establish both a women’s micro-credit coalition and a coalition to eradicate poverty in Gaza. Ms. Muhanna is troubled that much of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is viewed as a religiousstruggle pitting Muslims against Jews. She has been engaged in the Palestinian national struggle for 20 years and hopes to build a future in which a Palestinian state and an Israeli state work together on the basis of equal rights and cultural diversity and without religious discrimination. She notes, "I believe that the Palestinian and Israeli people have to live as two equal nations cooperating together rather than fighting against each other."

GW Associates702 S. BeechSyracuse, NY 13210315-476-3396pwirth@accucom.nethttp://come.to/public.interest.media

Austin Arab Journalists Conference -- NAAJA UT

The Austin, Texas Chapter of the National Arab American Journalists Association is hosting a conference Friday-Sunday, April 22-24 at the University of Texas at Austin.

Join the National Arab American Journalists Association and Society of Professional Journalists for the Journalism & The Arab World Conference. Events will include a keynote speech by the Washington Post's 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner, Anthony Shadid and Al-Jazeera's senior producer, Samir Khader. Panels will discuss and analyze media coverage of the Arab World from American, Arab, and international news sources. For more information, contact Joslyn Massad of NAAJA at (512) 826-5879, or visit www.journalismandthearabworld.com

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Palestine Film Festival, Chicago Siskel Center April 15

Chicago Palestine Film Festival 200
54th annual
April 15-May 3

The Chicago Palestine Film Festival begins April 15 at the Gene Siskel Film Center and continues from April 29 to May 3 at St. Xavier University in Chicago.Our 23 film selections for this year include films from Palestine, Israel, Europe, and North America. This truly reflects the diversity of perspectives of Palestinians in exile and diaspora as well as non-Palestinian filmmakers who have made excellent films about the country and its people. In contrast to previous years, we have an large number of feature/narrative films as well as personal and hard-hitting documentaries and even an animation.This year we are able to bring a staggering number of special guests to the festival to present films and participate in question and answer sessions after film screenings. Our invited guests include Columbia University professor Joseph Massad, Lebanese author Elias Khoury, documentary filmmaker Buthaina Canaan Khoury, and emerging filmmaker Shady Srour from Nazareth. We are especially proud to present world-class Latino filmmaker Miguel Littin from Chile, who will present his two recent films about Palestine and his connection to the land of his grandparents. More information about these special guests can be found at our web site.We are proud to be the only annual film festival of Palestinian films and Palestine-related films in the world. As we begin our fourth festival, we reaffirm our formative mission statement, which has guided our selection process:"The Chicago Palestine Film Festival (CPFF) is an independent, not-for-profit, non-sectarian project based in Chicago that exhibits and promotes films by Palestinian directors and films about Palestine. CPFF is dedicated to presenting a film festival that is open, critical, and reflective of the culture, experience and vision of the filmmakers."We are thank our individual donors, foundations, and corporations including the Illinois Humanities Council, Crossroads Fund, the Jerusalem Fund, Dish Network, and the Electronic Intifada. Of course, we could not host a film festival without high-quality venues, so we are grateful to the Gene Siskel Film Center of the Art Institute of Chicago for inviting us to be a community partner. We are also hosted at Saint Xavier University thanks to the support of their Center for International Education, Middle Eastern Studies Program, and Department of Anthropology and Sociology.Please visit our web site for detailed information about the schedule, venues, and films. For review copies, please contact Gene Siskel Film Center for the films they are hosting or contact CPFF's press relations team at pr@palestinefilmfest.com or 312-873-4401.www.PalestineFilmFest.com[Film title][Directors][Duration][Year][Country of production][Venue]2000 TerroristsHanro Smitsman and Peter Speetjens0:502004The NetherlandsGene Siskel Film CenterAnd Life Goes OnReem Bader0:082004PalestineGene Siskel Film CenterAnother Road HomeDanae Elon1:192004USASt. XavierArafat, My BrotherRashid Masharawi1:202005FranceGene Siskel Film CenterCurfewRashid Masharawi1:151993PalestineSt. XavierDoor to the SunYusry Nasrallah4:382004EgyptGene Siskel Film CenterFixMohanad Yaqubi0:082004PalestineSt. XavierGod on our SideMichal Pfeffer and Uri Kranot0:072005The NetherlandsGene Siskel Film CenterGoing for a RideNahed Awad0:152003PalestineGene Siskel Film CenterHaifaRashid Masharawi1:361995PalestineGene Siskel Film CenterThe Land of '48Barrack Rima0:572003BelgiumSt. XavierMy Dear Olive TreeOsama Qashoo0:182004PalestineSt. XavierA Palestinian ChronicleMiguel Littin1:302001ChileGene Siskel Film CenterPrivateSaverio Costanzo1:302003ItalyGene Siskel Film CenterRainbowAbdel Salam Shehada0:402004PalestineSt. XavierChatila JunctionMaher Abi Samra0:522004FranceSt. XavierSense of NeedShady Srour1:302004USA/PalestineGene Siskel Film CenterSoraida, Woman of PalestineTahani Rached2:002004CanadaSt. XavierThe Eternal DanceHiam Abbas0:262003FranceSt. XavierThe Last MoonMiguel Littin0:302004ChileGene Siskel Film Centeruntil when...Dahna Aburahme1:162004Palestine/USASt. XavierWallSimone Bitton1:382004France/IsraelGene Siskel Film CenterWomen in StruggleButhaina Canaan Khoury0:562004Palestine
Gene Siskel Film Center
Benjamin J Doherty
Chicago Palestine Film Festival 2005

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Rachel Corrie's family files lawsuit against Caterpillar, March 15, 2005

Family of American Woman Killed by Military Bulldozer Files Suit Against Catepillar, Inc.
Family of Rachel Corrie Charges Bulldozer Manufacturer Knowingly Sold Machines Used to Violate Human Rights

NEW YORK, NY -- March 15 -- The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and partnering law firms today filed a federal lawsuit against Illinois-based Caterpillar, Inc. on behalf of the parents of Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old American peace activist and student who was run over and killed by a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer on March 16, 2003.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western Federal District of Washington, alleges that Caterpillar, Inc. violated international and state law by providing specially designed bulldozers to Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) that it knew would be used to demolish homes and endanger civilians. The Corries daughter Rachel, a student at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, was there as a volunteer peace activist protesting the demolition of Palestinian homes when she was brutally killed. Much of the world community, including international human rights organizations and the United Nations, has consistently condemned these demolitions as a clear violation of international humanitarian law.

The Corries also filed a tort claim today in Israel against the State of Israel, the Israeli Defense Ministry and the IDF for their role in the death of their daughter. They are represented by Advocate Hussein Abu Hussein.

Rachel’s mother, Cindy Corrie, stated, “As we approach the two-year anniversary of Rachel’s killing, my family and I are still searching for justice. The brutal death of my daughter should never have happened. We believe Caterpillar and the IDF must be held accountable for their role in the attack on my daughter Rachel.”

Jennie Green, Senior Attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, stated, “International law clearly provides that corporations can be held accountable for violations of international human rights. Rachel Corrie, a young American killed abroad because Caterpillar purposefully turns a blind eye as to how their products are used, must have access to justice.”

Over the past four years, the IDF has used Caterpillar bulldozers to destroy more than 4,000 Palestinian homes, injuring, killing, or leaving homeless scores of individuals in the process.
Rights groups have sent over 50,000 letters to Caterpillar, Inc. executives and CEO Jim Owens, decrying the use of Caterpillar bulldozers to carry out human rights abuses.

Plaintiffs Craig and Cindy Corrie are represented by lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Ronald J. Peterson Law Clinic at Seattle University Law School, and the Public Interest Law Group PLLC in Seattle, Washington.


Palm Sunday Protest in Bethlehem against Israeli occupation

A Palm Sunday nonviolent direct action
To the Bethlehem Checkpoint

For Immediate Release
On Palm Sunday, March 20, 2005, the local community of Bethlehem area, joined by international visitors will march from Bethlehem to Jerusalem celebrating Palm Sunday.
Since 1990, Palestinian Christians and Muslims are prohibited from entering Jerusalem which deprives them the basic right to worship in the Holy City.
It is expected that the procession will be intercepted by the Israeli army, at the military checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
The procession will attempt to go through the checkpoint despite the interception. Marchers will walk with donkeys and carry palm branches resembling the entry of Jesus to the holy City 2000 years ago.
Marchers will carry signs calling for freedom of worship, demanding free access to Jerusalem, and stop land confiscation and wall constructions.
Gathering will be at the Nativity Square at 11:30 after the Sunday mass, and then procession will go through the city of Bethlehem to the northern entrance of the city.
For more information:
Husam Jubran : 059-674996 or 02-2765930
E-mail: husam@holylandtrust.org
George Rishmawi: 059-676090 or 02-277-2018
E-mail: george@palsolidarity.org

George RishmawiDirector,Travel and Encounter ProgramHoly Land Trust#529 Manger StreetBethlehem, PalestineTel: + 972 2 276 5930Fax: + 972 2 276 5931Email: encounter@holylandtrust.orgWebsite: www.holylandtrust.orgMobile: 059 674 995http://profiles.yahoo.com/abusaliba

Monday, March 14, 2005

Job Posting: Seattle Arab Center

Job AnnouncementProgram CoordinatorArab Festival

POSITION: The Arab Center of Washington (ACW), in Seattle, Washington, seeks a Program Coordinator. This is an excellent opportunity for an innovative person to add their signature to existing programs as well as to contribute to the creation of new programs.

RESPONSIBILITIES: Among the duties of the Program Coordinator is to manage the ACW's major event, the Arab Festival. 2005 marks the fifth Festival that will be held the weekend of August 6-7 featuring educational workshops and programs, daytime and evening performances, lectures, theatre, and exhibitions. Responsibilities include coordinating, artist communications, editing of the promotional program guide, and supervising technical, logistical, and event staff as well as the various committees.

This position is accountable to the ACW Board of Directors and will work within the budget set by the Board. In addition to management of the Arab Festival, the Program Coordinator will work with other program staff to help design and implement Arab Heritage Month to also be held in August at the Richard Hugo House.

QUALIFICATIONS: Event and program management experience. Candidates should have an interest in and ability to manage and expand on cultural programs, direct staff and volunteers, manage budgets, contribute to grant-writing and reporting efforts, and establish community partnerships. Must have demonstrated organizational, management and leadership skills and be a team player. Also writing, editing skills, and computer skills. Should be good natured and have the ability to work with a variety of people.

SALARY: DOE SUBMIT a resume, cover letter, and references to: Kay Tarapolsi, Board Director, Arab Center of Washington, P.O. Box 85749, Seattle, WA 98145, by March 31, 2005.

ABOUT ACW: The ACW is a community based non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, presentation, and perpetuation of the rich heritage and contemporary culture of Arab Americans. This has been accomplished since 1992 through family activities, educational programs, and cultural events. The ACW has an Internet presence at www.arabcenter.net. The ACW is most known for its Arab Festival that was begun in 1995 as a regional effort to showcase the traditions of the Arab community. The Festival is held every other year at the Seattle Center and remains an important meeting place for the general public as well as performers, musicians, writers, and educators.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Lebanese Americans rally for freedom in Chicago 3-11-05

Dear Friends of Lebanon and Supporters of Freedom & Democracy:
The American Lebanese Community of Chicago invites you to join them for a Peaceful & Silent Rally in front of the Chicago Tribune Plaza in Downtown Chicago.
Date: Friday, March 11, 2005
Time: 1:00 PM until 3:30 PM
Location: In front of the Chicago Tribune Plaza
435 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
To demonstrate our gratitude to President George W. Bush, the US Congress and Senate Houses, and the American people for their support for a Sovereign & Democratic Lebanon.
To demand an immediate and full withdrawal of ALL the Syrian army, together with their secret service apparatus from Lebanon allowing the people of Lebanon to run their own affairs without any fear of arrest, persecution, or assassination.
To denounce the recent assassination of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri and other Lebanese leaders and to hold those responsible accountable.
To demand a Free Parliamentary Election under the supervision of the United Nations and to allow emigrants and those living in exile to vote in their countries of residence.
To call for the immediate release of all Lebanese political prisoners.

The demonstration is open to any supporter regardless of nationality. Please join us and show solidarity with the Lebanese people for a Free, Sovereign, and Democratic Lebanon.
Note: This is a peaceful & silent demonstration. Burning flags will not be tolerated. Only USA and Lebanese flags as well as suitable banners will be allowed. In solidarity with those protesting in Lebanon and with the Lebanese Opposition, wearing red and white scarves or ribbons are highly recommended.

For more information, please email us at ChicagoForaFreeLebanon@hotmail.com or call the following:
Daisy Malek-Shadid: 847-846-4787 Nohra Nasr: 847-477-3964
Zoheir Halabi 773-581-8136 Pierre Chamoun: 847-983-0864
Mark Bendok: 312-969-0369 Elie Haig: 630-788-1388
John Akouri: 630-330-4339

Thank you,
Members of the American Lebanese Community of Chicago.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Arab leader to address Arab League 3-02-05

Arab American Leader Nassser Beydoun to Address Foreign Ministers Meeting at Arab League
Focuses on Economic Reform in Time of Change

Contact: Maggie Essa 313-690-3032 or

Nasser Beydoun 313-523-1700

March 2, 2005 Detroit-Founder and Organizer of the US-Arab Economic Forum and Arab American leader Nasser Beydoun will address the annual gathering of Foreign Ministers at the League of Arab States in Cairo on Thursday, March 3, at 12-noon local time. Beydoun’s address marks only the second occasion an Arab American has been invited to address the League.

This annual League meeting comes at a historic juncture in the Arab world, following elections in Palestine and Iraq, the resignation of the Lebanese government and recent electoral reforms announced by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Beydoun’s remarks will focus on the benefits economic reform brings to the region at this critical time and U.S.-Arab relations.

Following his address to the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Beydoun, and a delegation representing the U.S.-Arab Economic Forum, will travel to Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Beirut and Amman to meet with government officials and business leaders.

The upcoming 2005 U.S.-Arab Economic Forum is supported by the U.S. Depts. of State and Commerce, the Arab League and the Gulf Co-operation Council. Organized by the American Middle-East Economic Affairs Committee it will bring more than 2000 business, community and political leaders from America and the Middle East to Houston from September 14-16 to focus on economic reform and improving economic ties between the U.S. and the Arab world. Information: http://www.usaeforum.org/index.asp.

Beydoun, who currently serves as President of Project Control Systems (PCSI), a Michigan based construction and project management company, previously served as executive director of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce where he helped lead the Arab American business community to prominence on a regional, national and international arena. Today, he continues to serve on the Chamber’s board. Beydoun has also been appointed by the U.S. State Department as a “Citizen Diplomat” and as the first ever Arab American Liaison to the League of Arab States advising Secretary General Moussa on Arab American affairs. Crain’s Magazine named Beydoun one of “Detroit Business’ 40 under 40” and a “Newsmaker of the Year”.

US-Arab Economic Forum Organizers Ismael Ahmed, Executive Director of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), and Sam Hamdan, Chairman of Global Leadership Team a consulting firm specializing in strategic management will also address the Arab League’s Meeting of Foreign Ministers. Economic Forum sponsor Russ Ebeid, President of Guardian Glass, the world’s fourth largest manufacturer of glass, will discuss the role of business in regional economic reform during the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

Media interested in covering Nasser Beydoun’s address or the visit of the Economic Forum delegation may reach Nasser Beydoun at 313-523-1700 or by email Nasser.beydoun@pcsiglobal.com..

New Book on Saudi Arabia 3-1-05

Target Saudi Arabia: Essays on the Campaign Against the Kingdom
by Tanya C. Hsu

Saudi-US Relations in the 21st Century Americans in the Post-9/11 world still seethe with rage. Those who dared attack the symbols of US military might and global commercial empire had connections to Saudi Arabia. Many US strategists and pundits no longer ask whether to strike Saudi Arabia, but when and how. What is the Saudi role in promoting extreme fundamentalist groups across the globe, and how do the Saudis measure against other state and non-state actors? Is the Saudi-US relationship important, or no longer worthy of preserving?

What forces are behind the relentless drive to confront and punish the peoples of this petroleum-rich desert kingdom? What messages and "talking-points", accurate and erroneous, about Saudi Arabia are in vogue? What news media content prepares Americans for decisive future US military actions? Is there another way? Target: Saudi Arabia is a collection of thought-provoking analysis that grapple with these questions.

Published as essays and quoted in publications as varied as Antiwar.com, The Daily Star of Lebanon, Associated Press, Arab News and the Financial Times of London, the contents of Target: Saudi Arabia go beyond the fog of media induced outrage to plumb the complex realities of US-Saudi relations. It is a must-read for anyone concerned about improving the foreign policy formulation process in the United States.
ISBN # 0-9764437-9-1 Cover Price $9.95