Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Gaza children set for second world record in just a week
29 July 2010
Gaza 29 July, 2010: Thousands of children in Gaza attending Summer Games organized by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) appear to have doubled their own world record for the number of kites flown simultaneously. The world record breaker took place on a beach in northern Gaza in the same location where they set the world record just one year ago. UNRWA sources say the unofficial figure for the number of kites flown is over seven thousand two hundred.
A delighted UNRWA Gaza Director, John Ging said, “We still have to await final confirmation from the Guinness Book of World Records, but according to our figures the kids have done it, what an amazing achievement, two world records in a week”
On Thursday last week, over 7,200 children bounced basketballs simultaneously for five minutes, doubling a 2007 record set in the United States.
“Like children anywhere in the world”, said Ging, “Children here must have a sense of normality, despite the abnormality they face in their daily lives, today’s achievement has lifted the spirits of the entire population here in Gaza . I ask all our supporters out there to go to our blog and leave messages of congratulation and encouragement at www.facebook.com/unrwa”.
The world record breakers were part of the Summer Games program, organized by UNRWA in nearly one hundred and fifty locations across Gaza over a six week period, involving some quarter of a million children in sporting, recreational and cultural activities.
This is the fourth Summer Games season organized by UNRWA and for the fourth successive year, thousands of UNRWA teachers have given up their summer holidays to allow the children of Gaza simply to have fun.
“I would like to thank all our staff and of course the children”, said Ging, “But I also want to send a word of special gratitude to our three donors to Summer Games; the Finnish Government, the European Commission and UNRWA’s largest donor, the United States of America. Without this amazing partnership between them and the children of Gaza none of this would be possible.”
Note to journalists:
Broadcast quality downloads will be available in PAL and NTSC from the UNifeed website - http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/unifeed/
Stills can be obtained via Facebook page at www.facebook.com/unrwa, or by request.
UNRWA's Summer Games, conducted for the fourth year with the full support and involvement of the community, is the largest recreation programme for Gaza’s children, providing a diversified set of activities including sports, swimming, arts and crafts, theatre and drama. The Summer Games commenced on 12 June and will run through 5 August, providing 1,200 summer camps for over 250,000 refugee children across the Gaza Strip.
For up-to-date photos, videos and commentary on UNRWA and the Summer Games: http://www.facebook.com/unrwa
For Arabic speakers, a dedicated website provides information on the Games: http://summergames.unrwa.ps/
The Financial Times
July 30, 2010 - 12:00am
Thank you for publishing news of Palestinian State building efforts. I very much hope that the people of Palestine are able to build a successful, stable, self sustaining state with loyal citizens, firm borders and fair and just laws and polices...etc...etc....etc.
Anne Selden Annab
Thursday, July 29, 2010
"More people are leaving the West Bank than visiting it..."
- Delivering Development under Duress
By Maxwell Gaylard
- Is Civic Engagement the Missing Equation for Accomplishing the MDGs?
By Geoffrey D. Prewitt
- The Other Neglected Conflict
By Mercedes San Roman Ruiz
- MDGs, Local Authorities, and Good Governance
By Rasha Alyatim, Mona Ishaq, and Fahd Abu-Saymeh
- Culture: A Palestinian Strength to Be Built Upon
By Nader Atta
- Gender Equality at the Heart of Achieving the MDGs
By Julien Vaissier
- Future Hope Increasing Universal Access to Prevention, Treatment, and Care in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
By Veronique Maeva Fages
United Nations Development Programme
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Abdulhadi’s food campaign began when he heard from a friend who’d flown in from the U.S. — he himself lived for years in New York — that El Al, the Israeli national airline, served musakhan, chicken and onion on pita bread spiced with purple sumac, as an “Israeli national dish.”
Abdulhadi found that hard to digest. “Everyone knows musakhan is Palestinian. They’ve tried it before with hummus and falafel. Israeli chutzpah, I call it.” "
By JERROLD KESSEL and PIERRE KLOCHENDLER,
I.H.T. Op-Ed Contributor July 23, 2010
Forgiveness does not mean approving of the behavior that caused hurt, or trusting again those who hurt us if they have not changed dramatically. It simply means that one finally realizes she or he HAS all that it takes to heal one's life and need not wait for those who hurt us to heal us.... because they will not. Our waiting is only a waste of our lives..
We realize that we have the capacity to repair things using our own creative ways, brilliance and healthy relationships.. which we often discover at times of hardship.. And we learn something about living in the world with our intelligence ready to do its work, rather than refer to old formulas and rigidity of traditions and habits -- be they personal or social.
We learn to stop participating in disrespectful relationships right from the start because disrespect in any form is harmful and is a prelude to more harm.
Forgiveness means becoming "strong at the broken places," to put it in Hemingway's words, and wise at the places we previously were not wise. The biggest wisdom in my opinion is not to seek to do to others what was done to us.. But simply learn that the behavior that hurt is really a bad one, whether it comes from others or from us, and it should not be honored by being repeated.
That way we become leaders in the world, leading our lives and the consciousness of the planet to a more intelligent way of being. There is nothing moral about forgiveness. We are not better than others and they are not better than us.
Forgiveness is simply the most intelligent response to having been hurt because it gives us the reality -- that we are not victims -- before, during or after being hurt. So when we negotiate with life and others, we do it from a place of full power and entitlement to our full rights, not half or a quarter or even 99%.
Because we are not victims, WE DO NOT BEG! We never beg for solutions or respect or validation. We find new, real, honest and powerful solutions. We experiment with possibilities. We initiate. We change our minds. We change our behaviors. We research. We make mistakes. We make better proposals next. We work WITH others but we do not work FOR them disregarding ourselves!
And we do not wait for others to donate solutions and expect to be treated as equals too. They will not treat us as equals if we wait for them to LEAD our lives for us. And the choice will have been ours to act "helpless" when we have everything anyone ever had or has -- our creativity and will to live in full dignity, possibility and wellness. We too can invent things no one has ever heard of -- in terms of thoughts, objects, behaviors or solutions. Why not!
And we never settle for anything less than our full rights. We also support the full rights of all others. We never ever settle for others being treated as better or worse than us.
We are human beings who respond to life by learning and improving and discovering more of ourselves and more of how to live well with others, all others, in the world. That is why we forgive. And the exciting journey continues..
In freedom and forgiveness,
-- Ibtisam Barakat 2010.