December 2011 Newsletter
Thank you for everything you do to support PfP. We greatly value and appreciate you. Below you will find the latest update on our activities to uphold the Right to Play and bring joy to children.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday!
Playgrounds for Palestine is Proud to Announce Completion of “Abir’s Garden” Playground
Our most recently completed playground, Abir’s Garden, was built in a small village on the southern-most edge of the West Bank, south of Hebron, called Al Samoa-Simya. This is the second playground built in memory of a 10-year old girl named Abir Aramin, the daughter of Bassam and Salwa Aramin.
Bassam is one of the founders of Combatants for Peace where former Israeli soldiers and Palestinians who served time in Israeli prisons both of whom disavow violence to work together to end Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Bassam and Salwa’s commitment to Combatants for Peace was only strengthened when their daughter, Abir, was in Hadassah Hospital fighting for her life after being hit by an Israeli soldier’s rubber-coated steel bullet.
A remarkable kindergarten was recently constructed in Al Samoa-Simya by the Danish government on a parcel of land that included a large, walled-in space for a playground. Rebuilding Alliance, a U.S. nonprofit, partnered up with Combatants for Peace in an effort to raise the funds to to help build this playground in loving memory of Abir. During phase two of the project over the summer is when they enlisted the help of Playgrounds for Palestine to install the playground equipment to create a community garden and meeting place for all.
In January, soon after the fourth anniversary of Abir’s death, the Israeli and Palestinian Combatants for Peace will gather the villagers of Al Samoa-Simya for the opening ceremony of Abir’s Garden: A Safe Place to Grow. More importantly, the children will play with abandon, reminding all that despite their loss, there is still beauty we can and must create together in this world to ensure a gentler future in a place where children can be children.
For more information and photos, click here.
Playgrounds in Development
Playgrounds for Palestine has several ongoing projects in development and hope to finish them as soon as they possibly can. Below is more information on their 2011 playgrounds and their statuses:
Gaza, Al Bassa Playground: This playground has been partially paid for and will be built in collaboration with ANERA. The playground safety guidelines have been sent to our contacts in Palestine and we have received their plans and sketches (see below).
Dair Ammar: This playground will be built by a kindergarten and will be built in collaboration with our Madison, WI Chapter and the Welfare Association. This playground is being built in loving memory of Cynthia Laitman and we should be receiving the playground designs and plan sometime this month.
Sinjil: This playground will also be built by a kindergarten in collaboration with the Welfare Association. We hope to receive details on the playground’s plans soon.
Silwan: Working in collaboration with MECA for Peace on this playground.
Jenin, Life Women Center: This playground is being built in conjunction with the Women’s Center (WSA & NIJMAH) in Jenin and a detailed proposal of the center has been received.
Sabra Refugee Camp, Lebanon, Dauok Gathering: Working in collaboration with ANERA on this playground.
Halhoul: Currently working on finding a local manufacturer with the help of an engineer already attached to the site.
Neirab Refugee Camp, Syria, Ein El-Tal: Working in collaboration with the American Friends of UNRWA, we have received a timeline at the end of October 2011. Contracting and awarding procedures has been completed by UNRWA and production and installation on site is being worked on. PfP hopes to have this playground completed mid-January.
Announcing Our Second Partnering with Maysoon’s Kids
Playgrounds for Palestine is happy to announce that they will be partnering again with the nonprofit organization, Maysoon’s Kids, to build a second accessible playground for children. The one we built with them in the city of Silwad turned out to be a huge success and just what the community there needed. We look forward to expanding the message of “everyone has a right to play” with this exceptional organization. To donate to this inspired project and to learn more about Maysoon’s Kids please visit our page here
New Minnesota Chapter
Playgrounds for Palestine is very excited to share that they now have a new chapter in Minnesota, headed by Husam Khalil. We look forward to accomplishing great things with our new chapter and continuing to raise funds to build playgrounds for children in a struggling part of the world. Stay tuned for future updates from Minnesota!
Save the Date: March 31st for Our 11th Annual Fundraising Dinner
Please save the date of Saturday March 31, 2012 for our annual fundraising dinner! Our keynote speaker will be Suad Amiry, author of “Sharon and My Mother-in-Law: Ramallah Diaries” and recent speaker at the TEDxRamallah event. She resides in Ramallah and as an architect she is the Director and Founder of The Riwaq Centre for Architectural Conservation. We look forward to having her as our guest and we look forward to engaging with you at what should be an amazing event in support of amazing ventures.
PfP Brings You The Perfect Holiday Gift!
Fair Trade, Certified Organic, Extra Virgin Palestinian Olive Oil
Our elegant bottles of fairly traded, extra virgin olive oil make the perfect holiday gifts. They’re delicious for everyday use, as olive oil is an excellent foundation for healthy cooking.
There are two kinds:
RUMI TREE OLIVE OIL: USDA certified organic and fair trade cold pressed Palestinian olive oil in elegant 500 ml bottles. RUMI olive oil has a robust, peppery and slightly bitter flavor. The word “Rumi” in Arabic means “Roman,” indicating that these trees have been around in Palestine since the Roman Empire.
NABALI TREE OLIVE OIL USDA certified organic and fair trade cold pressed Palestinian olive oil in elegant 500 ml bottle. Nabali olive oil has a mild, fruity flavor (compared with the robust peppery, and slightly bitter flavor of the Rumi oil).
Even better, you can feel good about this purchase – by buying our oil, you are supporting a Palestinian olive farmers’ cooperative in the West Bank and promoting the construction of playgrounds in communities that need them the most. Buying olive oil is an act of indulgence that doubles as an important way to support Palestine’s economy.