Where the streets had a name

Walking the streets of Ramallah these days has become an act of reflection, uncertainty and force of will. Having just returned from a break from Cairo, where I was reminded what it was like to walk the streets of an Arab country without apprehension, with its bustle and life, its smells, shouts, laughter and systematized chaos, I could not help but mourn the loss of those walks in Ramallah. I walk the streets now, wondering what will happen during each journey. Hanan Elmasu writes from Ramallah. 

Schooling at Gunpoint: Palestinian Children's Learning Environment in War Like Conditions (part 2 of 2)

This report was first published on 1 December 2002 and offers a devastating look at the effect of the Israeli occupation on one aspect of Palestinian civil life — school education — in one area, Ramallah. 

Schooling at Gunpoint: Palestinian Children's Learning Environment in War Like Conditions (part 1 of 2)

By the end of the 2001-2002 school year, the Palestinian Ministry of Education reported that: 216 students were killed, 2514 injured, and 164 arrested; 17 teachers and staff in the education sector were killed and 71 were arrested; 1289 schools were closed for at least 3 consecutive weeks during the Israeli invasion between March 29 and up till the end of the school year; and approximately 50% of school children and 35,000 employees in the education sector were prevented from reaching their schools. 

Palestinian Children in the Night

We found ourselves in the midst of a crowd of over 300 cheering Palestinians. Between us and another group of a few dozen Palestinian youth were two United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representatives. The two representatives were clearly American, in looks and accents. A few of the Palestinians standing behind the UNDP representatives slowly walked up behind them and one pulled from a bag what looked like a one-meter wooden bat. 


No one writes about the checkpoints nowadays. They have become a permanent, almost “normal”, fixture of Palestine. So it is alright. It is no longer worthy of attention. It is no longer an affront to human dignity. Giulia El Dardiry writes from Ramallah, occupied Palestine. 

My friend is being tortured!

At the end of the day, Haytham is just one of 5,000 Palestinians Israel has detained after rounding up more than 12,000 Palestinians over the last few months. Nevertheless, I refuse to just keep adding up numbers. We must stop and put faces and families to the names of those illegally detained and tortured. 

Letter from Palestine

Clouds and rain. Lovely low clouds which hide plenty of things, including the mountains, the settlements and the tanks. For a moment you feel as if you are drinking your morning coffee on a piece of isolated, or liberated, dreamland where peace and harmony prevail.