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. Read more about Where the streets had a name
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. Read more about Schooling at Gunpoint: Palestinian Children's Learning Environment in War Like Conditions (part 2 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. Read more about Schooling at Gunpoint: Palestinian Children's Learning Environment in War Like Conditions (part 1 of 2)
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. Read more about Palestinian Children in the Night
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. Read more about Checkpoints
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. Read more about My friend is being tortured!
It has been so stressful again here in Ramallah, not only strict curfew and the sounds of bombing and shooting basically all night, but today, emergency has meant that many people, simple ordinary citizens, are in a serious need of assistance. Rita Giacaman writes from Ramallah. Read more about Under curfew, in serious need of assistance
I am sorry I am sending you best wishes for the New Year rather late. The reason is because I had to spend my New Year night in a detention cell at Tel Aviv’s Lod or Ben Gurion airport. Then I was deported to where I flew from. Read more about I had a more exciting New Year Eve!
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. Read more about Letter from Palestine
6:30a.m, and the refugee camp is alive with noises. There is electricity this morning and the appliances whir; the television is loud with news of lives no longer, re-occupations of Ramallah and al-Bireh. Read more about Waging war on the camps, once again