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Closing Session: The Palestinian Consortium for Non-Violence: Towards a Regional Movement Project

Pal-Think for Strategic Studies organized the closing session for “The Palestinian Consortium for Non-Violence: Towards a Regional Movement” project which aimed at combating violence in the Palestinian society by means of awareness-raising workshops, advocacy campaigns, initiatives, radio episodes, and podcasts. Pal-Think partnered with FXB-France to achieve the overall goal of the project.

The FXB-France has been key to the success of this project as the team never ceased to support Pal-Think to escalate the idea of non-violence, guarantee a society free from domestic violence, and promote tolerance, compassion, and peace.

The project entailed providing small grants for small CSOs in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Jerusalem which worked on initiatives, campaigns, and research papers on non-violence. The project concluded with 25 community service initiatives implemented, 15 radio episodes broadcasted, and 2 research papers on non-violence in Rawanda and Palestine produced.

Non-violence advocates, CSOs representatives, researchers, authors, and academics from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank attended the session and commended the work done throughout the one-year project. Sally Sammak, project coordinator, said that: “The idea is to reach different groups of people in the Palestinian society, so that’s why we, during the project, went live in 15 radio episodes as to be listened to by everyone.”

She added: “We implemented carnivals, basketball leagues for people with disabilities, debates, social media campaigns advocating non-violence. The ultimate goal of the project is both to promote for the culture of non-violence and to join the efforts of CSOs in the West Bank and Gaza as to give an insight of unity between the two sites”.

Going forward, Omar Shaban, director and founder of Pal-Think, welcomed the attendees and praised the efforts exerted by the FXB-France, the partner CSOs, and the team in Pal-Think. He stated: “We pride ourselves on the completion of this first-of-its-kind project which worked on bringing together organizations from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank for one purpose. The project is implemented for the third year in a row and focuses on a sensitive issue, the increase of violence and radicalization in the Palestine.”

Three speaker guests from the partner CSOs joined the session and presented their initiatives. Sami Barhoum, Director of Alasdiqaa Association for people of special needs, presented the one-day basketball league for women with disabilities in Rafah, referring to the huge number of parents, women, and men who attended the league and supported women to practice their rights.

Barhoum highlighted a distinctive outcome of their work which was signing a collaboration agreement with Rafah municipality which concluded to open a sports center for people with disabilities, in addition to signing other seven contracts with sports clubs around the Gaza Strip purposing to allow women with disabilities to do sports whenever they wish.

Feda’a Abu Turkey, Head of Board of Directors in IRADA Association from Hebron, joined via Zoom and discussed the significance of cooperation between CSOs. She added that IRADA executed a cooperative workshop bringing women-related organizations together, pointing out that 60 radio spots were broadcasted, and an initiative was implemented and targeted over one hundred violated women.

The third speaker was Murad Al-Sabe’e, journalist in Palcom, who assured that significance of media to spread the word of non-violence and to raise awareness on this critical cause. He said that his organization cooperated with “Swoot Radio” and broadcasted 4 radio episodes on non-violence.

In the end, Yousri Al Ghoul, Shaghaf Initiative Founder, and Ahmad Jouda joined the discussion and said how much this project promoted tolerance and non-violence between different groups in the Palestinian society.

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