George Rishmawi

George Rishmawi

GEORGE N. RISHMAWI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Born in Beit Sahour, Graduate of Birzeit University with a BA degree in English Language and Literature and a Diploma in Translation.
Deeply involved in the Palestinian nonviolent peace movement since 1991 soon after joining the PCR, with previous involvement since 1987 with the beginning of the first intifada.
Co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a nonviolent movement that works in Palestine with a goal to promote and support the nonviolent Palestinian resistance movement. (www.palsolidarity.org)
Co-Founder and Steering Committee member of the Nonviolence Network in Arab Countries.
Has wide experience in coordinating mass activities. George has undertaken a number of speaking tours in Europe, the USA and Canada.

Website URL: http://www.facebook.com/george.rishmawi

Palestinian-Italian Summer Camp 2008

Tuesday, 04 December 2012 20:20

Palestinian-Italian Summer Camp in Beit Sahour, August 2008

The activity was aimed at discussing four major topics and figure out methods for follow up on these topics. The topics were basically, Alternative Media, Nonviolence Fair Trade and the BDS, (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions).

 

The activity had two parts, political informational tours and seminar and discussions. The group toured different Palestinian areas through which the group met with a number of organizations, in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jerusalem and Hebron.

 

In Jerusalem the group had a tour with the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolition (ICAHD) who are specialized in organizing tours that shows the effect of settlements on the future of Jerusalem and the way Israel is controlling all aspects of life in the Palestinian areas in what ICAHD usually describe as "The Matrix of Control".

 

They also had a commemoration of Angelo Frammartino, a young Italian man who was killed by a Palestinian thief in Jerusalem in August 2006. The educational center that PCR established in 2008 was named after him upon request from the Italian donors, A La Calle.

 

The Italian activists had also visited Ramallah and met with some of the active groups in the area. They had a meeting with a representative of the Palestinian People's Party, after which they visited the village of Bilin and met with members of the popular committee against the wall and settlements in the village.

 

The group then has a meeting with the Alternative Information Center (AIC) in Jerusalem and listened to an explanation about the work of the organization.

 

The first day was about the BDS, a campaign launched in 2005, by the civil society organizations in Palestine calling for boycotting Israel and promoting divestment and calling for sanctions against Israel until it abides by International law.

 

Hazem Jamjoum from Badil Resource Center began the first day with a brief historic introduction to familiarize Italian attendees with the forces that led to the present conditions of occupation over the past hundred years. He then outlined strategies that ordinary Palestinians and citizens throughout the world can implement to bring about change and at the same time send a message to Israel that repressive policies that deny human rights and strangle the rights of Palestinians can not be tolerated.

 

The second part of the day was focused on Fair Trade, as a way to support Palestinian farmers and to support the BDS campaign. Nadia Harb from the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC) gave a detailed presentation about fair trade and the work they do in PARC in this field.

 

Nadia said a resurgence of the 1987 program of promoting self-sufficiency during time of siege would be beneficial. During the Intifada, seeds had been provided to families suffering from closures and curfews and there was concerted effort to bring the community together for the mutual benefit for all. After Oslo in 1995, Nadia's role changed. Women's rights and education became the focus. She worked to change laws and develop pressure groups and to elect more women in public office.

 

The group then paid a visit to the nearby Deheishe refugee camp and met with activists from Ibdaa Cultural center who explained to them about the work of the center and the activities they organize for the youngsters in the camp.

 

The Second Day was focused on Civil Disobedience. In the morning the group held a workshop about civili disobedience as a method to resist in justice. In the afternoon session, Dr. Jad Isaac, Director of the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ) also one of the founders of the Rapprochement Center gave the group a detailed presentation about the experience of the civil disobedience and the Tax Boycott in Beit Sahour during the first intifada.

 

In the Third Day a workshop about media activism occupied all the morning session. The workshop was facilitated and run by PCR' Director George Rishmawi. The focus of the workshop was mainly on the role of independent media in revealing the truth about the Palestine-Israel conflict. PCR's media project, The International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) was the focus of the discussion.

 

In the afternoon, the group met with Israeli Journalist and Activist Amira Hass at Osh Ghrab site in Beit Sahour. Amira Hass also spoke about her experience and the role of media in the conflict.

 

On the fourth day, the day started with a nonviolence training to prepare the group to participate in the nonviolent action in the nearby Al-Masara village in Bethlehem. The group were given the basic information needed to participate in the action, including, but not limited to, the type of the action they are going to join, the problem the village is facing from the wall and the nonviolent tactics to face soldiers violence, in addition to safety precautions in case of being injured or exposed to tear gas or sound bombs.

 

The group participated in two actions in the afternoon, one in Al-Masara and one in Al-Khader village. They made it to Al-Quds newspaper in their action in Al-Masara carrying a Palestinian Flag and and a sign calling for nonviolence.

 

Among the other activities the group had in Beit Sahour was a barbecue evening and a football game at Osh Ghrab public park.

Angelo Frammartino Educational Center

Tuesday, 04 December 2012 19:44

 

angelo-frammartino

Angelo Frammartino was born in Rome on the 28th of April, 1982 and lived in Monterotondo, a village near Rome, together with his parents, Silvana and Michelangelo, and his sister Romina.

 

Angelo was well known and appreciated in Monterotondo because of his engagement in the social and of his particular enthusiasm.

In Monterotondo he had attended the compulsory school, from the primary to the secondary school , the liceo, during the last year of which he was a member of the Institute Council as a representative of the students.


Always in Monterotondo, as a younger boy, he had taken part at different sport competitions and recreative activities; he had played for years in a local basket team.

In the last years his main interests had been studying and social engagement. He attended the Laws Faculty at university and was a member of the local section (which today is named after him: "F. Babusci – A. Frammartino Circle") of the Communist Refoundation Party – European Left, which approached because he was convinced it was the political party that most embodied the values of pacifism and non – violence.

 

Because of his passion and his determination he succeeded in carrying out all the different engagements undertaken: he was near to the degree and was the coordinator of the local party, in which he was mostly engaged in the cultural activity.

 

He also had organized a lot of demonstrations, mostly pertaining th subject of peace, non-violence, intercultural dialogue, and solidarity towards the weaks. Among the main events he actively took part, are to be remembered: the "Forum for Liberation and Peace", the "Control Arms" campaign by Amnesty International. He had a profound fondness for children: they were always present in his thoughts, in his writings and at his side in pictures.

 

Angelo used to pass his holidays in Caulonia, a small village in the south of Italy from where comes his family, with relatives and friends. Also in Caulonia Angelo was known for his brightness, his generosity and the enthusiasm he put into all activities. Also there his social, political and cultural engagement went together with the passion for sport. Every year he took part to the summer sport events, such as football and basket competitions, and he was a constant presence in the social and cultural events which took place in summertime.

 

In the month of August of two years ago, Angelo was in Jerusalem, in the youth center "Burj al luq luq" ("The Flamingo Tower"), taking part for a few weeks to an international cooperation project in favour of the Palestinian children of the Old City of Jerusalem. He had left for Jerusalem on the 1st of August, 2006. The project, that was scheduled to end on the 12th of August , was instead interrupted in advance because of the tragic event occurred on the 10th of August.

 

Many are the events which will take place all over Italy and abroad, in memory of Angelo and the ideals of peace and non-violence he died for. The President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, rewarded his memory with the golden medal for civil merits. Many people from the voluntary service, from cooperation, from institutions, from civil society as well as common people asked the President of the Italian Republic to confer him the highest civil honours. On the 25th of September 2007 was formally constituted in Monterotondo the "Angelo Frammartino Foundation ONLUS" whose members are Angelo's relatives and friends, representatives of the Italian, Israeli and Palestinian institutions, and many simpathizers. The Foundation has the purpose of promoting peace, non-violence, solidarity towards the weaks and of promoting the dialogue between different cultures.

PCR Staff

Thursday, 29 November 2012 18:28

MEET OUR STAFF

 

George N. Rishmawi, Executive Director

Born in Beit Sahour, Graduate of Birzeit University with a BA degree in English Language and  Literature and a Diploma in Translation.

Deeply involved in the Palestinian nonviolent peace movement since 1991 soon after joining PCR, with previous involvement since 1987 with the beginning of the first intifada.

Co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a nonviolent movement that works in Palestine with a goal to promote and support the nonviolent Palestinian resistance movement. (www.palsolidarity.org)

Co-Founder and Steering Committee member of the Nonviolence Network in Arab Countries.

Has good experience in coordinating mass activities.  George has undertaken a number of speaking tours in Europe, the USA and Canada covering the Palestinian issue and the noniolent popular struggle in Palestine.  He currently serves as the Communications Officer at Bethlehem University.

maher-kassis2

Maher kassis, projects' coordinator

Maher is a graduate of Bethlehem University with BA degree in Social Work in 2013.  He has experience in business management as he was involved in advertising and marketing for a small private busness.  Maher is a Basketball player in the Palestinian National Team and has played a number of regional games with the team.  Maher is overlooking and coordinating the Tunes for Peace Project and all other projects that PCR implements.  He is also utilizing his leadership skills acquired from the boyscouts in supervising the PCR Youth Group.

NISREEN BARDAWEEL, BOOK-KEEPER

Nisreen is a graduate of Bethlehem University of English Literature with a minor in Business Administration.  She has been a PCR staff member since 2008.  Currently Nisreen serves as Administrative Assistant to the Exc. Director and a General Book Keeper for PCR.  She works closely with the four PCR department staff members.

Nermeen-Abu Saada

NERMEEN ABU SAADA, SECRETARY

Graduate of Bethlehem University in Travel and Tourism Management of 2012.  Nermeen was born in Beit Sahour and has joined PCR in 2012.  Nermeen's basic taks is to organize the office appointments and keeps order in all PCR departments .  She is instrumental in the Tunes for Peace Project, and keeps contact with the families of the students.



IMEMC STAFF

 

SAED BANNOURA, CHIEF EDITOR, IMEMC NEWS

Born in Beit Sahour.  Graduate of Bethlehem University with a BA degreee in English Lanaguage and Literature and Translation.  Saed has been involved with PCR since 2003, with the start of the the IMEMC News Project.  He currently lives in the USA with his wife Jenka and daughter Guevara.  Saed works from home and performs a daily round on news sources and produces news stories, and edits other stories to make them fit with the IMEMC Policy.

ghassan-bannoura

Ghassan bannoura, Audio News Producer

Ghassan is a graduate of Bethlehem University from the Hotel Management Institute.  He joined PCR in 2001 and got involved with its activities at a young age.  In 2003 he was imployed at the IMEMC and soon became a news producer.  Although he did not study to become a journalist, however, through his work with IMEMC he developed media skills, and became more skilled in techinical issues.  Currently Gassan produces the Palestine Today, the daily audio report published by IMEMC and helps produce the weekly rpeort known as "This Week in Palesinte".  Ghassan is not fully employed in PCR, however, he is a free lancer and is subcontracted for a specific job.

Rami al-meghari, Reporter

Born in Al-Maghazi refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, Rami contributes his analysis skills to the production of "This Week in Palestine".  He sometimes contributes analysis and Op-Eds to the IMEMC.  He is a Palestinian freelance journalist and translator, based in the central Gaza Strip and is currently a contributor to a number of media outlets, including US-based Free Speech Radio News.

 

 


siraj STAFF

Michael Awad, Director of Siraj Center

Michel Awad, born in the town of Beit Sahour in Palestine, and lives there today.

Michael is a tri lingual, where Arabic is his mother language, he has learned German and English at Talitha Kumi School in Beit Jalla .  Michael has studied Travel Management in Bethlehem University.  In Year 2004 he became an Instructor for Travel Management in Bethlehem University. 

Michael is a cofounder of Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies where he works as the executive director of the Siraj Center.   Michael is a board member of the Palestinian Society for Travel and Tourism Agents. Awad has gained various Experiences in organizing different kind of Programs for International visitors to Palestine, which enable them to encounter the Real Palestine Life and Culture. He represented Siraj Center as a member in the Steering Committee for the Palestinian Initiative for Responsible Tourism (PIRT).  Through his participation in the (PIRT) he has helped writing and developing the Palestinian Code of Conduct.  Michael also is an active member in a variety of Palestinian community organizations

GEORGE S. RISHMAWI, PROMOTION COORDINATOR, SIRAJ CENTER

George S. Rishmawi is a Palestinian activist from Beit Sahour, who believes in and works for peace using non-violent methods. He holds a Batchelors Degree in English language and a Diploma in Translation from Birzeit University. His wide network of relations of people and organizatins made him the best promotion manager and coordinator for Siraj Center.  he is also the Executive Director of Masar Ibrahim Al-Khalil, a programme which bring people from all faiths to walk along the Steps of Abraham Path between Jenin and Hebron and learn about Abrahamic values and traditions

George has undertaken speaking tours throughout Europe and the USA giving talks on various subjects related to the on-going Palestine-Israel situation. He has given training  in non-violence to groups all over Palestine.  He has been involved in PCR since 1991 He served as member of the Executive Committee for PCR (2001 - 2003).  George has been recently elected to the Administration Board of the Arab Orthodox Cultural Club in Beit Sahour.

iliana-awwad

Eliana Awwad, program's coordinator

Iliana Khair-Awwad has eight years experience working in the tourism industry. She has worked with groups traveling to Israel and Palestine, as well as in hotels as a reservation coordinator. Iliana graduated from Bethlehem University with a degree in Travel Agency Management, and also holds a degree from the International Air Transport Association and an expert certificate from the Travel and Tourism Ministry.

 


Michael Abu Sa'ada, daily Operation, Front Desk

Michael manages the guest hosues that Siraj is running.  He is responsible to make the needs of the hotels available, daily purchases and financial management of the incoming guests in the two guest-houses.  Michael is a 2009 graduate of Bethlehem University with a Diploma in Travel Agency Management.  He has been working with PCR since 2011.

Rania-Sababa

Rania Sababa-Awwad, daily operation

Rania Sababa Awwad, Born in Beit Sahour and graduate of Bethlehem University in 1996 with a High diploma in Hotel Management & Tourism. Rania was involved in PCR since 1992 for some years.

 

She rejoined PCR after assuming her work with Siraj Center in early 2013 as a daily operation co-ordinator. Rania has a very good background in Folklore Dancing and has been trainer and leader of one of the local folklore dancing groups in the area.

mayada2

Mayada Salsa', daily operation

Mayada works as the Tour Operator and Social Media Officer at Siraj. Her main job is to design, coordinate and follow up tour programs incorporated in trips, hiking, Biking. She is also involved in preparing the monthly newsletter and updating Siraj's website.

Mayada has a B.A. degree in Geography / Political Science, from Birzeit University which gave her a rich background and experience in organizing and leading the various programs and activities with the different groups and pilgrimages.

In previous years, she worked as Research Assistant in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing Unit at The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem “ARIJ” in Bethlehem. She also worked as a teacher at the Latin Secondary School and the Greek Orthodox School in Al-Taybeh near Ramallah, where she originally comes from.

yiota

Yiota Kutulas, Networking Officer

Yiota holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from San Francisco State University. She taught English for 12 years in Greece and Cyprus. Yiota worked as a freelance author for the SALTO Youth Resource Center in France, and as an independent consultant for Euro Med in Cyprus and Jordan promoting multi-cultural learning and tolerance among European and Middle Eastern youth. She has participated, photographed and reported on several peace initiatives in the Middle East. Yiota has done volunteer work for Siraj in the past, and is now officially part of our team. Her responsibilities are networking with partners, writing and editing documents, contributing to the Siraj e-newsletter and preparing evaluation reports.
 Suhair-Ghanem-Sababa

Suhair Ghanim-Sababa – Quality Control Officer

Suhair, born in Beit Sahour, is a graduate of Bethlehem University in Travel and Tourism Management in 1999.

She enjoys a good experience in tourism as she holds a certificate of Travel and Tourism Expert License from the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

In 2010 Suhair also received a diploma in Tour Guiding from the Bethlehem Bible College and have worked and still does as a tour guide in Bethlehem District.

She monitors the programs and the home-stays and weekly walks and evaluates them in order to develop them for a better Palestine experience.

Governing Board-2011-2012

Saturday, 24 November 2012 18:04

The Governing board of PCR is called the Board of Directors.  The Board is elected every two years directly by the General Assembly.  Memberships in the GA is open to every Palestinian, males and females, Christians and Muslims who has completed the 16 years of age and has applied to become a member of PCR by submitting a written application, which should be approved in a board meeting.

Members are required to pay an annual registration fee determined by the board of directors.  To be elected to the board, one is requested to have served as a volunteer in any of PCR's activities for a period that is no longer than six months, in order to be known to the General Assembly if he/she decides to run for the board.

The most recent members of the board of Directors are:

 

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD.

Chairperson Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at three universities in Palestine (Bethlehem, Birzeit, Al-Quds). He previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke and Yale Universities. He published several books including "Sharing the Land of Canaan: human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle" (English and Spanish) and “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment" (Arabic and English, forthcoming in French and Italian). 

Michael Rishmawi, Vice Chair & Co-Founder

Michael has been among the founding members of PCR.  He is a retired Teacher of Arabic Language and is actively involved in a number of local organizations.  He is the most senior among the board members and has been on the board of PCR since its foundation.  He is involved in a number of Literature group and is now authoring a book about prominent characters in Beit Sahour.

 eyad-joma

Eyad A. Joma, Treasurey

Born in Beit Sahour, received his diploma in Jordan as a Dental Technician. Involved in Rapprochement Center since 1998.  Secretary of the board of the Trade Union of the Speciality Association of Science and Technology of Dental Laboratories for two years.  Joined the board of Administrators of PCR in 2006 and now serves as the treasurer of the Board. 


Fida S. Ghareeb, Secretary

Fida joined PCR in 1997 as part of the advocacy training program launched by PCR in that year.  She was first employed by PCR in 2003 to support the team in running the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).  She traveled to Italy and obtained her Master Degree in Tourism Marketing and came back to work in PCR.  She joined the board first time in 2008 after she got another job in Bethlehem University at the Fair Trade Development Center (FTDC) of the Institute of Community Partnership (ICP).  She currently works at Dar Annadwa in Bethlehem.

Basil Khoury, Member

 Basil is the youngest member of the board, he is still a student at Bethlehem University.  He joined PCR in 2009 during the war on Gaza (2008/2009) and was very interested to join the advocacy work PCR is doing on this regard.  Basil is actively involved in youth work that PCR organizes, especially with the Community Service and Development Department and the Advocacy Department.

Ala' Abu Sa'ada, Member

Born and live in the town of Beit Sahour (Palestine), finished his higher education at Birzeit University majoring in Public Administration and is planning to go for Masters.  Before being a board member Ala was a coordinator of the Education for All and Tunes for Peace Projects at PCR for some months.  He was also project coordinator at the Arab Hotel Association for around two years.

 

 

Rana Mousa - Member

Rana is also one of the young members of PCR board. She joined PCR in 2002 while she was studying for her Bachelor Degree in Bethlehem University. in 2008 Rana joined the Young Advocates Program as a trainee and volunteered for six months helping with the IMEMC News project. She established a Spanish section for IMEMC and helped recruit volunteers to translate the IMEMC content from English into Spanish. Unfortunately the Spanish edition of IMEMC could not continue due to lack of financial resources.

PCR History

Saturday, 24 November 2012 13:38

A brief historic overview of PCR

Since its establishment in 1988, PCR has been working to bridge the gap between Palestinians and peoples from different part of the world.  The past two decades witnessed some landmarks that PCR contributed to and was affected by as well. These periods can be divided into three:

1988-1994 – First Intifada Period

During the first uprising, PCR pioneered nonviolent resistance. We provided training to locals in conflict resolution management, peaceful resistance, and cross-cultural dialogue. We were the first group in the West Bank to have a formal and periodic (bi-weekly) dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. This dialogue continued on a regular pace for 12 years even as the uprising and the violence escalated. It kept the hope alive of coexistence and peace.

PCR played an important role in organizing the 1989 tax resistance (No Taxation without Representation) that gained the admiration of people of good will around the world including our Israeli colleagues and dozens of international visitors who visited even during siege and curfew. (More detailed information can be found in this publication )

That experience taught us to learn to disseminate information and was a prelude to our accelerated media efforts during the second uprising.

1994-2000 – Oslo and Post- Oslo period

The decrease in violence during the Oslo years did not decrease our commitment and interest in peace making and direct action. PCR with support from the Israeli members of the dialogue group supported the land defense committees that challenged the building of settlements on Palestinian lands. The most prominent case, PCR was involved in was Jabal Abu Ghneim where we kept a protest tent in operation with Israelis and internationals for four months 24 hours a day. We challenged the settlement activities in Israeli courts including this case that moved for nearly four years (a good delay for us) until the Israeli Supreme court ruled in favor of the State and in violation of International law.

PCR did not feel defeated. To protect Beit Sahour Land threatened by the Har Homa settlement on Jabal Abu Ghneim, we worked with a number of groups and land owners to encourage buildings on their lands as close as is feasible to the settlement. These threatened lands we knew would be protected if we had people living there. This included a housing project in the area of Mazmouria. The land belongs to people from Beit Sahour, however, as residents of the West Bank, we can not build houses there, because that land was identified within the borders of Jerusalem. Therefore Jerusalemites were the perfect candidates for such a project.

A housing committee was founded that included people from Jerusalem who need to build houses, but do not have land in Jerusalem. One land owner with an area of around 40 dunams agreed to include his land in this project. The idea was to plan a housing project on that land, apply for building permits from the municipality of Jerusalem and if permits were granted, the members of the housing committee will buy lots in this land. In this case, the land owner is selling his land to people from Jerusalem to build houses.

A Palestinian famous architect who lives in Jordan, volunteers most of his effort and time in planning the area and designed houses with Arabic architecture. The municipality of Jerusalem refused to allow the housing society to officially submit the full application and kept asking for modifications. In October 2000, shortly after the second intifada started, the Israeli army built a military road to connect the settlement on Abu Ghneim with the military base in Beit Sahour, and with other settlements. This road went right through the project’s land, which was the last nail in the coffin for this project. But the experience was worthwhile and the citizens of Beit Sahour developed housing projects very near the Har Homa settlement (but outside of the illegally expanded and illegally annexed East Jerusalem lands).

In those years, PCR also developed programs for training youth and women in leadership positions, expanded its activities in community development and education, and hosted many international delegations on fact finding and solidarity trips.

2000-2008 – Second Intifada Period

Our community service program was expanded and made a formal division of PCR. We engaged more youth with nonviolent resistance. In one capacity building program 70 young Palestinians received training in advocacy, communication skills, conflict resolution and democracy. When trained and empowered these young advocates became the backbone of other PCR and community activities.

One project we pioneered and led by the young people was the Displaced Shepherd project which aimed at renovating homes damaged as a result of the Israeli shelling of the Eastern neighborhood of Beit Sahour from the military base in Ush Ghrab.

The young activists of PCR visited all families and documented damages and recorded stories. They uploaded all this information as family profiles on the internet. This information was used a fund raising campaign in which raided $400,000 USD raised with the municipality of Beit Sahour as a joint effort. As a result, almost all families managed to return to their homes in few months.

In 2000, we mobilized our dialogue group and international friends for actions to reclaim the military base that was located on town land and was a major issue in the community. We successfully held nonviolent protests at the base (even getting inside the base by the hundreds) and this success led to the formation of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). PCR was heavily involved in ISM for five years, during which it had employed around ninety percent of its efforts and finances to support ISM. PCR hosted ISM in its headquarters until 2005 when the headquarters was moved to Ramallah.

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