PCR has been striving to provide programs to empower young Palestinians. In the past two years, PCR found that video production is one of the tools that would provide, on one hand, an attractive tool for youth, and on the other hand, a good skill to learn for future career.
PCR held a video training program in 2008, funded by Oxfam-GB, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and The General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church (GBGM-UMC).
12 young Palestinians were trained to shoot still images and video footage and edit them. The project of 2008 targeted young Palestinians in areas where tension is high with Israeli settlers or soldiers, such as Hebron, where settlers' harassment is almost daily, and Bil'in and Ni'lin where the wall is being built.
In addition, the project targeted average Palestinian youth, who might use the acquired skills for a future career.
This year's project targets a younger age group. 15 - 18 year-old males and females are encouraged to apply to join the project. The skills taught in this project can be used to increase self expression skills, and the project timing, makes a very good use of the summer time as the project will be implemented from June through August.
Starting on June 24, 2010 the Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement Between People (PCR) held its second photography training seminar for young Palestinian film makers, which was funded by the Youth Fund of the UN-Habitat. Rami Rishmawi, an aspiring professional photographer, who worked and studied in Egypt, near Cairo, and who plans to further pursue his studies in Europe (perhaps in London or Paris), led this 25 training hours photography training program, which ended on July 8. Three sessions per week were provided, each session was about four hours long; from 2-6 pm.
This program is an educational and capacity building project at the same time, that is aimed at average Palestinian youth, both males and females. It strives to empower them to use their acquired skills for a potential future career and to be more effective and active in their communities through photography and media. This is crucial, as the photography and media fields are growing and becoming more demanding in Palestinian life and culture. Women photographers are especially needed in the more conservative Palestinian communities.
Currently there are 10 youth who are part of the program. They were both Christian and Muslim males and females aged 15-18. They came mainly from the Bethlehem the. These youth were informed about this seminar through various advertisements that were posted on local television channels as well as on the internet and were selected based on their interviews and applications.
The training is taking place in the PCR's "Meeting Hall," where the youth were provided with a folder containing all of the essential training information and materials, including a blank notepad to take notes. In addition, each youth was paired up and sat behind a desk with a desk top computer, ready to access the Photoshop CS3 program, which they used later to edit their pictures. Each pair of students are equipped with a digital still camera during the training period.
The main purpose of this training program was to provide the young men and women a thorough overview on how to correctly utilize digital cameras. The PCR specifically purchased 3 brand new digital 2010 Canons from funds provided by the Youth FUND of the UN-Habitat—in addition to their 3 older Canons—for this photography training seminar.
The youth first gained a detailed background and explanation of the course, as well as a detailed introduction to media and video production by the Executive director of PCR, George N. Rishmawi. The introductory workshop was also focused on the ways the trainees may use the skills they are going to learn in through the project. Then, after Rami Rishmawi's explanations and visuals of how to physically operate a digital camera, explaining all of the options and features, the youth were able to use the cameras, in pairs. They were instructed to take mainly portrait and outdoor shots, playing with shadows and sunlight. They were able to do this for three days, starting June 29 and stopping on July 3. Beginning on July 3, they were taught how to upload and edit their photos using the Adobe Photoshop CS3 program.