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

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.

Download PDF File

Balad Productions

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 20:17

 

IMEMC is building a video production unit that will not only produce special feature and documentaries but, will be able to provide services to local and international film-makers at convenient price which in turn will generate income for the organization and lower dependency on foreign aid.

The video production unit is called Balad Productions, starting September 2012. 

The unit has so far the following equipment available:

1- Sony HDV Z7 Video* Camera and Canon 5D Mark II Full HD

2- Monfrotto Tripod 501

3- Nikon D100 SLR Still Camera

4- Small Cannon V40 HDV Video Camera and small Tripods

5- Adobe Suite CS3 for video editing

* SOny Z7 Cam works with Tapes and CF cards.

 

Other needed equipments like lighting, or Sound Boom, wireless neck mics can be provided, but we need enough time for that, since we still do not have them.

In addition, IMEMC can provide qualified camera operators and still images photographers in addition to cutters and video editors.

 

Why to choose IMEMC VPU?

1- You will use high quality equipment

2- You will work with a qualified local team

3- You will benefit from our wide contacts around the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and in Israel

4- You will FOR SURE save money

 

Small calculations of the costs of bringing a crew from any country to Palestine for a week or ten days or a month,, will indicate to you how convenient this service will be for you as a film-maker and for us as a grass roots organization that tries to remain independent.

You will have to pay for their flight tickets, accommodation, food, transportation in addition to translators in to Arabic if you do not speak the language, Therefore do not hesitate and contact us to rent the equipment.

IMEMC is building a video production unit that will not only produce special feature and documentaries but, will be part of the Out Sourcing Palestine (OSP) Project, which can provide services to local and international film-makers at convenient price which in turn will generate income for IMEMC.

 

The unit has so far the following equipment available:

 

1- Sony HDV Z7 Video Camera

2- Monfrotto Tripod 501

3- Nikon D100 SLR Still Camera

4- Small Cannon V40 HDV Video Camera and small Tripods

5- Adobe Suite CS3 for video editing

 

Other needed equipments like lighting, or Sound Boom, wireless neck mics can be provided, but we need enough time for that, since we still do not have them.

In addition, IMEMC can provide qualified camera operators and still images photographers in addition to cutters and video editors.

 

Why to choose Balad Productions? 

1- You will use high quality equipment

2- You will work with a qualified local team

3- You will benefit from our wide contacts around the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and in Israel

4- You will FOR SURE save money in exchange of a high quality product

 EMAIL US AT This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Small calculations of the costs of bringing a crew from any country to Palestine for a week or ten days or a month,, will indicate to you how convenient this service will be for you as a film-maker and for us as a grass roots organization that tries to remain independent.

You will have to pay for their flight tickets, accommodation, food, transportation in addition to translators in to Arabic if you do not speak the language, Therefore do not hesitate and contact us to rent the equipment.

 

Below are some of the videos produced by IMEMC Video Production Unit

 

Tunes for Peace

Sunday, 18 November 2012 18:44

Music is a unique language that has the ability to unite people from different cultures and tongues, bringing them together to create an environment where all peoples from different nationalities, beliefs, and ethnic backgrounds work together in harmony.

Thus, music can be a tool to build bridges between people and create rapprochement, not only among people from different nationalities, but also people within the same nationality from different religions or cultural practices.

In the Palestinian context, building a musical group in a local town, one where Christians and Muslims live together creates a great opportunity for them form a single unit, where they share their skills and experiences, enriches the local spirit. It is this idea that supports our goal of building local bridges between the Palestinian people and the international community as well. Moreover, this musical experience allows students to release their emotions and express themselves creatively.  Through campaigns that compose strong music and dynamic lyrics, they also relate to and unite people in the common goals of peace and justice.

It is for these reasons that the Palestine – Italy Music Exchange, and "Tunes for Peace" program has been initiated. Acting under the umbrella of the Angelo Frammartino Educational Center, this program aims to integrate music into the lives of Palestinian youth. The Angelo Frammartino Educational Center was established in March 2008 with a major support of the Italian youth organization, !A la Calle!. The initial phase of the project was supported both by A La Calle organization from Italy and Oxfam-Great Britain, however, the idea was initiated by A La Calle in late 2007.  Through these two organizations, the Rapprochement Center has made contacts to the partners of Oxfam-GB network and this idea was received positively by these partners, which led to an Oxfam-GB approved a grant to help implement the project in six different locations in the West Bank.

 

The project is named in commemoration of the late Angelo Framartino, a young Italian man who was killed in Jerusalem some years ago. Through the creation of the Center and its outreach programs, we want to send a message to the world stating that violence has no basis; but is a tragic and destructive outburst that weakens communities. For this reason the foundation is called, “The Angelo Framartino Educational Center." The organization also holds an academic focus, and aims to provide such support to local students. It is apparent that the students’ academic achievements affect their charisma and their community involvement. Therefore, encouraging students’ academic progress will in turn reflect positively on their community involvement. Recently, the center hosted the first youth education project titled "Education for All," an alternative education program that helps to support Palestinian children who need extra lessons but cannot afford them because of financial restrictions and lack of community resources.

 

Given the power of music to further these initiatives, this program aims to serve the community in this way. However, it is a fact that there are many young Palestinians in Beit Sahour who wish to learn music and have the skills, but cannot afford to pay for the proper equipment nor the expensive fees to attend a music school.  Therefore, this project will serve as a great support centre for those students, and will also complement the goals of the Angelo Frammartino Educational Center to give Palestinian students an opportunity to develop their musical knowledge and skill.

 

The situation in Palestine is very unstable on social, economic and political levels, which negatively impacts the Palestinian people, and particularly the youth, who shape the future. They will directly affect and participate in the building of their society, currently fragmented by the ongoing occupation.

 

In 2013-2014 a UK-based Charity, Pilgrimage People made a significant contribution to the project which helped Tunes for Peace project to introduce more instruments to the students which allowed us to serve more benefeciaries.  Pilgrimage People traces its roots to May 2000 and a pilgrimage to the Holy Land organised by Fr Paul Maddison, a Catholic Priest from the Diocese of East Anglia.


While it is true that music alone will not solve the problems of the Palestinian people, it will at least serve communities in need, giving some students a chance to express themselves artistically, and positively affect how they view their role in society.  Furthermore, music study here can inspire and provide the foundation for future musical careers.

 

In addition to the above mentioned, the Rapprochement Centre will also be able to form its own musical group which will act as an ambassador for peace, performing in different regions of the world, reaching a wider audience to make the voice of peace heard in a new and unique way. The programs which the Rapprochement Center wishes to provide will create new means of expression for Palestinian youth, lead children upward from violent experiences, and establish the potential for positive change in an evolving society.

MEET OUR STUDENTS & SPONSOR A YOUNG MUSICIAN

Education for All

Sunday, 18 November 2012 17:36

The Education for All project continues to provide almost free-of-charge classes for students who need support at the local schools of Beit Sahour. There are around 20 students from four schools in Beit Sahour.

Students are given Arabic, English and Mathematics Classes on weekly basis. Each student receives 12 hours of classes per month to help enhance their academic performance at school which in turn contributes to the educational processes and to reduce illiteracy among Palestinian youth.

The project is funded partially by the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church and the Italian Organization A La Calle as part of the Angelo Frammartino Educational Center which was established in PCR in 2008.

In addition to academic education, students are exposed to skill enhancement training such as communication and community service. They visit functional organizations in Beit Sahour, to learn about the community service work and also encouraged to volunteer at some of these organizations in order to become more involved in the community activities.

Students also help PCR in its annual activities, especially the Shepherds Nights Festival which
includes the annual candle procession PCR organizes since 1990. (More detailed report of the Shepherds below)

Feedback reports from all the schools and some of the teachers indicate that the students'
performance has enhanced as a result of their participation in the project. They have encouraged PCR to keep this program for more
years.

Many of these students were unable to take private lessons because they can not afford them. Students have to pay 40 Shekels per hour for a private class, and 30 if they are part of a group. Meanwhile, in PCR students pay 40 per month for 12 hours of classes.

In addition, the teachers in the project do not repeat what the students study in school, they pre-test the students at the beginning of a new semester and build a supporting program based on their test, then make a post-test in order to see progress.

80 percent of the students indicated good progress because their enrollment in the program. PCR is planning to upgrade the project to include more students, as it currently can accommodate students of the Eighth grade only, as recommended by the schools.

However, the new plan includes a follow up with the same students in the ninth grade to make sure they learn new studying habits which will positively reflect on their academic performance.

Siraj Center

Tuesday, 25 October 2011 02:21

Since 2005, Siraj has managed to achieve its vision of becoming one of the most prominent and innovative organizations which has driven the development of responsible tourism, re-branding Palestine as a destination for experiential travel and human connection.

 

As part of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People (www.pcr.ps ), 

and the sole non-profit organization, licensed by the Ministry of Tourism, our vision continues to be to welcome international visitors to immerse themselves into Palestinian hospitality, our cultural heritage and unspoiled nature, bringing about a life-enriching exchange and understanding between Palestinians and visitors from other cultural, religious and social backgrounds. Through Siraj’s vision, we were instrumental in leading the initiative to create the Network of Experiential Palestinian Tourism (www.nepto.ps), as well as the Palestinian Responsible Tourism initiative (www.pirt.ps).

 

We are pioneers in Palestine, developing diverse responsible tourism programs, such as local community tourism, home stays, interfaith, pilgrimages, cultural and fact-finding, as well as other special interest programs, such as environmentally friendly tourism packages, including, the Nativity Trail, Sufi Trail, Jerusalem Wilderness and Abraham Path - the first long distance walking route through the West Bank (www.masaribrahim.ps), walking/hiking (www.walkpalestine.com) and cycling tours (www.bikepalestine.com). 

 

We create unique tourism products, which maximize the contribution of the local community.  We train locals within rural and Bedouin communities to be empowered, becoming the decision makers and owners of the packages which we offer to visitors, thus increasing local engagement, economic benefits through job creation, and chances for improved social development.  We advocate best practices resulting in positive impacts, while minimizing negative effects on our cultural heritage and environment.

 

On the official website of Siraj www.sirajcenter.org, you will discover the unique programs that we offer or that we can happily tailor according to your interests and specific needs. 

Siraj is also running and fostering the Masar Ibrahim Al-Khalil program, which is now in its final stages to achieve an independent registered non-governmental organization.

Masar Ibrahim Al-Khalil  

 

We look forward to welcoming you to Palestine!

  • Recent News
  • Popular Items
Volunteer in Palestine
13 Nov, 2012

Voluntary work is a main part of PCR's policy of survival. 

Siraj Center lunches a new Website
14 Jan, 2018

Siraj Center our Alternative Tourism Department got a new Websi

PCR Awarded a new Grant from EU
13 Jan, 2018

PCR awarded a new Grant from EU with the Partnership with 

Tunes for Peace 2018
13 Jan, 2018

The Second Semester of Tunes for Peace will start in Mid of Jan

Tunes for Peace Students Concert April 2016
29 Apr, 2016

For the second year, The Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement b

You are here:   HomeDepartmentsCommunity Service & DevelopmentGeorge Rishmawi

PCR Events

No events found

Organization

PCR Mission

PCR works to bridge the gap between Palestinians and peoples from all around the world, informing the public about the reality in Palestine, and empowering the community through nonviolent direct action.

How to find us

Phone: +972 2 277 2018
Fax: +972 2 277 4602
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Map of Palestine