Video blog, Walaja action and Emily follow-up

Mazin Qumsiyeh, 10 August 2010

Some of you wrote encouraging that I use the video blog format of glimpses of life in the occupied territories (Sample snapshots of events, sights, and sounds and expressing my thoughts).  This one includes Al-Walaja village events including visits by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and segment of interview with Ahmed Barghouth (Abu Nidal) who is losing much of his land and even his family graveyard to the apartheid wall. Also included is a personal narrative of what happened in encounters with apartheid Israeli officials in Ofer and Gush Etzion colonial settlements the last two days

Part 1

Part 2

ACTION: Al-Walaja Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements invites you to join the march Friday 12 August starting at 1 PM

Background: Last April bulldozers started clearing land of Al-Walaja for the Apartheid wall and are projected to encircle the village leaving only an exit by a tunnel to Beit Jala and annexing most agricultural lands. The villagers are refugees who built on the remaining part of their village cut by the Green line in 1948. The original village now has the Jewish area Aminadav in West Jerusalem. Since 1967 the village has been subject to many forms of Israeli oppression; house demolitions, settlements built on its lands and villagers arrested in their own house for ‘illegal residency’ (in the illegally expanded and annexed East Jerusalem), and now the wall threatens to strangle the village and make them two-time refugees.  On 25 July, there was a court discussion and the state got 45 days to explain the route, since then the work pace has doubled and there is a fear that Israel will complete the wall and establish facts that will reduce the chance of a ruling in favor of the village. Rides from Jerusalem will leave from the bell bark at 10:20 for the tour and at 12:20 directly to the demo.

For information contact Yotam 0544763800 or Oz 0502650101 (Hebrew), Mazin 0598939532 (English) or Ammar 0598939852 (Arabic)

UNRWA fact sheet/miniprofile of the village

Israeli soldiers shot 21-year-old Emily damaging her face and costing her an eye but they did not damage the beautiful spirit of this visual artist. Emily is now speaking out after lengthy recuperation. Video that Emily made and here is an interview with democracy now (please ensure links not broken) and an article in Village Voice

Israel even refuses to pay for her hospital bill, although she also has Israeli citizenship. But here is what Emily had written to me before her injury: “Hello, this is Emily from the other day. I’d like some information about teaching art classes. I speak very little Arabic, but I’m working on it! Here is my website if you’d like to see some of my stuff: I’ll be available this summer but I have to go back to school in the fall. My phone is xxx. Tisba el kher!

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home

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