Have the holidays completely taken you by surprise just like every year? Trying to figure out unique gifts that will make an impact? Presence instead of presents is the new black - for gifts that are unique, and look, feel as well as sound great you are in the right place!
Let us help you out and give you this remarkable opportunity to impress your colleagues, friends and loved ones with a truly special gift. A gift that keeps giving.
Actors, activists, bloggers, musicians, scholars, writers, photographers, community members – volunteers from all over the world have come onboard the famous Freedom Bus to support communities at risk.
Last year, the project organized two Freedom Rides through Occupied Palestine that included improvised theatre performances, drama workshops, live music events, Hakawati (traditional storytelling), protective presence activity and building work. Side by side, armed with mud-bricks and solidarity, houses and people were built up again, stories were shared and lasting alliances were built that know no human-made border.
Next year, we want to get on the road again. The 2014 March Freedom Ride will join residents of the Jordan Valley and South Hebron Hills who are at risk of forced expulsion from their ancestral homelands. The March Freedom Ride will include building and reconstruction work, guided walks, interactive workshops, political actions and cultural events. Through Playback Theatre, residents of the Jordan Valley and South Hebron Hills will also share personal accounts about the realities of life and struggle under Israeli occupation and oppression.
By supporting this one-of-a-kind project of The Freedom Theatre, you are not wrapping presents this year – but indeed presence. And how often don’t we wish for a chance to do so? Make your mark in this world and donate, confident in the knowledge that you have truly made a difference to somebody's life.
Your contribution will help secure that the work of the Freedom Bus will continue and reach thousands of children, youth and adults - fostering community health through sharing of stories and building solidarity worldwide. Through this project and its various activities YOU will directly contribute to the promotion of human rights and fight against discrimination and oppression. Regular updates, pictures and stories will ensure you know exactly just how far your contribution is going.
Giving looks good on you!
The Freedom Bus team
November is the time of the year we count our blessings and reflect on all the things we are grateful for.
We at The Freedom Theatre and the Freedom Bus team feel grateful for... well - YOU!
We would like to take this opportunity to THANK YOU for your generous donations and ceaseless efforts during this past year. Your contribution matters and has made a lasting difference!
Features like volunteer work, solidarity stays in communities at risk and cultural events with live music, hakawati (traditional storytelling) and Playback Theatre, where a troupe of actors and musicians invite stories from community members and transform each account into a piece of improvised theatre, have made the Freedom Bus movement that has engaged thousands in occupied Palestine so successful and well known throughout the world.
Links of solidarity and friendship have been created that transcend any human-made border. This project is one of a kind and thanks to your support, it has grown beyond what we have every dared to hope for!
To witness more of the small and the bigger miracles that are achieved through your efforts and donations, to keep up-to-date with the latest and, most importantly, to ensure you are onboard for the journey ahead - sign up for our regular newsletter (www.thefreedomtheatre.org), visit us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thefreedombus) and follow the Freedom Bus on Twitter (#FreedomBusPal)!
Since the March Freedom Ride, the Freedom Bus troupe has been busy visiting communities in the West Bank and ’48 Palestine!
Families Interrupted, organized by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, opened at Al-Midan Theatre in Haifa. This event included a photographic exhibition, panel discussion, and performance by the Freedom Bus troupe. The event brought attention to the Israeli Citizenship Law – one of 50 apartheid laws that discriminate against Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. Approximately 200 people attended this event.
The Freedom Bus troupe also took part in M.A.N – Music & Nature. The aim of this festival was to strengthen cultural and artistic exchanges between Palestinians and Syrians in occupied Golan. The event included interactive workshops, theatre, and live music from Arabic bands and artists including Akhir Zafir (Amman), Toot Ard (Golan), Jowan Safadi and Fish Samak (Haifa) and the artists Ala Azzam and Ruba Shamshoum. The Freedom Bus troupe performed Our Sign is the Stone and also used Playback Theatre to enact stories shared by audience members.
Our Sign is the Stone is a production based on testimonies gathered from the village of Nabi Saleh. The play attests to the struggles, sacrifices and steadfastness of Palestinian communities engaged in civil resistance against Israeli practices of land confiscation and discrimination. In addition to its performance at this festival, Our Sign is the Stone was performed four other times reaching over 300 people.
We are so proud of the work the Freedom Bus trope has accomplished in a very short time. Thank you once again for your support! Your gift has meant so much to the growing, dynamic group of artists we work with!! Tomorrow (12 June 2013) is another Bonus Day on GlobalGiving!! All donations made to the Freedom Bus project will be matched at 40%! Don’t miss out! Plan your gift early – matching begins at 9am EDT and we know we can count on you!!
The March Freedom Ride (17 March till 29 March) has been organized with several grassroots organizations and is currently taking students, artists, and activists through the Jordan Valley and South Hebron Hills. This arts and educational event began this past Sunday, 17 March 2013 with an orientation at The Freedom Theatre followed by a night of music and Playback Theatre. The evening proved to be a great ice breaker for participants as they got a chance to learn about each other through the telling of stories, some experiencing Playback Theatre for the first time.
For the past 3-days participants have been in the Jordan Valley taking part in building and reconstruction work, tree planting, guided walks, and discussion groups while enjoying evenings filled with Playback Theatre, live music, Dabke, and other cultural events. After the Jordan Valley participants will make their way to the South Hebron Hills.
In preparation for the ride a Core Training in Playback Theatre was held in February, facilitated by the founder of Playback Theatre Jo Salas. Participants in this workshop acquired and/or strengthened their skills and knowledge about the philosophy and application of this applied theatre art. In an effort to learn more about the communities taking part in the ride and to strengthen our working relationship with community members, the Freedom Bus held a solidarity stay in February in the Jordan Valley in the communities of Ein Al Hiluwa and Khirbit Samra. The main objective of this event was to raise awareness about Israeli apartheid practices and to engage children in exercises that stimulate their imagination and creativity.
The March Freedom Ride has been organized to correspond with International World Water Day, held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day in light of the increase in demand for water access, allocation, and services.
This year, the Freedom Bus will highlight issues of inequality surrounding water allocation and the accompanying social and economic impact upon Palestinian communities living in the Jordan Valley. Day 6 of the ride, which falls on 22 March, will consist of an all-day solidarity walk from Mak-hul to Ras Al Ahmar via Al Hadidya followed by an evening of Music (featuring DAM, Toot Ard, and Ministry of Dub-Key).
Since the completion of the first Freedom Ride, the Freedom Bus troupe has been on the move visiting communities across the West Bank. In November, the Freedom Bus partnered with students from BirZeit University, just outside Ramallah. The students who are part of the Juzoor/EWASH water justice advocacy programme joined the Freedom Bus in Faquaa and the Jordan Valley as part of our Ride for Water Justice, which also visited Battir, Bethlehem near the end of November. All three events succeeded in raising awareness about the water situation in all three locations. Additionally, the days with student participants from BirZeit University succeeded in fostering connections between Palestinian media students, international activists, and community members.
The Freedom Bus ended the year with a visit to Nabi Saleh, located in Area C. Palestinian society is divided into three “areas”, Area A (under full Palestinian civil and security control), B (under full Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control), and C (under full Israeli control – security, planning, and construction). In 2009 an Israeli settlement, now called Halamish, was built in Nabi Saleh claiming the one spring on which the village relied. The spring, which was privately owned by Mustafa Tamimi, was an obvious affront to the sovereignty and rights of the village. Two year later, Israeli soldiers shot a tear gas canister into Mustafa Tamimi’s face causing severe wounds and eventually death. This past December the community of Nabi Saleh came together to pay tribute to Mustafa and Rushdi Tamimi, two unarmed civilians shot and killed during, regular, peaceful demonstrations in Nabi Saleh. The day included a Playback performance by the Freedom Bus troupe, Dabke (Palestinian folk tradition), and a play by local children. The Freedom Bus troupe was honored to be the only group from outside Nabi Saleh to be given time on stage, demonstrating the communities understanding and value of the role Playback Theatre plays in remembering, grieving, and affirming identity.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.