Rebuilding Alliance

Rebuilding Alliance is dedicated to rebuilding war-torn communities and bringing the world together to make them safe. Our vision is a just and enduring peace in Israel and Palestine with equal value, opportunity, and security for all.
Jun 14, 2016

Palestinian Cultural Day

Maestro Mohammad Fadel instructs Al Aqaba students
Maestro Mohammad Fadel instructs Al Aqaba students

Hello Friend,
Our Collective Song Music Center was featured front and center at the Palestinian Cultural Day at the Santa Clara Civic Center on May 13th.  The event began with the national anthems of both the United States and Palestine and speeches highlighted the many contributions of the Palestinian community.  City, county, and state officials reaffirmed their pride in and commitment to all members of the community. 

The keynote speaker at the Palestinian Cultural Day was our own Lina Karamali, who initiated the Collective Song project with Rebuilding Alliance when she was an intern here.  Lina made it possible for 41 children in Al Aqaba Village in the West Bank to learn violin, viola, and cello this year with the guidance of two music teachers from the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) in Ramallah!  

As an intern, Lina first asked the mayor of Al Aqaba Village if the Collective Song Music Center would be a good idea for Al Aqaba.   He enthusiastically encouraged the project.  Al Aqaba at that time was planning to open an new park and Mayor Haj Sami said the parents would love to hear their children perform.  Lina worked through the project details with the mayor and the librarian at the Ibn Rush’d Library, then helped me connect with the director of the ESNCN to ask for their participation.   Then Lina organized a fundraising concert at her high school, inviting students and professionals to perform.  Lina included mention of all this good work in her college applications and she will be heading to Stanford come fall!

During her speech, we showed a video of a concert with student musicians at Bir Zeit University.   Al Aqaba’s children traveled by bus to join over 100 students from music programs throughout the West Bank.  For nearly all of them, it was the first time away from home, and the first time at a University.

Thank you again for helping bring A Collective Song Music Center program this far and making the dreams of our intern come true. Most importantly, thank you for helping bring the gift of music to children in Al Aqaba.

I hope you will continue to support this project for its second year.  This Wednesday, June 15th,  Global Giving.org will be matching all donations over $1000.   Because Rebuilding Alliance has achieved Superstar Status, your donation will be matched by 50%.

Please give early – the Global Giving Bonus Day competition starts at 9am Eastern time this Wednesday and the matching grants will go fast.  

Thank you again.

Learning to count and play in Al Aqaba Village
Learning to count and play in Al Aqaba Village
All 41 students travelled to Bir Zeit University
All 41 students travelled to Bir Zeit University
American and Palestinian flags in Santa Clara
American and Palestinian flags in Santa Clara
Lina Karamali, Keynote Address in Santa Clara
Lina Karamali, Keynote Address in Santa Clara
Lina
Lina's ensemble performed at Palestine Day
Lina performing with ensemble in Santa Clara
Lina performing with ensemble in Santa Clara
Mar 15, 2016

We've scheduled 20 Conference Call Briefings with Congress -Join In!

Aysar, at home with his new sister, in Susiya
Aysar, at home with his new sister, in Susiya

Dear Friend,

Good news: on March 10th, U.S. Consul General Donald Blome visited Umm al Kheir, Susiya, and several other villages slated for demolition in the South Hebron Hills. We have been pushing for this to happen, because it represents the start of significant U.S. engagement to mitigate the recent upsurge in the demolition of Palestinian homes and villages by the Israeli Army. 

The Consul General's visit was a step forward, but we must press for more. There is a way to keep Umm al Kheir, Susiya, al Aqaba and all the other Palestinian villages standing in Area C, but it requires bold advocacy from you as an American constituent.  

If you haven't registered already, please sign-in to join a half-hour Contact Congress Briefing with your Senators and Representative’s staff.

We started this week with a briefing with Sen. Marco Rubio's staff and we've scheduled almost 20 more so far.  We're working to book 100.  These calls are an advocacy breakthrough.  To see the schedule and join, go to www.RebuildingAlliance.org and just scroll down to the calendar.  Click Count Me In! to join the calls.

To each legislator, our ask is simple: on behalf of your constituents, please call the U.S. State Department and the Israeli Embassy to express concern about the Palestinian villages in Area C and to show support for their right to plan and live on the land they own. 

Congressional intervention already makes all the difference in keeping demolition bulldozers away from Susiya, Umm al Kheir, and Al Aqaba. These conference calls have proven to be a remarkable tool for influencing foreign policy. Please join us. Constituent by constituent, legislator by legislator, this is our best hope to keep Palestinian villages standing.

One more thing: this Wednesday, MARCH 16TH, GlobalGiving.org is matching all donations to our U.S. Movement to Save Palestinian Villages. Thanks to your support, our U.S. Movement to Save Palestinian Villages helped keep Susiya standing.  We're making real progress and we need your support again now to ramp-up.  Please set your alarm and give on Wednesday 



Sincerely,

Tamsin Avra

Contact Congress Coordinator, Rebuilding Alliance 


P.S.    Questions? Suggestions?  Please call me at 650 651-7165 or reply to this email.

P.P.S.  There are so many heartbreaking photos of demolitions ... instead we are sending you this photo that Donna took of Aysar, the 14-year-old who presented his Pinwheel for Peace to members of Congress in Washington, D.C. last year.   Aysar's U.S. visa states he may visit twice more in 'September with Rebuilding Alliance' — and so we begin planning to bring Aysar and other Susiya leaders on speaking tour for International Peace Day again this year and next.
 

Links:

Mar 15, 2016

First pallet of solar lights now en route to Gaza! Tomorrow is GG Bonus Day!

Ameer
Ameer's nephew: homework w Luci Light in Gaza City

Hello Friend,

Yesterday, our first pallet of 1,920 solar-powered Luci lights shipped from China en route to Gaza to Brighten the Future of Gaza's Children!  It is scheduled to arrive in Ashdod on April 3rd, pre-cleared to enter Gaza. 

My permit is approved too!  I'll be there in April to present a paper at the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme's 6th International conference, 'Mental Health and Human Rights in Palestine – Enhancing Resilience and Hope.'  I'll get to meet some of the children and their families who receive the solar lights and bring you their stories.

Because of your help, we are sending solar lights so children can do their homework, families can cook with light, and little ones can have a nightlight when the power drops out each night.  We are sending solar lights so together, we'll press officials to end the blockade of Gaza and give families a way to make a living and recover from trauma and war.

It is really exciting to hear how creatively groups are organizing events!  We'll write more in our next message - but first this:

  • Tomorrow, Wednesday Mar. 16th, is the next GlobalGiving Bonus Day Competition.  Our goal is to raise $19,200 to send the next pallet of 1,920 solar Luci Lights.  

  • GlobalGiving will match your donation from 6 AM until 8:55 PM PST, for donations up to $1000.  Global Giving is granting a total of $75,000 and they are matching all donations, all day.

Please, if you can, give again on Wednesday and please ask 10 of your friends to give too. Together, we can do this. We can send the next shipment of solar lights to brighten the future of Gaza's children!

Sincerely,

Donna, Tamsin, Christina, Henry, Andrea, Monica, Kamila, Thai, Fatma, Niveen, Lamia, Laurie, Adam and many more volunteers!

P.S. On Wednesday, all of Rebuilding Alliance's projects are up for matching funds.  Please consider making a 2nd donation to support these great projects too.  To see the whole list, click here.

Ameer says everyone in Gaza City is asking for one
Ameer says everyone in Gaza City is asking for one

Links:

 
   

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