Do you remember our program to help Combatants for Peace build playgrounds in memory of the child, Abir Aramin? Our work is moving forward. Donna Baranski-Walker, Founder of Rebuilding Alliance, and Souzan Jaber, Board Member with Rebuilding Alliance, recently visited the Abir’s Garden playground under construction in Al Samoa Simya! I've asked Donna to tell you more about their trip below.
Also, this past Sunday, Abir Aramin's case was in the news. Judge Orit Efal-Gabai from the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the Israeli state was responsible for the death of Abir Aramin and must pay her family compensation: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/26/israel-pay-family-compensation-palestinian-girl In the trial, one of the first questions the Judge had asked of her family is why they choose to build playgrounds in memory of their child, Abir. Our playgrounds provide a beautiful and living memorial, a commitment to justice, tolerance, and understanding, and a venue to bring Combatants for Peace to meet with children.
Thank you once again for your generous contribution! None of this would be possible without your donations.
Rudolfo San Miguel
Social Media Coordinator
Dear Global Giving Donor,
Souzan Jaber, Rebuilding Alliance Board Member and I recently visited the Palestinian village of Al Samoa Simya where Combatants for Peace is now in stage 3 of constructing the playground, Abir’s Garden: a Safe Place to Grow.
Al Samoa Simya is near the southern-most tip of the West Bank. To get there from Ramallah, one must go around Jerusalem, adding another hour to a 2 hour trip. We were lucky to travel with Khalil Saadeh in his pick-up truck on a very hot day, up and down steep back-roads. We were traveling on Sep. 8th, just after Ramadan, crossing through areas A, B, and C. Sometime the roads were closed by Israeli soldiers. We were often passing armored jeeps. Later we learned that the Israeli Army demolished a group of homes near Al Samoa that day.
Yusri, our primary Palestinian coordinator from Combatants for Peace (C4P) was away in England with Israeli coodinator Yaniv, both part of a 16 member team of C4P members invited to participate in a conflict resolution program and speaking tour. Mohamed Amer, a C4P member and teacher at a nearby school, joined us at the playground and introduced us to the staff and children.
It was great to see the new playground equipment in use! Your donations have paid for the landscaping and will pay for the materials and installation of shade awnings and small fountain in Stages 3 and 4 of this project. The playground equipment in Stage 2 was provided by an extra grant from Playgrounds for Palestine. Very exciting and sincerely appreciated!
The Combatants for Peace teams (both Palestinians and Israelis) will be meeting at the Al Samoa Simya kindergarten for a team meeting, then to help complete playground installation, and lastly to hold a formal opening ceremony. Soon, we will ask you to invite your Senators and Representative to join them for the big day.
Please do feel free to give me a call if you have suggestions or questions.
Founder and Executive Director
650 325 4663
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