Monday, 8 February 2016

George reunited with his Palestinian family

In Beit Leed we heard how many of the villagers had refugee status and had fled from the sister village of Beit Leed in the 48 war, then of course, many had to flee again in the 67 war. They had their land seized, many arriving with nothing. Some of those who fled to Jordan returned, but many did not.

We were told how the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation has severely depressed the local economy, with a third of the working population unemployed, sadly graduation from University is two-sided – most likely anyone who succeeds will have to leave the village. The local farmers struggle with lack of access to water. The Israelis can cut off water and energy at any point, and Palestinians have no right to sink wells for their crops, animals and themselves in the local area.  Often during the olive harvest, the checkpoints are increased, hampering this most important economic activity.

Health facilities are very basic, and if an emergency occurs at night, they may be restricted in movement and unable to get to the nearest hospital in Nablus.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

A visit to Pendle

I had the opportunity to talk about my experience of living and teaching in Palestine under the Israeli Occupation. The teachers and the people were extremely hospitable and they made an event so I could speak to the people about education in Occupied Palestine. The event was very successful and the people wanted to hear about it.

Selfie with Marsden Height School

Also, I've been to Marsden Height School in Pendle and I had a great talk with the teachers who gave me a tour around their school. When I return to Palestine, I will be telling my students about my experience and begin with encouraging them to write letters for the students in Marsden Heights.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

A view from Coldwell

The Palestinian students will enjoy this... very different from Palestine.... hope it doesn't rain....

Student project getting nearer...

Last night we met four of the students who will be coming on the June project - Aftab from Nelson, Frances from Bradford, Nabeela from Halifax and Umar from Burnley - and they're really looking forward to it. (They just have to get their end-of-year uni stuff sorted first...)

Everything's shaping up very well for the project which starts on 9 June when the 12 students from Palestine fly into Manchester and meet up with the 12 students from the UK at Coldwell. That's where they'll all be staying for four days before they go to London for the next seven days.

Preparing for the student visit from Palestine

Pendle-Beit Leed is going to be working with CADFA on an exciting student visit from Palestine. The project summary is below and the visit will be in June! Two young women from Beit Leed, Saja and Asala will be among the group. There will be many visits to places and organisations in Pendle during the first part of the visit... watch this space!

The project summary: 'Ma'an: students together' organised by CADFA, funded by Youth in Action

(logo from a previous student visit)

Twelve students from Al Quds and An Najah Universities in Palestine together with two leaders will spend twelve days with twelve students from universities in Britain during June 2013. They will compare their experiences and their lives as students and design material together to make a website that will strengthen on-going twinning links between their student unions and seek to extend this work to other universities.

Before the exchange, the students in each country will use the book of photos made during our last students' exchange ‘Look at our Lives’ as a stimulus to discussion about student twinning links and what they want to do in the project. They will prepare for the exchange by taking photographs and videos and preparing short presentations on their lives and concerns.  This will become material to show the other group during the visit.

The first three days of the visit will be a residential in Lancashire when the students from each country will present their lives to the other group. Together they will meet people from a local twinning group (Pendle) and a different university (Manchester) which will help them decide on themes and content for a student twinning website which they will prepare during the following week. 

The group will travel to London where the British students will show the Palestinians their life in the city and they will work in small groups to make material for the website. They will have workshops in which they can create animated film based on the experiences of the week and designs for the website. The evenings will have a variety of activities with university students from across London.  

The participants will show their work in a public event at SOAS to which a European representative will be invited. The day will include an evaluation of the website, a discussion on ways this can be used to strengthen student twinning links, planning for dissemination of the work and for future work together. Following the visit, the website will be publicised to student groups in both countries and CADFA and student unions will continue to work to develop the student twinning links.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Glimpses of Beit Leed

On Monday evening we (Zeynab and Charlotte) arrived to Beit Leed. We were greeted by Sameeh and Wasfiya and were welcomed into their beautiful family home.

The following day, after having breakfast (which was a feast!) we were taken around Beit Leed village. The walk was lovely, we passed various fruit trees that line the road and admired the view across the valley. The village, despite its slow pace, has lots of character with it's old stone buildings and pretty doorways which are often occupied by women sitting and chatting.

The view across the valley
Breakfast outside with the neighbours

Old stone buildings
We arrived at the Women's Society building and went inside the cool stone buildings to escape the heat. Here we found a small museum area showing centuries-old artefacts for use in the home and working the land, examples of traditional Palestinian clothing and a huge olive mill originally dating back to the Roman era and last used in 1932. Next we moved on to a small craft shop, showcasing the handiwork of local women, and then we headed up to the roof to take in spectacular views of Beit Leed and the surrounding lands.

Olive mill
Products made by the women at the society included soap, tapestry's and jewellery.  

After another feast at lunch, we went on a leisurely afternoon walk into the mountains to see our hosts' land. Fields of sage, beans and almond trees made for a beautiful backdrop for a sit down with the other women.

Our time here has been delightful and we hope that the links and friendships between Beit Leed and Pendle continue to grow and flourish.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Few words about Beit Leed...

Beit Leed (Arabic: بيت ليد) is a Palestinian town in the Tulkam Governorate in the northeastern West Bank located a few kilometers southwest of Tulkarm and west of Nablus . According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistices, the town had a population of 4,994 inhabitants in 2007. In 1922, its residents amounted to 653, and then rose to 1,807 in 1961.
On the map 163.185 and rises from sea level 435m and descended the hill of Beit Leed severe decline towards the south, where there is soil brown and brown soil red on the south side of the hill while descended gradually declining in the two northern and northwestern where spreading soil white and extends the Mount in the North West and Mount Ras al-Shami in the north side of town and the surface of the earth in the same Beit Leed covered with brown soil.
Town consists of houses are built with stone and cement, especially older buildings that are not separated in the center of town only alleys with a round shape or a semi-circular therefore planned town circular radial cross the narrow streets branching along the roads branching from Beit Leed, particularly in the Bank on both sides of the by Saffarin where almost all buildings of Beit Leed and Saffarin coalesce with each other area of ​​the town has increased as a result of this urban growth of "22 acres" in 1945 to more than "150 acres" in 1980.