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The Olive Press

Determining Our Own Destiny in Palestine and Beyond

Dec 10, 2018

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From the Refugee Camp to the United States I was born in Jalazone Refugee Camp in 1951 (north of Ramallah in the West Bank). My parents came from a village near Lod called Beit Nabala but became refugees along with my grandparents, uncles and aunts after the 1948 war. My family now lives in refugee…

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I have never forgotten this humane and creative organization

Nov 1, 2018

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I was born in Rochester, Minnesota, where my father was a staff doctor at the Mayo Clinic. My mother was from a Navy family. As a young woman she joined the Red Cross at the start of WWII. She was sent to a Naval hospital in Algeria, where she met my father. Her unit followed…

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Honoring my parents by giving back

Oct 4, 2018

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I have lived with my family in the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia for the last four decades ever since we moved there from New York in 1978. We were the first Muslim family in the region. I have lived in the U.S. for the better part of 60 years – but my formative years…

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Blessed in My Activism

Sep 6, 2018

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I’ve been concerned about justice and human rights since I was young. I became an activist after I began raising my children. For me, if people’s rights are violated, if they are systematically impoverished, then there can be no sustainable peace. One of my professors at the University of Wisconsin saw me at a demonstration…

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Three Generations of Support: Our Family & Anera

Aug 9, 2018

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In August of 1967, 50 people from all over the U.S. came to our home in Bethesda, Maryland for dinner. It was two months after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, and they represented the many different committees that had mobilized to raise and send aid to the Palestinians, both those who were suffering under occupation and…

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The Plight of Palestinian Refugees Was Imprinted on My Mind

Jul 5, 2018

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Seeing the world has been my lifelong passion. I started travelling when I was a college student. For some unknown reason, I thought about studying in India but my parents tried to steer me toward Europe. Our minister talked about Lebanon and my parents agreed to let me study at the American University of Beirut.…

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Gaza Block Parties Bring Minnesotans Together to Help Palestinians

Jun 7, 2018

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I am a Minnesota native but my family comes from Qalqiliya in the West Bank. And, though I live 6,000 miles from Palestine, the terrible situation there is real to me. I suspect that all of us who support Anera have this feeling in common. In the wake of the 2014 war on Gaza, I…

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To Whom Much is Given, Much is Asked

Apr 5, 2018

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A little over 15 years ago, my parents’ home in California burned to the ground. I drove up as the rubble was being cleared away and asked the workers to stop so I could rummage through and see what was salvageable. In a small frayed pouch I found all of my deceased father’s documents from…

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I’ve never left that hospital room in Burj El Barajneh

Mar 1, 2018

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I was born toward the end of the Holocaust. I went to Hebrew school, marked all the Jewish holidays, and then went to a Jewish school of nursing. In 1967, I was asked to go volunteer in Israel. I didn’t know much about the politics there, but I heard there were Palestinians who were living…

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Palestine is always close to my heart even if I’m far away

Jan 31, 2018

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When I was a teenager, my father planted a fig tree in our backyard. Each morning he would go out to his garden, his small bustan, to check on his shajarat teen. This was in New York. As you might expect, the poor tree struggled to survive through cold winters and short summers. Yet my father…

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