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The Olive Press

A connection to our Palestinian homeland spanning generations

Sep 17, 2019

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The paternal side of my family comes from Palestine. My great grandparents, who were from Nazareth, sent two of their sons to live in the United States in the early 1900s in order to avoid conscription into the Turkish army – as Palestine was then part of the Ottomon Empire. One of those sons was…

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My aunt inspired my life-long support for the Palestinian cause

Sep 10, 2019

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I grew up in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. My maternal aunt, Elizabeth Post, came to stay with our family every two years on ‘home leave’ when she was on vacation from her State Department jobs, often overseas. She worked in Beirut, Lebanon for eight years with UNRWA as secretary to the director of that…

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A Celebration of Life

by Anera

Aug 15, 2019

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In 1948, 17-year-old Hassan Ahmad Hassan and his family became refugees. They were forced to leave their home in Caesarea, a Palestinian town in what is now northern Israel, with little more than the clothes on their backs. Soon thereafter, his father passed away and left him the young patriarch of his family. Despite all…

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Hope Competition: Crafting Violins to Support Syrian Refugees

Mar 27, 2019

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Late last fall, Marios Pavlou, a third-year student at The Newark School of Violin Making in the UK, reached out to Anera with a unique proposition: his school wanted to donate the proceeds from their instrument-building competition. The Newark School wanted sales of the instruments to support an organization working with Syrian refugees. Pavlou, originally…

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Following the Philanthropic Example Set by My Family

Mar 6, 2019

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I’m a Palestinian-American born and raised in the city of Anabta, in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank. Anabta, known for its vast olive groves, and recognized for its highly educated residents and their contributions in the arts, literature and sciences, is in the northern West Bank, on the main highway between Nablus…

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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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