Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How Playgrounds will also help the local economy

All the playgrounds that have previously been installed by PfP (and the two that Susie Abulhawa and Sonia Rosen are installing right now in the West Bank) have been manufactured and purchased in the U.S. and then shipped to Palestine. But we have an exciting new model that will soon be in place.

From now on, playgrounds will be constructed in Palestine. Our goal is to have something innovative and unique, and to even be able to incorporate Palestinian cultural elements in the designs. (To see results of a PfP-sponsored playground design competition, click here.)

We will not be buying actual playgorund equipment from manufacturers. In a way, it will be the same process as if we were building a buiding. We will advertise in the newspaper and take bids from local contractors, who will then take the designs and make architectural plans. There are fiberglass and metal factories there that will be used to make molds and pieces and some of it will be made from stone and other natural materials. We are not yet sure where they will get the raw materials. Most likely these will come from Israel because for all practical purposes they control the flow of all raw materials that are not native, like steel and aluminum, for example. Any stone will come from local quarries, as will other natural materials, hopefully.

We are so excited to make this transition in the way that the playgrounds are produced. Not only will we be providing fun, safe, and colorful equipment for children, but we will be helping to stimulate the devastated local economy as well.

Want to help? Consider making a tax-deductible donation TODAY! Send a check made out to "PfP-Madison" to the address to the left, or use the link to give by credit card through PayPal.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Our 2008 Project: A Playground for Jenin!

PfP-Madison is excited to announce that our first fundraising project is to raise $12,000 in 2008 to build a playground in the Jenin Refugee Camp.

This camp in the West Bank — home to 12,000 refugees — was destroyed during the last Intifada and hundreds of its citizens were massacred by the Israeli Army in 2002.

Needless to say, many children have been traumatized (42.3% of the camp’s residents are under the age of fifteen). In addition, since the playground equipment will be produced in the West Bank, our projects will also help to stimulate the devastated local economy.

There are so many ways that the playgrounds will benefit the communities. Please help us succeed!

Send a check made out to "PfP - Madison" to:
Playgrounds for Palestine - Madison
PO Box 5091
Madison, WI 53705-0091

Or return to the home page and follow the link to PayPal to make a credit card donation.


My Name is Rachel Corrie to be Performed in Madison!

PfP-Madison will be tabling at the performances. Come out to see an important play about social justice and commitment, and support humanitarian aid for Gaza.

My Name is Rachel Corrie comes to Madison
Friday and Saturday March 7 & 8
7:30 pm
Orpheum Theater, 216 State Street
Friday and Saturday March 14 & 15
7:30 pm
Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State Street

On March 16, 2003, 23-year-old Rachel Corrie, of Olympia, Washington, was crushed to death by an Israeli Army bulldozer in Rafah in the Gaza strip while attempting to stop the destruction of a Palestinian home. Her e-mails were subsequently published in the London Guardian, catching the eye of actor Alan Rickman and Guardian writer Katharine Viner. Rickman and Viner stitched together Rachel's e-mails and other writings provided by her parents into a powerful one-woman play, My Name is Rachel Corrie.

The play premiered at the Royal Court Theater in London, England in the spring of 2005, to sell-out houses and rave reviews. However, the U.S. premiere at the New York Theatre Workshop was "un-scheduled" amid cries of censorship. The London production subsequently had a successful off Broadway run at the Minetta Lane Theater in New York and since then about a dozen additional productions have been or will be mounted in Canada and the U.S. An Arabic version of the play is scheduled to open in Haifa, Israel on March 16 as a commemoration of Rachel's death. The producers have plans to tour it throughout Israel and the West Bank.

We are pleased to announce that on March 7 a local production of My Name is Rachel Corrie will open at the Orpheum Theater, 216 State Street, in Madison. Rachel's parents, Craig and Cindy Corrie, will join us for opening night and be the featured guests at a benefit fish fry dinner at the Orpheum Lobby Restaurant, beginning at 5:30 pm. The play will also be performed on Saturday, March 8 at the Orpheum. Both shows begin at 7:30 pm. Play tickets are $5.00. Dinner tickets are $25 per person or $40 per couple and include play admission, with net proceeds going to a humanitarian project in Gaza.
On Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15 the play will move to the Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State Street, also at 7:30 pm. A donation is requested for admission.

For more information call 608-906-3207 or e-mail rafahsistercity@yahoo.com
For reviews of other productions of the play, and for background on the play and the Rachel Corrie case, visit www.rachelcorriefoundation.org or www.madisonrafah.org

The script in the form of a book of the same name is available for purchase at Rainbow Bookstore on Gilman Street, and will be available at the performances too.

Susan Abulhawa in West Bank Installing Playgrounds

Susie is about halfway through her 2 weeks in Palestine, and has been dealing with a lot of challenges. If you want to read all about it in her own words, she is blogging during her trip. You can read all about it here.

Great JVP event last night

Last night the Madison chapter of Jewish Voices for Peace had a veggie potluck fundraiser. Over 30 people were there to share and discuss the importance of olive trees, olives, and the harvest to both Israelis and Palestinians. The national JVP goal is to raise enough to plant 3,000 olive tree saplings in Palestine. At only $20 for 3 saplings, that certainly seems like an attainable goal!

Click here if you want to know more about the Trees of Reconciliation campaign.