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​​Capacity Building Workshop
A space to move within
April 2014



In This Issue

Istikshaf Conference; A new concept and approach for fruitful Regional Meetings!
Jeera Initiative; Learning through Mobility in Marka!
Bi-Karama (With Dignity!); A Palestinian national campaign advocating Palestinians' Mobility with dignity!
As Stories Travel! Theater Readings on the sidelines of Istikshaf's 2nd Conference!

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6 Fares AlKhouri street- Shmesani
P.O Box 940286 11194 Amman Jordan
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Tel: +9722961829 or +972599127223

 About AEF

The Arab Education Forum is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization active in the Arab World in the field of community and youth work . The mission of AEF is to contribute to an Arab cultural regeneration project that springs out of the inherent knowledge and experiences within the Arab societies

Istikshaf Conference; A new concept and approach for fruitful Regional Meetings!

 Lama Jadallah
Istikshaf's 2nd conference was an open space for sharing stories and exchanging experiences directly from the people who lived those stories. Those people were able to make positive changes in their communities and sometimes in the communities that they have visited or traveled to!
Istikshaf's 2nd conference was not another classical regional meeting where you have to put the headphones and listen to endless speeches by rigid speakers! On the contrary, most of the participants, speakers and audience were persons who came to share authentic experiences about the importance of mobility. They were able to get the attention of everybody when they were narrating their stories. The debates and discussions were not separated from reality. Sometimes, they focused on the daily bitter suffering of some people when they just only move from one town to another in their own country! Many speakers and audience related Mobility to the status quo and conflicts of the Arab Regions and their consequences on the daily lives of people and on their rights to free movement.
It was irrational to isolate mobility discussions from the Palestinians situation. The Palestinian people were the first Arab people who were forced to leave their hometowns due to the Israeli invasion in 1948 and 1967.  They became refugees twice, in 1948 and 1967. They are daily suffering from the apartheid wall in the West Bank with all its mobility constraints imposed on them. It was also irrational to keep the discussions away from the situation of the refugees from Iraq and Syria, and the continuous aggression against the Palestinians. Refugees in most cases are not allowed to move freely. Thus a lot of hopes and dreams of creative persons would be lost behind the walls of aggression.
Istikshaf's 2nd conference embraced many inspirational stories. All the speakers enriched the discussions and debates with real personal voluntary experiences, especially in the field of mobility. Fifty countries have accepted the invitation and attended the conference in Jordan. Really there were fifty cultural-background angles looking at each story!
We hope that the upcoming Istikshaf conference will present more true success stories to the world. We also hope that Istikshaf will be again an open space of sharing and exchanging experiences with activists and mobility operators. In addition, it will be a good idea to invite as many young people as we can to enhance all the discussions and debates to be inspired to come back to the next conference and tell the world about true and amazing success stories! 

Jeera Initiative; Learning through Mobility in Marka!

Jeera Initiative (Neighborhood), one of the Arab Education Forum's Mobility programs in cooperation with Greater Amman Municipality, has coordinated a learning tour to Marka district in Amman with 27 participants who accepted the invitation and came to learn more through mobility!
Marka is located in East Amman and it is worth mentioning that East Amman is the historic city centre, and it is more traditional and older than the newer West. Small shops and single-family houses are dominant in East Amman's landscape. It is the hub for the capital's historic sites and cultural activities. 
Marka includes four of Amman's metropolitan districts. The citizens are familiar with North Marka & South Marka as the two main districts of Marka.

 Social workers, individuals and representatives from a number of Civil Society organizations from Jordan and Palestine have joined the tour to Marka, among which we mention:
-          Ruwwad Al Tanmiya: a Non-profit community empowerment Organization – Jabal Annadeef / Amman
-          Heik Ahla Initiative: aims at spreading positive thinking and creativity.
-          Woman Affairs Specialized Library – Amman
-          Almawrid Center for teacher development – Ramallah/ Palestine
-          Sahaab Cultural Center - Amman
-          Tammey Network for Youth development
The tour of Marka started with visiting Mariam Khaddam , a member of Amman City Council, Who represents Marka. Khaddam welcomed Jeera group at her office and gave a short speech about Marka's history, present and the available facilities. Jeera group paid short visits to:
-          Hamza Bin Abdul Muttalib Public Library
-          Hamza Bird Park
-          Al-Rawan Association (A Charitable organization)
-          Fatima Al-Zahraa' Library and Technology center
In each place the participants were provided with information about the activities and services that those centers present to the local society. The atmosphere encouraged the participants to introduce their entities and tell the group about their visions, goals and dreams! And that was a rich opportunity of exchanging experiences and knowledge with each other.
Please click here for the full report of Marka Tour with Jeera Initiative!

Bi-Karama (With Dignity!); A Palestinian national campaign advocating Palestinians' Mobility with dignity!

 Tala'at Alawi, President of the Palestinian campaign for Mobility with dignity has been invited by the AEF to participate in Istikshaf's 2nd conference in Amman, which took place in Mid-March 2014.
Alawi explained to the audience that came from more than 50 countries, the daily suffering that the Palestinians go through whenever they need to practice their basic right to free mobility in Palestine and between Palestine and Jordan.

This national campaign aims at changing the inhuman circumstances at the border crossing points and waiting stations, where the Palestinian travelers face long hours of waiting in the heat of summer and the cold of winter without finding any facility that meets the minimum standards of human dignity.
Bi-Karama (With Dignity) has succeeded in catching the attention of the Palestinian decision makers to the dire need of changing the circumstances of Palestinian travelers especially at the crossing points of Abdo, Jericho and Karama Bridge.   

Awali also pointed to another issue that this Campaign is working on; the Departure Tax that the Palestinians have to pay for the Palestinian National Authority when they leave Palestine towards the only borderline that is opened to them; Jordan.
The campaign has taken legal measures against the Palestinian Ministry of Finance regarding the Departure Tax, for being illegal and against the constitution. The lawsuit is still running and the National campaign is waiting for the second court hearing after succeeding the first hearing.
 As Stories Travel! Theater Readings on the sidelines of Istikshaf's 2nd Conference!

The Arab Education Forum in cooperation with a group of good friends who are basically mobility activists presented an inspirational Theatre Reading entitled: As Stories Travel!, on the sidelines of Istikshaf's 2nd conference. The event was opened to the public and all interested people and took place on the 16th of March 2014.

In a staged reading, three Jordanian activists read real life stories that highlighted the daily anguish of movement for Palestinians in general and Palestinian refugees in particular. The stories themselves were free to travel, whilst their owners for the most part are confined geographically and are forced to endure daily restriction of movement and travel bans. The reading was an attempt to shed light on the real-life stories and hence advocate for freedom of movement and mobility for all people of the world. As they were narrated, those stories became our stories exploring suspended and confined spaces intertwined with the question of identity and belonging and not belonging to a place!

As Stories Travel! was presented at Al Balad Theatre, and lasted for an inspirational 45 minutes!
As Stories Travel was presented to the audience by a passionate team which comprised:

Director: Mais Irqsusi 
Stories read by: Samar Dudin, Saad Darwazeh, Rami Takrouri
Music Selection: Reem Manna
Translation: Serene Huleileh 
Poster: Raouf Karray

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