As we embark on the new year, we hope that it will be better than last year. Our definition of “better” includes health- and economy-related concerns for most of us; racial issues are relevant for many. For Palestinians in general and Gazans in particular, oppression and violence have increased while the world’s governments are preoccupied with saving lives – or with political power and influence. Arrests and torture, house demolitions, and destruction of agricultural property have been perpetrated continuously and with impunity by occupation forces and settlers. Vaccinations have begun in most richer countries, but some predictions estimate that it will take until 2024 to bring the vaccine to those who live in the poorest countries. The Washington Post comments, “Few places offer a starker side-by-side example of the gap than Israel and the Palestinian territories,” and WHO stresses that nobody will be safe until all are safe. What does it take to make humans realize that we cannot take anything with us and that we must let our actions be guided by justice, fairness, and compassion?
Every once in a while, TWiP publishes an open-themed issue that allows authors to contribute work that has not fit into recently covered topics. The results can be intriguing, as this issue shows. Gratitude goes to our authors, anthropologist Dr. Ali Qleibo; Reverend Dr. Mitri Raheb, founder and president of Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem; Steven Höfner, the director of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Palestine; co-founder of the Bethlehem Icon Centre Anton Mansour; Roubina Bassous Ghattas, the founder and director general of Pioneer Consultancy Center for Sustainable Development; Dr. Riyam Kafri AbuLaban, school principal and instructional coach at Ramallah Friends School; Jerusalemite architect Sari Khoury; and Daoud Ghoul, whose varied experience includes working as director of Shafaq – Jerusalem Arts Network. We also thank Birzeit University Museum for sharing part of its collection donated by Tawfiq Canaan.
Our special gratitude goes to Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and The Palestinian Museum, the institutions that chose TWiP as a platform to inform readers about their plans and activities in 2021.
Our Personality of the Month is Hanan Khamis, a Palestinian activist who lives in the United States; the Book of the Month is The Other Side of the Wall: A Palestinian Narrative of Lament and Hope by Munther Isaac; and TWiP Kitchen presents a recipe that relates to the article on the historical figures Um Ali and Shajarat al-Durr. Visit the online Exhibition of the Month, The Gift, or let Where to Go lead you to Burj Bardawil near Ramallah. A new feature of the Limelight section is Ahlan Palestine Postcard, where Malak Hasan and Bisan
Al-HajHasan invite you to make ceramics in the village of Nisf Jubeil near Nablus.
The entire team at TWiP wishes you a good start into the new decade,
By Tina Basem