The upcoming commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Nakba is accentuated by the death of Khader Adnan (who died in solitary confinement after a hunger strike to protest administrative detention) and by tributes to journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was killed by Israeli snipers while reporting. These and other rights violations are largely ignored or, for all practical purposes, condoned by governments worldwide. As Israel advances the surveillance of Palestinians, including the testing of robotic weapons, restrictions on daily lives abound. They impede the rights to self-determination (prolonged occupation), a fair trial (extrajudicial execution of suspects or protestors, administrative detention), education (demolition of rural-community schools, limiting numbers of exchange students and foreign professors at Palestinian universities), and life in dignity (house demolitions carried out in Area C and occupied East Jerusalem, where Israeli settlers can freely expand while Palestinians are denied building permits, or as collective punishment), to name only the most blatant examples. The restrictions placed on the right to movement not only affect persons and goods within the occupied territories and across international borders, thus hampering trade, but also limit the transfer of funds – e.g., PayPal does not allow Palestinians to open accounts – which has repercussions on the employability of those who wish to benefit from the expanding online job market, as many firms use this platform to pay for services received.
Palestinian entrepreneurs strive to overcome the limitations imposed on the local economic ecosystem. This issue highlights some of these efforts and the institutions that engage to support them. We sincerely thank those who chose TWiP to inform about their activities, which contributes to our sustainability! Our gratitude also goes to this issue’s authors: Lina Fattom, the project director of Innovative Private Sector Development (IPSD), and Amany Dahir, the market linkages component lead at IPSD; Alan El-Kadhi, director of Gaza Sky Geeks, a program of Mercy Corps; Kareem Kort and Emil Kort, the co-founders of Byrdbyte; Rateb H. Rabi, managing director of Intersect Innovation Hub; Hani Alami, a Palestinian Jerusalemite telecommunications expert; Yara Abu Meizer, a certified attorney and member of the Palestinian Bar Association; uMake, a coworking space in Ramallah; Flow Accelerator; Feras Nasr, who currently leads the UK Palestinian Tech Hub; Brigitte Baumann, one of the top three Female Business Angels in Europe in 2020, and Laith Kassis, a pioneer in the development of the Palestinian startup ecosystem; Hamzeh Ghosheh, a co-founder of Naviatx; Anan Copty, a physicist and prolific entrepreneur who develops medical devices; Olga Batran, a private-sector development professional; Lama Amr, the executive director of BuildPalestine; and Dr. Faisal Awartani, CEO of Insights for Research Polling and Training. Our Personality of the Month is Rahaf Abu Aishe. Our two books of the month are The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine by Rashid Khalidi and Tales of Juha, edited by the late Salma Khadra Jayyusi. Where to Go takes us to Al-Jalama Botanical Gardens. Enjoy the many listed events.
From the entire team at TWiP,
we wish for more peaceful times worldwide,
The Tina Basem