Snöigt nätverksmöte

Trots mycket snöfall och svårt väglag lyckades samarbetsorganisationer i Bosnien och Hercegovina samlas i norra delen av landet i förra veckan. Det var nätverksmöte för organisationerna och temat för dagarna var “Making Achievement Last“. På mötet fanns även flera samarbetsorganisationer från Montenegro och Kroatien.

De tre deltagarna från samarbetsorganisationen CURE: Vildana Džekman, Vedrana Frašto och Jadranka Miličević.

– Det borde inte heta “fasa ut” utan försvinna i etapper, tyckte Rada Borić, när hon berättade om sin organisations erfarenhet om när Kvinna till Kvinna slutade att arbeta i Kroatien.

– Det var verkligen intressant och lärorikt för att få höra berättelserna från Montenegro och Kroatien. Det finns mycket som vi kan tänka på och lära oss i den här processen, berättade Mira Vilusic från organisationen Horizonti.

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I love Albania…

Recently we were having the big days for Albania Independence and Liberation days, in 28th and 29th of November. This year the independence day had much more meaning because of the 100th Anniversary of Independence. Historically independence day, November 28, Turkish rule of Albania was ended with the Balkan War, after which a proclamation of independence was made on November 28, 1912.

Liberation Day, November 29, on this day in 1944 at the end of the World War II, liberation from German and Italian troops was proclaimed. Albania declared independence from the Ottoman Empire 100 years ago, on November 28, 2012 and the government has promised to celebrate it with gusto.

One of the declarations that our prime minister declared was: A mass of 1000 lambs to be slaughtered for the big celebration. After hearing this in news and everywhere in our coffee places, I got inspired to protest with my pencil at least… Here comes in article which I wrote during those days of the celebrations:

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What it means to me!

As a Palestinian who has been living under Israeli Occupation since 30 years of my life, the 29th of November marked an important day for me. The recent vote in the United Nations General Assembly to give the Palestinian authority a nonmember observer state status is a great achievement in the Palestinian struggle. It is such a significant step that the Palestinian Authority took, which is in my opinion should have been taken place since a long time, after we reached to a dead end with the negotiations with Israel and the biggest failure of Oslo accords. The Palestinian people have reached to a great despair and frustration from the situation and the occupation that have lasted for  64 years, which such a step confirms our rights as Palestinians with the boarders of 1967, and the lead to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

It is the first time in my life that I see the conscious of the world become alive and vote positively for Palestine. It was a great surprise to me after all the disappointment that we got from the UN as Palestinians. I could say that, this voting brought a birth certificate to the state of Palestine yet much to go as well.  No longer can Israel deny our right for self- determination, and no longer can they say we have no right for the boarders of 1967.

The UN recognition negates claims of Israeli apartheid and makes clear that all that remains is a rather standard conflict between two states over borders.

Actually, changing the degree of its non-membership in the GA is fairly trivial. The apparent diplomatic victory is itself a consolation prize for the collapse of our  bid last year for actual UN membership for Palestine, which was rejected at the Security Council. The truly historic aspect of the acknowledgement of PA statehood is that it contradicts the repeated tropes about Israeli oppression, occupation and apartheid. Statehood is a precondition of UN membership, not a result. There are no “peoples under occupation” with GA “state” status.

Now the challenge is in front of us as Palestinians, will a real state take place when already we are divided to ghettoes ? Can we put down the apartheid  wall ?? Will we be able to bring all the refugees back ??  When will we have no checkpoints ??  Will the settlers accept to leave their settlements ?? Many questions and problems are still facing us and our president to really have a viable state. Yet beside all that I am still hopeful that one day we will get all our rights and can have a normal life as any citizen in the world.  Long live Palestine!

 

Rana Al-Arja Khoury

 

16 Days of Activism to end Violence against Women and Girls

One of CLA’s messages; Papa & Mama Rape is not a family matter. Report it.

Liberia has since the end of the civil war in 2003 continued to experience high levels of violence against women and children. There is a lack of reliable numbers yet what is clear is that largest majority of victims of sexual violence are between 5-16 years old. Victims are stigmatized and few cases are reported to the authorities. The impunity perpetrators experience is pervasive yet there are those who tirelessly work for victim’s rights and to end violence against women and girls.

Center for Liberian Assistance (CLA) is one of the few safe-homes for girls in Monrovia. Not only do they provide shelter for girls in need they also provide a safe space where young girls from the Paynesville area receive information about their sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In a society where parents do not speak of sex with their children, few youth friendly spaces were SRHR can be discussed exist, and teen pregnancy stands at 38%, CLA provides an essential service for girls in Paynesville on the outskirts of Monrovia.

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En diabildsvisning från Irak

Min första resa till Mellanöstern. Jag har varit med på Kvinna till Kvinnas Mellanösternteams regionala planeringsdagar. Sex dagar i Erbil, Irak. Om en halvtimme åker jag till flygplatsen och hem till ett, tydligen, snöigt och kallt Stockholm.

Jag tror jag helt fräckt tänker låna min kollega Lenas Wallquists sätt att beskriva, som hon bjöd på under vår utvärderingsrunda igår.

Se framför er en diabildsvisning. Bild 1. De kurdiska bergen. Helt fantastiskt vackert. Fåren, solen, bergen. Vi åkte till Shaqlawa och fick prova på Integrated Security. Vilken var en hel upplevelse i sig. Jag lånar min kollega Sofia Zitounis bild här nedan.

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