Webinars from Cafe Palestine

Cafe Palestine Six from Hebron, Jerusalem and Bethlehem

June 27, 2020

Raed Amira, Riad Arar and Rand Shaar,  spoke about social work in Palestine with a focus on responding to the Covid-19 emergency.

Raed Amira who is employed as a social worker by Community Center For Training And Development, and he is working with Palestinian refugees talked about social work with refugees during the pandemic.

Riad and Rand, both from Defence of the Child International (DCI), talked about how they have involved children in this response.

Riad Arar (Hebron) is Director of Protection & Social Mobilisation Programme at DCI in Hebron, and co-ordinator of the Palestine-UK Social Work Network in Palestine. With fellow leading members of the Palestinian Union of Social Workers and Psychologists (PUSWP), Issa Rabadi (Jerusalem) and Raed Amira (Bethlehem), Riad was instrumental in developing the Palestine-UK Social Work Network in Palestine.https://video.wordpress.com/embed/0HUW97EM?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0

Cafe Palestine started with music from Marc Kawwas, a young Palestinian Pianist. He has performed numerous recitals and concerts across Palestine and won many music competitions. He has also performed a recital in the United Kingdom. Marc dreams to become a great Palestinian Pianist, conductor and composer.

Here is a link to Mark’s biography: Marc Kawwas Biography

Marc’s performance was facilitated by PalMusic UK

The Edward Said National Conservatory of  Music is a special fund-raising appeal due to the Covid-19 crisis:https://video.wordpress.com/embed/C1GBzEWg?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0

Cafe Palestine Five from Jerusalem on June 13, 2020

The Cafe opened with music from Mahmoud Abuwarda’s. Here is Mamoud’s story:  “In 2010 I decided to start learning the guitar by chance. My first guitar was a child’s toy, and I was looking for a college or teacher to help me learn, but here in my city, Gaza, there is no music college and there are no guitar teachers. Because of that, I decided to start alone. At this time, I bought some online books and I began teaching myself. After one year I met my first teacher on skype and he was shocked when he heard me play, at how far I had advanced. He was teaching at ESNCM Jerusalem branch. After this the general manager, Suhail Khoury, decided to give me a scholarship to study at ESNCM. However, I could not go because there was no permit to leave Gaza for the West Bank, so we decided to start lessons online via skype. At this time they gave me the chance to work at ESNCM as a guitar teacher. I graduated from the institute after only 4 years (instead of 9) with an excellent grade. I had won many scholarships during my study at ESNCM.”

The music was following by a conversation with Rana Nashashibi. Rana’s talk starts at 14:10 in the video. She is probably best known overseas as the Director of the Palestine Counselling Centre. She is speaking to us as a founder member of the Palestine Global Mental Health Network. However, her role as clinician, writer, lecturer (at Birzeit University for over twenty years), as a leader in the women’s movement and as community activist, is too rich and varied to summarise here.
For further information: http://www.csap.cam.ac.uk/network/rana-nashashibi/https://video.wordpress.com/embed/Jvv6kohw?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0

Café Palestine 4 from West Bank on May 30, 2020


The speaker at Cafe Palestine 4 was Yoa’d Ghanadry-Hakim, who shared her reflections on trauma, the usefulness of PTSD as a clinical concept, and the complexities of working with imported, Western, terminology in the Palestinian context. Yoa’d Ghanadry-Hakim, a clinical psychologist and certified supervisor, is the head therapist at the Palestine Counseling Centre in Beit Hanina and head of the Arab Union of Psychologists. She is also a psychosocial and human rights activist.

Due to a technical problem, we were not able to share the speaker’s Powerpoint presentation during the meeting. We are grateful that Yoa’d was able to proceed without this at short notice. The presentation that should have accompanied the meeting is here:

Cafe Palestine presentation

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Cafe Palestine 4 started with live music from Gaza via Zoom

The music was performed by Seraj Alsersawi on Oud and Feras Alshrafi on Qanoun playing music of Marcel Khalife. Both musicians are associated with the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music and gratefully acknowledge the support of PalMusic UKhttps://video.wordpress.com/embed/ogvNBgWy?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0

Café Palestine 3 from West Bank on May 9, 2020

Weeam Hammoudeh is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Community and Public Health, where she is also the coordinator for the mental health unit. She holds a PhD and MA in Sociology from Brown University, and an Masters in Public Health from Birzeit University. She has an academic interest in understanding how political and social transformations impact health, psychosocial wellbeing, and population processes, particularly in conflict areas; as well as how health systems and social institutions develop and shift in relation to political, economic, and structural factors.

The Mission of the Institute of Community and Public Health at Birzeit is as follows:

The Institute of Community and Public Health contributes to the protection and improvement of Palestinians’ health in Palestine and the diaspora through research, education, capacity strengthening and support for evidence-based policy formulation. Addressing the political, social, biological, and environmental determinants of health, the Institute ‘contributes to the development of effective strategies for health promotion, disease prevention and health services development based on community   participation, intersectoral collaboration, equity, and justice.

The Institute has built up a reputation for contextualizing its research into the determinants of public health, including the subjective and psychological aspects of health, countering the individualizing and de-historicizing nature of Western psychological and medical models. Access to papers produced by the Institute’s staff can be found here: http://icph.birzeit.edu/research/publications

Cafe Palestine 2 from Gaza on April 25, 2020

This is the recording of the conversation with psychiatrist Dr Yasser Abu Jamei, Director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme. Yasser offering a mental health professional’s insight into life in Gaza under the combined pressures of the blockade, and the coronavirus pandemic.

If you can, please donate to the work of GCMHP. The pandemic is impacting on the resourcing of Palestinian NGOs.

Cafe Palestine 1: a meeting place during the lockdown. 

Café Palestine in East Jerusalem on April 11, 2020

We are pleased to share with you a recording of Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian at the debut opening of ‘Café Palestine’ – the virtual meeting place, where Palestinians and internationals from across Palestine and the rest of the world can come together. As Nadera says, ‘social distancing’ is the wrong term – the pandemic is imposing physical distancing, and it is our responsibility to ensure that this does not also involve social isolation. Listen to Nadera describing ‘how isolation became a new tool of dispossession’, here: https://video.wordpress.com/embed/gXNOjyi9?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0