Report on the premiere of “STORIES FROM THE WALLED-OFF HOTEL” A play by Theresa Wolfwood


Cafe Simpatico hosted the premiere of this play at a reading on Feb. 22. 2019/ It was well received and was followed by an engaged discussion.  The audience was given these background notes to help understand the context of the play. We hope you will find them of interest before you view the video and after you will find the resources helpful for action.

Background notes:  Stories from the Walled-off Hotel                                     

The play is set in a hotel recently conceived by the British artist, Banksy in order to encourage tourism in Bethlehem. It is in a dangerous area of Bethlehem, close to the Israeli-constructed wall, near the gate and check point of entry to an Israeli military presence. It is near several refugee camps that have been there since 1948 as a result of the ‘Nakba’. Israeli soldiers often come through the gate and enter these camps, spraying tear gas and harassing and detaining residents.

All the characters portrayed in the play are fictitious. The events and background stories are based on reality; people were buried alive in Nablus; homes and whole villages are continually being bulldozed and destroyed; residents are driven out by force. More than 1.5 million trees have been destroyed by the Israeli occupiers; replanting olive trees and harvesting from orchards are dangerous activities; people including children are killed during these times; others are detained, jailed or injured.

People are killed by the Israeli military during peaceful demonstrations. Israel often takes the bodies of their victims if they can. Roads and checkpoints are closed at the whim of the occupier.

Yes, some Israelis call Palestinians ‘cockroaches’.

This play conveys the strong resistance that Palestinians integrate into their daily life, as they have for more than seventy years. Palestinians believe that living a full, normal and culturally rich life is an essential part of their resistance.

The One Democratic State movement is gaining support among Israelis and Palestinians. They call for a one secular, democratic state with an equal vote for all and with the right of return for the seven million Palestinians living in exile around the world. At this time almost two million Palestinians live as 2nd class citizens within Israel and more than 700,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements with special services and access within the West Bank of Palestine.

The pay is dedicated to all those thousands of Palestinians who have died in the struggle for freedom and independence of their country. The four people named are; Nizin Jamjoum, a fourteen year old girl, shot while standing on the balcony of her family home in Hebron; Ziad Abu Ain a[i][i]senior, minister in in the Palestine Authority government; Aisha al-Rawbi, a woman who was stoned to death by settlers while a passenger in a car driven by her husband; Hassan Iyad Shalaby, a teen-aged boy killed by an Israeli sniper in Gaza.

The play presents Palestinians as human beings with personalities, stories, lives and loves. Palestinians are sumud, steadfast, in their struggle for their rights.

We can support them by telling our government to respect the right Palestinians and to stop profiting from the Israeli occupation/ war on Palestinians.  We can raise awareness among friends and take part in public events as well as respecting the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel.

To view the video of the play see:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkaZNUePMyA&t=105s

Resources for PALESTINE

Websites:

Arab Group for the Protection of Nature  http://www.apnature.org/en

www.apnature.org/sites/default/files/occupiedwb-palest-bk-3-web.pdf

Palestine Farmers’ Union    www.pafu.ps/en        

Palestine Museum of Natural History   https://www.palestinenature.org/

Addameer   www.addameer.org/   ADDAMEER (Arabic for conscience) Prisoner Support & H.R. Association works for child prisoners. Also:   http://nwttac.dci-palestine.org/

Press for Conversion: 2 special magazine issues:

http://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/66/66.htm     http://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/67/67.htm

The Promise -a 4 part compelling drama made by UK Channel 4 available on YouTube

Canadian BDS Coalition:  https://bdscoalition.ca/

BDS Movement https://bdsmovement.net/

BDS In Jordan https://bdsmovement.net/countries/jordan

https://electronicintifada.net/    E magazine current issues in Palestine

BOYCOTT Hewlett-Packard electronics and Hyundai vehicles: both used by Israeli government to enforce occupation, detention, demolition. See: https://bdscoalition.ca/

Preserving culture: TIRAZ museum:   http://tirazcentre.org/en/widad-kawar  

Ways to support Palestine and its people:

https://buildpalestine.com/

Books:

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine:

Pappe, Ilan. THE ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINE. 2007. Oneworld, Oxford UK.
/

Popular Resistance in Palestinehttp://bookreviews.bbcf.ca/2012/10/qumsiyeh-mazin-b-popular-resistance-in-palestine-a-history-of-hope-and-empowerment-2010-pluto-press-uk-usa/

Married to another man   http://bookreviews.bbcf.ca/2013/11/karmi-ghada-married-to-another-man-israels-dilemma- in-palestine-pluto-press-london-uk-isbn-978-0-7453-2065-6/

Canada and Israel: Building apartheid http://bookreviews.bbcf.ca/2012/09/engler-yves-canada-and-israel-building-apartheid-2010-red-publishing-b-c-and-fernwood-publishing-n-s-canada/

The Battle for Justice in Palestine  http://bookreviews.bbcf.ca/2014/05/abunimah-ali-the-battle- or-justice-in-palestine-2014-haymarket-book-chicago-usa-isbn-978-1-60846-324-4/

The Last Earth (and other books) by Ramzy Baroud. Pluto Books

POETRY                                                                                  

Here We Shall Stay by Tawfiq Zayyad https://www.poemhunter.com/tawfiq-zayyad/

It’s also Fine by Mourid Barghouti  from:  Midnight and other poems  www.bookreviews.bbcf.ca/?s=mourid

Hearts:  by Theresa Wolfwood  from:  Love and Resistance. www.bookreviews.bbcf.ca/?s=love+and+Resistance

News sources:

www.Palestinrchronicle.com  www.electronicintifadw.com

https://mondoweiss.net/           https://www.middleeastmonitor.com

Cafe simpatico: lucia morales Celestino

CASC  is fortunate to host this outstanding speaker  Monday March 18, at Fernwood Community Association, 1923 Fernwood Road. Doors open at 7 pm  Presentation at 7:30 pm  

Lucia’s talk will centre on the general political context in Mexico and the challenges faced by indigenous movements.

Lucia Morales Celestino

Lucia is an Indigenous Nahuatl, from the central zone of the state of Veracruz, Mexico, a teacher of indigenous education since 2002. She has actively participated in the foundation of the Democratic Movement of Teachers in Veracruz – MMPV-  and is currently a political leader collective “Totlahtol Yoltok”.

Lucia’s talk will centre on the general political context in Mexico and the challenges faced by indigenous movements. Lucia is an Indigenous Nahuatl, from the central zone of the state of Veracruz, Mexico, a teacher of indigenous education since 2002. She has actively participated in the foundation of the Democratic Movement of Teachers in Veracruz – MMPV-  and is currently a political leader collective “Totlahtol Yoltok”.

Refreshments, Fair Trade Coffee  Admission by donation

https://www.victoriacasc.org/https://www.facebook.com/vcasc/

JAN 25: CAFE SIMPATICO

Mark the date for our first cafe of 2019 on January 25!

1923 Fernwood Road
Doors open at 7
Live Music at 7:30 pm
Presentation at 8 pm

CLIMATE JUSTICE

Slide show and panel lead by Eric Doherty with other speakers, Followed by ample time for discussion and action ideas. Climate change is affecting the lives of many Central Americans as well as Canadians and has widespread global consequences. We can be part of the solution!

Refreshments: Fair Trade Organic Coffee from Nicaragua

Admission by donation   All welcome!

Sponsored by the Victoria Central America Support Committee

www.facebook.com/vcasc  www.victoriacasc.org/

Café Simpatico Nov 30: The Zapatista Movement in Chiapas

The Zapatista Movement in Chiapas
“¡Zapata vive, la lucha sigue!”
(Zapata lives, the struggle continues!)

In 1994, the day the NAFTA agreement became operational, threatening the survival of Mexican campesinos, the Zapatista National Liberation Army staged a 12-day-long uprising. Mexican society shook to its core.

After 24 years of resistance, the Zapatistas remain well organized and continue to protect their Indigenous culture, their right to land and their autonomy.

Music by: Héctor Vázquez, classical musician from Mexico and PhD candidate at UVic.

Café Simpatico
1923 Fernwood Road
November 30
Doors open at 7:00 pm
Music at 7:30 pm
Presentation at 8:00 pm

Admission by donation
Refreshments served
Nicaraguan Fair Trade Organic Coffee for sale

Sponsored by: Victoria Central America Support Committee
www.facebook.com/vcasc www.victoriacasc.org/

Cafe Simpatico: Oct. 26

Real life super heroes and the quest for mining justice in Canada and Guatemala

Cafe Simpatico Oct 26 PosterActivist and MJAC member Kay Gimbel will talk about his trip with Rights Action in June. This was Kay’s second trip to Guatemala and he will discuss the ongoing social justice issues introduced by Canadian mining activities.

Presented by the Mining Justice Action Committee and the Central America Support Committee.

1923 Fernwood Road

Doors at 7pm
Music at 7:30 pm
Presentation at 8pm

Cafe Simpatico: Sept 28

Sirocco: Winds of Resistance

The BC premier of a wonderful Canadian film about western Sahara with the story of two women and their grandmothers, refugees from Africa’s only colony. The film also explains Canada’s role in the colonization of Western Sahara.

Poster: Sirocco Film

1923 Fernwood Road
September 28
Doors: 7pm
Music: 7:30pm
Film: 8pm

Peter Golden and CASC (Victoria Central America Support Committee)|

Peter Golden, founding member of CASC, human rights and solidarity activist, refugee lawyer, friend of many, died July 31. He had lived with cancer and true to his spirit he carried on until almost to the end, engaged and involved in life.

Peter was a constant presence and strength in CASC for more than 30 years. He went on human rights delegations to Central America, met with endangered activists there; helped lawyers and others threatened with death and disappearance. He will particularly be remembered for his hard work for Coca-Cola workers and union organizers in Guatemala. Only recently was CASC with Peter’s support able to help the creation and installation of sculptures of nine assassinated Coca-Cola activists in a prominent place in Guatemala City.
CASC activists will remember Peter’s wealth of knowledge, his compassion for the oppressed, his reasoned discussion of contentious issues, his positive contributions to organizing our Cafe Simpatico gatherings and his humour and warmth.

We remember with fond laughter his incredible ability to fund-raise at Café- going through a performance with his wallet, $20 bills and the collection basket on his head. People always responded and gave generously to his appeal.

Peter attended our last Café Simpatico on June 27, frail, but in good spirits. We treasure this last photo taken with some CASC activists and our Guatemalan guest speakers.

We give our heartfelt sympathy to his life partner, Charlotte Bell, his daughters, brother and the rest of his family. They were with him until his last breath.

His steadfast commitment to social justice will continue to inspire us.

We will miss you Peter.

Peter Golden ! Presente!

TW on behalf of CASC planning committee

Photo at Café Simpatico, June 27, 2018: Peter standing tall 2nd from left in back row. We are wearing photos of murdered and disappeared people in Guatemala.

Café Simpatico June 27

Doors open at 7 pm
We welcome back Nedjo Rogers as our musician for this evening at 7:30 pm
1923 Fernwood Road
Presentation at 8 pm:

SIN MIEDO (Fearless)
A documentary film by Claudio Zulian

About Guatemala’s military diaries and popular resistance with the filmmaker on tour in Canada
Made in 2017: 75 minutes long. Spanish & English sub-titles. Discussion to follow.

Refreshments: Admission by donation
The Victoria Central America Support Committee
https://www.facebook.com/vcasc/ & https://www.victoriacasc.org/

Cafe Simpatico: Honduras Today

April 27, 2018
1923 Fernwood Road
7:00pm Doors
7:30pm Music by Peach Guevara
8:00pm Speakers

Speakers:

Kay Gimbel, CASC and MJAC activist who wen to Honduras on a Rights Action delegation and presented his findings at Cafe Simpatico in 2017.

Bill Feyrer, lives in Victoria and he will have just returned from one of many trips to Honduras where he works with market women and micro-economies.

Phil Little: Nanaimo activist who since 2013 has been traveling to Honduras to accompany Fr. Melo, director of a radio station and a human rights centre.

Refreshments: Fair Trade organic coffee
Admission by donation, all welcome.

Presented  by the  Victoria Central America Support Committee and the Mining Justice Action Committee.