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Issue #1551      13 June 2012

Leichhardt Friends of Hebron – Building bridges not walls

Hebron-Leichhardt 2012 Refugee Week Festival of Friendship

Leichhardt Friends of Hebron is delighted to be able to invite our community to our third annual Refugee Week event. This will be another great day with delicious food, aromatic coffee, music from around the world, market stalls, a photo exhibition, a film, a discussion forum and more ...

Everyone is welcome to this multi-cultural event on Saturday 18 June from 12:00 midday to 8:00 pm at the Leichhardt Town Hall in Leichhardt, Sydney. Although we are raising funds to support pre-school education in the most vulnerable communities of the Palestinian city of Hebron, entry to the festival is free.

Catch a fashion parade of beautifully embroidered traditional Palestinian dresses (1pm) or admire the ceramics just arrived from the Hebron Glass and Ceramic Factory. Every one of these colourful pieces is hand-made then individually hand-painted according to a tradition going back centuries. For those who want one of these beautiful pieces for home or for that special gift, you will find the prices very reasonable and all proceeds are directed to the kindergarten project.

Browse our bookstall with hundreds of new and second-hand books of all types then sit back and relax with a coffee and a snack while our musicians entertain you.

This year our photo exhibition, with photos of ordinary people from Hebron and elsewhere in Palestine, going about their daily lives, has the title Steadfastness to reflect the quiet perseverance of people facing great adversity with quiet dignity.

There is the opportunity to learn more about the situation in Hebron by listening to the speakers in our forum at 3pm. We are thrilled to have such a great panel, with Randa Abdel-Fattah, writer and lawyer, human rights and social justice advocate; Kolin Thumbadoo, South African Anti-Apartheid veteran, former president of the Australian Anti-Apartheid Movement and Ghassan Hage, Future Generation Professor of Anthropology and Social Theory at Melbourne University leading the discussion. The moderator is Antony Loewenstein, the Sydney-based independent freelance journalist and author.

Leichhardt Friends of Hebron is grateful for the support of Leichhardt Council. We would like to thank the Council officers and the Councillors who have been so supportive. We are particularly grateful to Mayor Rochelle Porteous, who will open the Festival and Photography Exhibition at 1:30pm.

Leichhardt Friends of Hebron works to support vulnerable communities in the Hebron region of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and raise awareness of the issues of human rights and international humanitarian law.

Funds from the 2010 and 2011 Hebron Leichhardt Refugee Week Festivals have helped complete a kindergarten in the Um Al Khair community near Hebron, and enabled construction to begin on another kindie in Khasam Al Daraj. This provides opportunities for early childhood education for even more children from the most vulnerable communities in the Hebron region.

To ensure full accountability, all funds raised this year will also be channelled to the kindergarten projects through the registered charity, Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA.  

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