Today, Christ’s birthplace and one of the largest towns in the West Bank, is a town coming under siege. This historic metropolis, one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns in the world, has been cut off from its ancient agricultural lands and faces continuous pressure and violence from the occupation forces and settlers, who operate in the area with impunity. The refugee camps in and around the city are home to thousands who are compressed into narrow, dirty ghettoes, surrounded by Israel’s massive separation barrier and ever expanding settlements. These camps face frequent incursions by the Israeli military, which launches violent raids and arrests that have sadly become routine.
Many of the youth and other community members feel powerless as they see a global military power with unlimited international support carrying out a program to “maximize the amount of Arabs on the most minimum amount of land”.
The community here has already developed numerous creative, nonviolent ways to resist their dispossession such as with the Palestine Community Music Rap Workshops, the area’s first “popular theater” (Al Rowwad-”Beautiful Resistance”), coordinating different faith groups around collective action, and civil disobedience against the encroachment of the apartheid wall.
Currently, they are actively looking to expand their nonviolent resistance methods and community coping seminars with musical expression and music therapy. Most of all though, they are eager to connect with like-minded activists and artists in similar communities.
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