"If the olive trees knew the hands that planted them, their oil would become tears"
- Mahmoud Darwish
This will be one of our richest Digital Culture Boxes yet!
We are so excited to bring the country and culture of Palestine. Our staff and board members at In-Sight Collaborative have deep ties to this beautiful place and can't wait to share the often overlooked aspects and extensive history of one of the oldest and most complex diasporas in the world.
Your guides for this Digital Culture Box Experience will be our very own Board Member Mohammad Atrash from Jerusalem, and our Executive Director Madi Williamson who will compile resources and information from our Palestinian brothers and community.
Welcome to Palestine
We first want to orient you with this beautiful country that is situated on ancient holy lands and home to some of the jewels of humanity and civilization. Some of the holiest sites for Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are located in Palestine and pilgrims from all three religions flock to the area if their passports allow.
At In-Sight Collaborative, we believe that listening to the authentic voices of those impacted by forced displacement is the best way to understand the places they come from. Palestine is a controversial topic for many people, mostly because of the dominant narrative in Western mainstream media that goes against majority Islamic nations and in the case of the Palestine-Israeli issue, tends to favor Israel. The Digital Culture Box newsletter includes a study conducted by a Canadian institution that highlights the frequency of this.
If you are coming from a Western dominant background, it is likely that your perspective of the Palestine-Israel conflict will be complex and difficult to understand. We hope that this culture box helps you learn more about the people of Palestine and the very real problems they experience under occupation.
The recent increase in tensions and violence began during Ramadan when residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood were violently dispossessed by colonial settlers whose behavior is supported by the State of Israel.
Since this dispossession began, Palestinians and activists all over the world have taken to the streets, to social media channels, and to the front lines of this occupation to demand the respect of their human rights.
Award-winning Palestinian filmmaker Omar Rammal created this short film to powerfully illustrate the long-standing practice of colonizers forcefully seizing Palestinian's homes.
For those looking for a deeper dive at the complexities of this issue, Trevor Noah provides a new lens that can be used to critically examine this decades-old issue.
"My experience in Palestine was a constant juxtaposition. On so many levels, it felt like a safe, secure, and even pleasant place. The old city in Jerusalem was a mesmorizing labrynth of sounds, smells, and flavors... but there was this unsettling undertone. The darkness and oppression were tangible, as was the arrogance and entitlement of the oppressors. I spent most of my time in West Bank in Ramallah and Hebron, both of which felt like totally normal suburbia in some areas until you reached the checkpoints, the walls, the creeping settlements, and the camps. That was when the darkness and inhumanity of this occupation were exposed. I can't even imagine the daily stress of living under that. Palestinians are truly the most resilient people I know."
- Madi Williamson
The Culture of Palestine
This woven scarf is well known in the Middle East region and has become one of the many symbols of Palestine and her people. But what is the story behind it?
In short, the design has symbolism and pays homage to the homeland: the fishnet pattern to honor the fishermen and the bounty of the sea and the olive leaves for the olive trees common in the region. The color and pattern styles will vary from region to region.