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Palestine Week

From November 29, 2021 until December 05, 2021Check dates, times and entry conditions for each activity.
Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid (at Calle Alcalá, 62) Check dates, times and entry conditions for each activity.

In order to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, held each year on November 29, we are organizing a full schedule of activities. 

Since 1977, on November 29 of each year, the UN has commemorated the  International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This date was selected because of its importance to the Palestinian people, given that three decades earlier, on that same date in 1947, the United Nations General Assembly enacted Resolution 181, which later came to be known as the “Partition Resolution,” in which the creation of a “Jewish State” and an “Arab State” in Palestine were stipulated, with Jerusalem as an international city. Of the two states foreseen in that resolution, up to now only one has been created: Israel. This anniversary allows the international community to focus its attention on the fact that the Palestine issue has not yet been resolved.

The schedule of activities that we have organized on this occasion includes:

- Wednesday, December 1: Screening of the documentary “Condemned in Gaza,” by Ana Alba and Beatriz Lecumberri, with a debate afterwards.

- As of Monday, November 29: Exhibition titled “Feeling Gaza,” by photographer Mahmoud Alkurd, organized by UNRWA Spain with the cooperation of Casa Árabe. 

This schedule is tentative and subject to change. Further information coming soon on our website.
Palestine Week
The education (Mahmoud Alkurd). From the exhibition "Feeling Gaza".
  • "The Gaza Kitchens"

    "The Gaza Kitchens"

    November 29, 20216:00 p.m.
    Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 6:00 p.m. Free entry until full capacity is reached. Masks are required at all times.
    In order to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Casa Árabe and Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo have organized the presentation of this book containing a culinary tour through Palestine. It will be held in Madrid on Monday, November 29
    In Gaza, going from house to house means taking a journey through the historic Palestine of yesteryear, savoring the legacy of villages and communities of which no trace remains. The result of field work carried out in 2010 by the book’s authors, The Gaza Kitchens presents home-cooked meals which form a cultural record of the everyday life of Gaza’s people: traces of a history that bubbles up from below, emerging in something as evocative and delicious as a steaming stew. For the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, food is one of the last remaining ways to express their loss, reaffirm their identity and allow their history to live on.
    As the situation has deteriorated over the last decade, it has also taken on a sad role: documenting for the Gazans themselves culinary traditions that cannot be passed on to younger generations simply because families do not have the means to do so.

    This presentation will feature Maggie Schmitt, one of the book’s co-authors, who will be accompanied by Raquel Martí, executive director of UNRWA in Spain, and Sylvia Oussedik, director of the “Flavors of the East and the Mediterranean” collection. From that same day on, along Casa Árabe’s outer fence, you can visit the exhibition Feeling Gaza by photographer Mahmoud Alkurd. The exhibition was organized by UNRWA Spain with the cooperation of Casa Árabe. 

    Laila El-Haddad is a writer, activist and conference speaker. The author of Gaza Mom: Palestine, Parenting and Everything in Between (2010) and co-editor of Gaza Unsilenced (2015). The daughter of a Palestinian family from Gaza, she was brought up in Kuwait and currently lives in Maryland, in the United States, with her husband and four children.

    Maggie Schmitt is a translator and researcher who takes part in various research and documentation initiatives, as well as being an activist and feminist. She currently lives in a small town in the province of Segovia with her family and other animals.
  • Feeling Gaza

    Feeling Gaza

    From November 29, 2021 until March 03, 2022
    Casa Árabe's outer fence (at Calle O'Donnell, 1).
    In Spanish.
    As part of the days devoted to Palestine by Casa Árabe to mark the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, this photography exhibition organized by UNRWA Spain will be displayed on the outer fence at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid. 
    The Gaza Strip is home to a population of nearly 2 million people, including 1.4 million Palestinian refugees.

    Over the last decade, Gaza’s socio-economic situation has been in steady decline. The land, air and sea blockade imposed by Israel after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 has been in place for 14 years and continues to cause devastating effects.

    80% of the population is dependent on international aid. The economy and its ability to create jobs have been entirely overwhelmed, resulting in impoverishment and setbacks for a highly skilled, well-educated society. The unemployment rate is approximately 45%, and the number of Palestinian refugees relying on UNRWA food aid has increased from less than 80,000 in the year 2000 to over 1.2 million at present.

    The extremely high poverty rate has a negative effect on food security for households. The feeling of despair and hopelessness experienced by many Palestinian refugees, particularly youths, is heightened by recurring cycles of violence and widespread insecurity, with negative consequences on mental health and psychosocial well-being.

    95% of the population has no potable water, and the availability of electricity has only just improved from 4 or 5 hours a day to 13 hours a day in recent months. In 2012, a report was published stating that Gaza would be uninhabitable by 2020, but the reality is that Gaza ceased to be a liveable place long ago.

    Through this exhibition, and all five of your senses wide open to the experience, you will be transported to one of the most shocking humanitarian situations in the world. Gaza, Its People and Its Sea. A journey to the heart of this coastal enclave through the sensitive, inspiring and impressive works by artist Mahmoud Alkurd, who has taken his art beyond the limits imposed by the blockade.

    Mahmoud Alkurd
    Mahmoud Alkurd never thought he would be able to see anything beyond the dull, dark, shadowy and very uncertain reality he inhabited in his entire life. At least not until he bought his first camera. In 2013, Mahmoud Alkurd, born in the Jabaliya Refugee Camp in Gaza, Palestine, began to forge a path through the world of photography. Photography taught him that he could choose what to see, and how and when to see it. He is an artist who has created his own reality using a lens. That is how his life was suddenly given a different meaning and once again grew colorful. Mahmoud has held over 36 exhibitions in 22 countries. He has received many local and international awards and acknowledgments, including the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to complete a Master’s degree in Fine Arts, with a specialization in Photography in Rochester, New York.
    Follow him at @mahmoudkurd

  • “Borders and Promises” 
    HayaZaatry_By César Cid

    “Borders and Promises” 

    November 30, 20217:30 p.m.
    Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:30 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached. Mask use is required at all times.
    In English, with live consecutive translation.
    Haya Zaatry, the voice of Palestine’s music scene, will be talking to us about the lively independent culture scene in Palestine and give a musical performance. The event will be taking place on Tuesday, November 30 as part of Palestine Week.
    Through her music, Haya Zaatry attempts to bring back the sense of freedom and belonging she was deprived of. The original songs she performs paint a picture of the Palestinian condition, while also addressing political, social and gender issues. The songs are written in Arabic and sung in the Palestinian dialect, as an act of preserving and at the same time challenging Palestinian identity. Her concert will be preceded by a conversation about Palestine’s lively independent culture scene. This phenomenon has been taking form in several ways: an increase in the number of concert spaces, musical productions and independent movements. These creators, venues, and trends are playing roles in shaping a local Palestinian urban identity through processes of interpersonal exploration, community building and multinational dialogue with the world at large, the Arab region, and the Palestinian people. The talk is based on Haya’s Master’s degree thesis, which sheds light on one of Palestinian society’s many attempts to formulate and conceptualize identity at various levels—social, cultural and political—in a reality that often constrains or eliminates it.

    Haya Zaatry is a Palestinian singer-songwriter, architect and researcher who was born and raised in Nazareth. She is currently based in the city of Haifa. She is a co-founder of “Eljam,” a non-profit community project that seeks to empower and enliven the Palestinian underground music scene. Through her melodies and lyrics, Haya, whose musical education was self-taught, invites listeners to explore the most intimate corners of her soul, while also pushing across boundaries in social, political and gender-related issues. In 2017, she received a full scholarship to take part in the XABACA Project, a month-long artist-in-residency program in Barcelona, whose purpose was to empower and connect female artists from the Arab world. During the project, Haya was featured in “Borders and Promises,” a documentary named after one of her songs and a concert at Casa Árabe, along with Lebanese and Tunisian artists. She is currently working on her debut album, “Rahawan.”

  • "Condemned in Gaza" 

    December 01, 20216:00 p.m.
    Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 6:00 p.m. Free entry until full capacity is reached. Masks are required at all times.
    In Spanish.
    In conjunction with Palestine Week, which Casa Árabe is organizing on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we will be presenting this documentary, followed by a talk with Beatriz Lecumberri and Ana Cárdenes. 
    After screening the documentary, which recently won the Invisible Cinema Festival of Bilbao Award, a discussion will be held with journalists Beatriz Lecumberri (co-director of the film) and Ana Cárdenes. The event will be moderated by Nuria Medina, Casa Árabe’s Cultural Events Coordinator.

    Cancer is a shocking and distressing diagnose to receive anywhere in the world, but in the Gaza Strip it is often tantamount to a death sentence. Since 2007, Israel has imposed a land, sea and air blockade, with the help of Egypt, on this enclave covering approximately 365 square kilometers, home to nearly two million people but separated from the rest of the world, and from all other Palestinian territories: the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This isolation has countless and often unthinkable effects on the daily lives of Gaza’s people.  

    Not a single arrangement or errand comes easy, and things which should be simple turn into roads filled with hurdles which often land Gazans right back at square one. The blockade on the Gaza Strip prohibits commonplace tasks like importing certain medical equipment and treatments, forcing many patients, including a large number of cancer patients, to request an Israeli permit to access the medical examinations and care they need outside of Gaza, if they hope to be cured. 

    “Condemned in Gaza” gives us a closer look at several Palestinian women in Gaza with cancer who cannot receive proper treatment where they live. They are also unable to obtain Israeli exit permits to travel to a Palestinian medical centre in the West Bank or East Jerusalem to undergo the proper tests or receive radiotherapy, an essential treatment banned by Israel in the Gaza Strip. 

    To put a face on these slow and silent deaths, the makers of this documentary, Ana Alba and Beatriz Lecumberri, show us the lives of Nivin, Hajar, Iman, Nisrin and Aisha, five women with different life stories that illustrate the deadly effects of the Israeli blockade and Palestinian political divisions on sick people in the Gaza Strip. 

    Cast and crew 
    “Condemned in Gaza,” directed by Ana Alba and Beatriz Lecumberri (Spain, 2020, 42 minutes). Original language version with Spanish subtitles. Screenplay: Ana Alba and Beatriz Lecumberri
    Editing: Nebal Hajjo, Oscar Sánchez, Sonia Estragués
    Sound post-production: Oscar Sánchez
    Original music credits: Diego Alamar 
    Awards and festivals: The Invisible Cinema Festival of Bilbao Award; finalist for the Best Documentary Award in London, at the Lulea Film Festival (Sweden) and at the International Film Festival for Human Rights in Colombia; official selection at the Human Rights Film Festival in Barcelona and at the Toronto International Women Film Festival. Ana Alba and Beatriz Lecumberri have received the award bestowed by the Association of Catalan Women Journalists, and Beatriz Lecumberri has received the award given by Navarre’s Association of Journalists.

    After the screening, a colloquium will be held with:

    Beatriz Lecumberri. A Spanish journalist, Lecumberri has been a correspondent in Brazil, Venezuela and France for the France-Presse News Agency (AFP), and she has covered the war in Iraq (2003) and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 2002. From 2014 to 2019, she was a freelance journalist in Jerusalem for media outlets such as SER, Radio France Internationale (RFI), Proceso, La Nación, El Confidencial and El País. She won the third Bayeux Prize for war correspondents for her report written during the second Intifada in Nablus, in the West Bank. She is the author of the book “La revolución sentimental,” about Venezuela during the Hugo Chávez era. She currently lives in Paris and continues to work for AFP. “Condemned en Gaza” is her first documentary.

    Ana Cárdenes. A journalist for the Efe News Agency, Cárdenes currently works in the international Audiovisuals Department. She has been the agency’s representative in Jerusalem and Tehran (2014-2020) and a correspondent in Jerusalem, Jakarta and New Delhi (2003-2014), as well as a special envoy to Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Kashmir and Nepal. Over the last decade, she has worked and lived in Jerusalem, the city from which she has covered the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, attempting to understand both societies.
  • Unity and resistance: heading towards a Palestinian transition? 

    December 02, 20216:00 p.m.
    Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 6:00 p.m. Free entry until full capacity is reached. Masks are required at all times.
    In English with simultaneous translation into Spanish.
    On Thursday, December 2, journalist Ramzy Baroud will be giving this conference as part of Palestine Week, which we have organized to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. It will took place at our headquarters in Madrid and Youtube.
    Spring 2021, East Jerusalem: outbreaks of youth violence at the Damascus Gate escalate with evictions of Palestinian residents in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The mainstream international media portray these final days in the month of Ramadan as a supposed “escalation of violence” with political dimensions in Gaza and the West Bank, but also having ties to the Palestinians of 1948 in Israel. These events have given momentum to a resistance movement that seeks change in society, not only against the Israeli occupation and its various annexations, but also against factionalism in Palestinian politics. What is the nature of the new forms of Palestinian resistance today? Who are the main role-players? What are the challenges they face and what are their prospects for success? Within the framework of Palestine Week, Casa Árabe has organized this talk with Ramzy Baroud, editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He will be holding a conversation with Itxaso Domínguez de Olazábal, coordinator of the Middle East and North Africa Panel at the Alternativas Foundation, and Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s International Relations Coordinator.
    Ramzy Baroud is a Palestinian-American journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He has also been editor-in-chief of the Middle East Eye and deputy editor-in-chief of Al Jazeera Online. He is the author of approximately twenty books, which include: The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle (Pluto Press, London, 2006); The Last Earth, a Palestinian Story (Pluto Press, London, 2018) and These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggles and Defiance in Israeli Prisons (Clarity Press, 2020). Baroud holds a PhD in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter. Baroud’s work has been published in hundreds of newspapers and magazines around the world, including The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The Miami Herald, The Japan Times, Al-Ahram Weekly, Asia Times, Al Jazeera and Gulf News.