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The Gaza Peace Center organizes a workshop on freedom of expression
an article by Ziad Medoukh

Within the framework of its program and its activities carried out in the fields of democracy, human rights, nonviolence, tolerance and peace the peace center of the University Al-Aqsa continues its workshops and its educational work with nonviolence and peace. This is done despite the difficult conditions in the Gaza Strip which suffers from the blockade and consequent enormous economic difficulties.

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On June 12, 2008 the center organized a workshop on academic freedom of expression and freedoms for more than 27 students and coeds of the university Al-Aqsa. This subject touches a very interesting field in our Palestinian context. This workshop was animated by Mr Sameh Ajrami of the Ramallah human rights center and introduced by Ziad Medoukh, the coordinator of the Center, who affirmed the importance of this topic to arrive at a real democracy. This is especially true in our country Palestine, because we suffer from the permanent violations of our most fundamental rights by the Israeli occupying force without mentioning the obstacles and difficulties imposed by the local authority against freedom of expression.

The lecturer began his intervention with a theoretical presentation of the topic. He then presented concrete examples in the framework of our country as well as from other countries. Het also evoked the case of several people, journalists, politicians and intellectuals, who gave their life because of their insistence on the freedom of thought and ideas.

The organizer insisted much on the fact that freedom of expression helps to create a developed society, a free society that respects its citizens and their rights.

The young students were interested in the topic and took part very much with their ideas and opinions in the workshop.

The center of peace plans to organize very soon a peace camp for the children to teach them the principles of tolerance, accepting others within an interactive framework. The camp will be animated by the students participating in the workshops and activities of this center.


Question(s) related to this article:

How can a culture of peace be established in the Middle East?,

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Here is another view of the Hamas/Fatah agreement, sent to CPNN by the Palestinian peace activist, Mazin Qumsiyeh:

People asked me about the latest "reconciliation" agreement between Fatah and Hamas. Most Palestinians here are skeptical of the sincerity of leadership in Fatah and Hamas and most still think these leaders are driven by narrow factional and personal interests than by interest of Palestine; noticeably absent was the popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the largest secular faction after Fatah. Women leaders also complained about the exclusion of women voices and youth were also absent as most of those politicians are my age or older. In my talks (and I give several every week to visiting delegations and local people), I emphasize that people must wake up and push politicians to do the right thing. That is how history changes: via people especially youth and women. Of course, many wish that politicians show some leadership for positive change but we the people have to act. Meanwhile, we have an ongoing slow genocide of the Palestinian people. 7.4 million are refugees/displaced people and that number keeps growing. . ...more.

This report was posted on July 22, 2008.