The Sumud Story House
The Sumud Story House is located near the Bethlehem-Jerusalem checkpoint and the Separation Wall around Rachel’s Tomb in north-Bethlehem. Rachel’s Tomb is a holy place annexed to Israel and walled-off, made inaccessible for Palestinians. Initially the Sumud Story House started in reponse to the building of the Wall in the Rachel’s Tomb area in 2003-5.
At the Sumud Story House 3 women groups including a choir come regularly together for their weekly meetings and training sessions dealing with a wide range of social, cultural, psychological and inter-religious topics. The women groups have a mixed Moslem-Christian composition, and focus on community building and developing voices and personal stories on justice and peace. During the summer, they follow an intensive program.
Since 2008, SSH has been involved in activities on women’s rights, women’s stories and the international project ‘Women and Youth against Violence’ – with partners in the Netherlands, Palestine and Iraq. The women of the House have linked up with women in the countryside of the Bethlehem area, especially a women’s center in the village of Walajeh. They jointly dialogued with local Palestinian authorities, police, security people as well as Moslem and Christian religious authorities and challenged them to give higher priority to women’s rights and security. The women are creatively involved in nonviolence vis-a-vis the Wall in Bethlehem, such as the development of a Wall Museum with hundreds of weather-resistant story posters attached to the Wall. In 2016, it coordinated a Wall Information Center.
This program is supported by Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), Haella Foundation (Netherlands), X min Y (Netherlands) and AJ Muste Foundation (US).