Best regards from Bethlehem.
In these difficult times for Bethlehem and Palestine, allow me to ask for your support and partnership. International cooperation is essential to our work!
The Arab Educational Institute (AEI-Open Windows) is a Palestinian organization that furthers education, peace building and community dialogue in Palestine. Since 2000 AEI has been affiliated to the Catholic peace movement Pax Christi International.
The AEI programs focus on different age groups and community needs, helping those seeking to improve their technology, writing, English and communication skills, in addition to peace building, non-violence education, interfaith and intercultural dialogue and the development of human rights and democracy values.
AEI is primarily active in the Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah areas of the West Bank, Palestine, with a network of some 30 schools. Its local groups include Moslem and Christian school students (kids and teenagers) and older youth up into their late twenties. We also work with adults involved in education, such as teachers, women and parents. AEI’s supervising board is composed of distinguished community members from the larger Bethlehem area, including teachers and headmasters from a range of schools and universities. We work closely together with Palestinian NGOs on both local and national levels in the fields of education and non-violent activities.
- Among our results to date are the following:
- An active constituency of some 150 youth and women who weekly come together for in-house groups and are committed to work with the AEI.
- An inter-religious (Moslem-Christian) school program in the West Bank in which annually over 1000 students and 60 teachers participate.
- A good professional knowledge and experience with educational practices and methodologies relevant to the Palestinian context, especially with regard to inter-religious projects and international and intercultural exchanges.
- Regular advocacy for Palestinian rights, especially vis-à-vis the Wall, in accordance with international law.
- Annually Summer Workshops and a Sumud Festival near the Wall.
- Willingness to try out new media approaches to communicate daily life in Palestine.
- Development of the concept of “sumud” (persistence, resilience) as a Palestinian symbol which expresses an important dimension of cultural identity – the rootedness of the community in the land and the persistence to keep up hope and rights in spite of the dark circumstances we face.
- A cultural-educational program for visiting groups in which the community stands central.
In these difficult times for the Palestinian community, we are very interested in strengthening the organization and in finding international partners who help us to accomplish our aims. By helping us, you will make a difference in the life of Palestinian youth, women and educators.
Would you be interested to cooperate with us? Please send us a message, and we will respond directly.
With heartfelt thanks.
co-president AEI and head of its Inter-religious Community Program