Newsletter June 2017



June 2017


   — AEI wishing ‘Eid Mubarak’, a blessed feast —


“Recognize Israel as Apartheid State”: A call to the World Council of Churches by Palestinian-Christian organizations


After more than 50 years of occupation, I think it is urgent to raise the prophetic voice of the churches to speak out clearly against “right is might” and recognize Israel as an ‘Apartheid state’. The letter of Palestinian Christian organizations directed at the World Council of Churches, including AEI (see here) is a strong call showing our unity as Palestinian Christians. I urge local and international churches as well as civil society and human rights organizations to endorse the call, not only as a statement but also as a strategy for action in order to end the occupation and find the road to human security, prosperity, justice and a lasting peace. As a mother of three teenagers. I ask for your strong stand and action to help light the candle of hope in my children’s hearts and minds and encourage them to stay on the land, and to have sumud (steadfastness) never to lose hope.


Rania Murra

Director of the Arab Educational Institute

Member of the International Board of Pax Christi International


Here is the letter to the WCC in English, Dutch and German.



AEI’s latest news:


50 years of occupation              

Sumud and Freedom – Art against Occupation, June 5-6, 2017

AEI held public meetings in front of the Wall in north-Bethlehem, commemorating 50 years of occupation. See here, for English and Dutch versions.


Financial campaign                     


About a successful crowdfunding experience in Germany to support AEI’s event near the Wall, ‘Sumud for Freedom – Art against occupation.” See here, for Ida’s evaluation.



Advocacy in challenging environments

Earlier this year, Kate Oliver from the UK came over to AEI to discuss with staff and management how to work on advocacy. Here is an impression of her experiences.


Wall Museum                                


From Bethlehem to Ruhrgebiet: The “Wall Museum” in Essen

On 25/4/2017 Rania Murra, AEI’s director, opened a Wall Museum exhibit in Essen, Germany. A regional paper in the German Ruhrgebiet announces the exhibit. See here.




Reporters of daily life

Members of AEI’s women’s groups and volunteer Ida made photo series about daily life in Bethlehem together with Sibylle Hofter of Agentur Schwimmer (Germany) who made many of her own as well. Themes: official, city councils, occupation, teen killed, teen’s funeral, Christianity, private, agricultural project.




The Wall Cannot Stop Our Stories

At the invitation of the German section of EAPPI (Ecumenical Accompaniment Program for Palestine Israel), Fuad Giacaman wrote an article about its recent work, taking the sumud concept as a starting point. See here for the English as well as German versions.


Blog from Bethlehem


Trump in Bethlehem

The latest blog by Toine van Teeffelen, see here, for English and Dutch versions.


Resources and more


For photos and impressions about the inter-religious school project ‘Citizenship and Diversity: Christian-Moslem Living Together’, see the Facebook page:


As part of this project, AEI compiled a new book with short stories about Moslem-Christian living together collected and written by students from West Bank schools in the Bethlehem and Ramallah regions. See here the complete 130-page book in PDF:


A 20-minute documentary about children’s life near the Wall made last year by Rinske Bosch for Dutch TV (IKON, series Mensjesrechten), English subtitled, in cooperation with AEI and Al-Rowwad in Aida camp:

Helpful for school lessons.


For an overview of AEI’s wall posters, see:


Supported by ArtLab in East-Jerusalem, AEI facilitated the making of two brief animation cartoons, in English, made by Palestinian children from the Bethlehem area:


A 9-minute video about the Wall Museum around Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem:


Heather Kiernan, of Pax Christi UK, made two impressive photo slideshows about Palestine.


  1. What about the children?


  1. Occupied Walls (about graffiti and stories on the Wall in Bethlehem)


Another slideshow on YouTube is about “The Pigeon,” telling a child’s story shown on a Wall story poster


AEI’s annual report 2015-6: The Arabic concept of sumud, literally steadfastness, guides the youth’ and women’s work at AEI:



And further


Join a Journey to Palestine

Comments on journeys organized by AEI:


“It has been a very educational experience which gave me more understanding of the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories.” “I now know, that I didn’t know anything of the situation here at all.”“ I’m very much inspired by the friendly people and their optimism.” – by Alfred Keienburg (67) Essen, Germany


“Visiting the Sumud Story House was the best beginning of a very moving, intriguing week.” “Through the choir we could really feel what Sumud means.” “This trip was so perfectly organised. I was so impressed. The program was amazing.” “This trip was very special and unique, as is the country. Through the AEI we really got a very profound insight.” “It was very emotional and depressing, but with every encounter we heard: there’s hope, there’s Sumud!” – by Katarina (24), from Germany


YouTube video about AEI (4 min), made by Fadi Abou Akleh.


Wall story posters for sale

AEI has story wall posters for sale in the format 24/34 cm.

It concerns the following stories: Bethlehem, Surfing, The pigeon, I caught his hand, Hug, Laundry, Rescue, Stand-off.

For all posters, see:


Youth and women’s stories on Wall posters

Two AEI publications include English poster stories attached to the Wall around Rachel’s Tomb. Price: 20 shekel or 5 Euro, excl. postage. Copies can be ordered via


AEI Website

Visit AEI website for more information.



See Facebook pages

  • Arab Educational Institute (AEI-Open Windows)
  • Sumud House – AEI.



AEI videos.

Palestine-Family net features many visual and written items about Palestinian heritage and history.


Arab Educational Institute

(AEI-Open Windows)



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