From West Country to West Bank
Palestine Photo-exhibition opens in Bristol in August
Five people from Bristol and Wiltshire visited Palestine ( West Bank ) earlier this year. They were part of a fifty-strong multi-national group of volunteers who planted over one and a half thousand olive trees in the Bethlehem area. The group will be sharing their experiences by mounting a photographic exhibition “From West Country to West Bank” of upto seventy high-quality prints. The exhibition will run from Monday 6th August until Monday 3rd September at the Arts Café, 108a Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3RU.
The exhibition will be launched with an Opening Evening from 7.00pm at the Arts Café on Monday 6th August. Everyone is welcome. Refreshments will be available from the Café.
Opening the exhibition will be two local people with a special interest in Palestine:-
Yazan Abu-Jbara – Yazan is a Palestinian who has lived in Bristol since 2002 and is currently a PhD student at Bristol University.
Stephen Williams MP ( Bristol West) – Stephen is an officer in the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Palestine and is also the co-chair of the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (CAABU). He has visited the Palestine/Israel region on three occasions in the last three years, including visits to Gaza , the West Bank, Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and the State of Israel.
The visit was part of a project called `Keep Hope Alive` which is coordinated by the East Jerusalem YMCA and the Palestine Joint Advocacy Initiative JAI based in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem. The purpose of the project was to give practical support to farmers who face difficulties accessing their land due. The presence of international visitors helps deter settler violence and gives the farmers solidarity. When not planting olive trees, the group met Palestinian organisations and Israeli human rights groups. They had the chance to view the ever-expanding illegal Israeli settlements being built in the West Bank , and to meet local farmers who are being displaced from their land. During their stay they also met local Palestinian families and had the chance to meet the British Consulate in Jerusalem.
When the exhibition finishes in Stokes Croft it will move to the YHA 14 Narrow Quay, Bristol , BS1 4QA where it will be open to the public again for the month of September.