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Friends of Nablus
and Surrounding Areas

Welcome

FONSA newsletter October 2011

News here of successful recent FONSA projects in and around Nablus. Many of us have been involved over the summer with Palestinians who have come to the UK in friendship. They have been great ambassadors for Palestine, giving first-hand accounts of the current difficulties.

The illegal Jewish settlers have become more violent yet most Palestinians continue with non-violent popular resistance. One example is the Palestinian bid for recognition by the UN as a state, but there are also weekly protests at settlements and against the separation barrier. FONSA promotes a peaceful approach to Palestinian human rights; every donation is a statement recognising the need for self-determination and justice.

Mike Whitehead
Trustee of FONSA

 Newsletter 6 on our website.

Events in November

Four musicians in music room
The four musicians from Nablus

FONSA will be hosting 4 musicians from the An Najah National University in Nablus. They will be playing in London and Dundee during November to raise money for projects in and around Nablus. We hope you will be able to join us at one or other event.




Sing Palestine - in London - 18th November 2011

with An Najah Musicians and Leon Rosselson

An evening of music from and about Palestine.
  Friday 18th Nov   doors open 7pm, starts 7.30pm
  OPEN Ealing, 113 Uxbridge Road, London W5 5TL
  Tickets £12 from Nehad 07759 734 011 or nakhanfar@yahoo.com

Music and Art from Nablus - in Dundee

On or about Tuesday 22nd November 2011 - details to follow

This event is being planned and further details will be available soon.

Recent Activities

Madama schools

September 2011
Construction tractor in playground of school
The Head Teacher shows Jean the new classroom under construction earlier this year at Madama Boys' School Funded by Friends of Madama & Burin and FONSA

More school places are needed as the Palestinian population is growing. It is often difficult to build new schools or expand existing ones because of cost and other constraints. Thanks to generous support from the UK Friends of Madama & Burin, FONSA has been able to help. We provided an extra classroom for Madama Boys School and equipment for Madama Girls School.

The new school year has started and at Madama Boys School, with 210 boys from 6 to 15 years old, the new classrooms are in full use. The head teacher of Madama Boys School told FONSA “The people of the village are aware of the classroom project and praised them very much. They hope to have a better environment for their children to learn in”.

Peter Liddell, co-ordinator of Friends of Madama said “A great big thanks to FONSA for implementing this project. It couldn't have happened without the experience and skills of your trustees”.

Three people standing in classroom
Setting up the new LCD projector at Madama Girls' School. Funded by Friends of Madama & Burin and FONSA

Madama Girls School has 330 pupils (also 6-15 years old) and asked for some much-needed IT equipment The head teacher told us “The equipment has already made a good contribution to the improvement of the learning process in our school. Through the teaching aids such as the scanner and the LCD monitor, teachers consider it easier to explain lessons and handle information to the pupils, and the pupils themselves find it more enjoyable and interesting to learn”.

Madama is a small village of about 1,930 people. It lies south of Nablus and is dominated by the settlement of Yizhar on the hill to its south. And to the north, just beyond the Palestinian village of Burin, lies the Har Bracha settlement.

FONSA has also planted trees in Madama village. We had a very joyous reception from the young people there when we asked them to help us with the planting. We had to be careful on the more remote areas closer to the settlement. Only the older villagers helped and we could plant just a token number of trees with the rest planted in safer areas closer to the village.

Yatma clinic

September 2011

Yatma clinic steps being constructed
FONSA surfaced these steps and provided handrails so this building could become the new clinic for Yatma village

Hastings Friends of Yatma approached us to help with their desire to assist the people of Yatma village.

The old clinic was dilapidated and although a new building had been funded it was incomplete. So they were keen for FONSA to help bring it into service as a clinic. Using money raised by Hastings Friends of Yatma we were able to make a valuable difference.

The work required completion of the steps and providing a safety handrail on either side. Naturally the villagers of Yatma are very pleased that they have safe access into their improved new clinic.

We have also provided an internet connection for Yatma Women's Association which they need to provide much needed access to information and friends. FONSA also planted 300 olive trees in Yatma.

Ros Meadow from Hastings Friends of Yatma said “we are immensely grateful for your continued support with organising and helping implement our projects, as well as fund sharing in others. We couldn't have done it without you.”.

The village is sited quite a long way from Nablus but very close to the settlements of Kfar Tappuah and Rechelim. Recently you might have heard that settlers have attacked the mosque in Yatma – scrawling abusive graffiti on its walls. Settlers also stone Palestinian vehicles in the area.

Fundraising

Dundee Cyclathon 2011

Raising money for FONSA
Cyclists at end of their ride
26 miles raising over £400 for FONSA
Three trustees of FONSA took time off from our annual strategic planning meeting to cycle 26 miles on the Dundee Cyclathon 2011. They raised over £400 so far and enjoyed the ride - particularly because the threatened rain and hurricane winds did not come.

We hope others will do sponsored events or other fundraising activities to benefit FONSA. If you can help us, please see our sponsorship page at www.fonsa.org.uk/sponsorship or phone Nehad on 07759 734 011.

Christmas Gifts

Olive and Fruit Tree Gift Certificates - for Christmas

Only so many shopping days left ...

FONSA gift certificate
Fruit tree gift certificate

FONSA gift certificate
Olive tree gift certificate

Please remember our campaign to “Give an Olive Tree for Christmas” when you are drawing up your present lists. These give a practical boost to the lives of farmers and families in the villages in and around Nablus. You send us the donation and we return an attractive gift certificate. You can choose olive trees (£4 each) or fruit trees (£2 each) plus £1 for each certificate you want (each certificate is for just one type of tree). Please phone 07759 734 011
For further details or see our website www.fonsa.org.uk/gifts

Please send cheques and orders to:

FONSA trees
c/o Khanfar
Flat 64, Luminosity Court
49 Drayton Green Road
LONDON W13 0NW

Or you can donate on-line (with a debit or credit card) at the FONSA page on Virgin Money Giving and email info@fonsa.org.uk with the details of your order.

If you have any queries, please phone Nehad on 07759 734 011.

Please remember to tick the "Gift Aid" box if you are an eligible UK taxpayer. It gives us an additional 25% income at no cost to you.

Fundraising CD:
Eight songs on Israel/Palestine by Leon Rosselson

New release from Fuse Records
Cover of Leon Rosselson CD
Cover of Leon Rosselson CD

Leon Rosselson has generously donated the profits from his latest CD to Palestine. They will be split between FONSA and Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Unapologetically challenging and provocative, The Last Chance weaves eight finely-crafted human stories around one of the burning issues of our times: the Israel/Palestine conflict. Songs to move the mind and the heart.

Track list

The Song of Martin Fontasch
Song of the Olive Tree (sung by Janet Russell)
The Last Chance
They Said...
Yafa! (lyrics by Mahmoud Salim al-Hout, music by Reem Kelani, sung by Reem Kelani)
My Father's Jewish World
The 3rd Intifada
Loyal Soldiers         More about Leon at www.leonrosselson.co.uk

Available by mail order, £12 (inc p&p) from:
  Fuse Records, 28 Park Chase, WEMBLEY HA9 8EH

Online presence

Facebook

The FONSA page

You can find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Friends.of.Nablus

Twitter

We are tweeting

You can follow us as @FriendsOfNablus on Twitter

www.fonsa.org.uk

Further updates

We have updated some of the pages on the web site in preparation for transferring to an improved website as soon as we can.

This newsletter is sent to you because you are a supporter of FONSA or have expressed an interest in its work.  To unsubscribe, please send an email to info@fonsa.org.uk with Unsubscribe as the subject.

Correspondence for the Treasurer and donations should be sent to:
FONSA Treasurer, 109 Southdown Avenue, LONDON W7 2AE

Our registered address is:
FONSA, 9 Broad Street, TAYPORT DD6 9AH Phone: 07803 159 231 (or 07761 104 609)

Visit our website at www.fonsa.org.uk or use a credit or debit card to donate on-line

Friends of Nablus and Surrounding Areas (known as FONSA)
is a Registered Scottish Charity No. SC038502