Maada Creative Center receives the German minister of economic and development cooperation

Ethnic Cleansing – Topic | Settlement Construction – CategoryPictures

Monday, 6 February, 2012 | 23:08 | Silwanic

Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) — In cooperation with the German development corporation, GIZ, and the German Representative office in Ramallah, Maada Creative Center hosted Derick Neebel, the German minister of economic and development cooperation during his visit to Silwan. The Minister was accompanied by a delegation of 35, made up of reporters, GIZ staff, and the German Representative. Jawad Siyam, the director of Maada Creative Center led the visitors in a tour of Silwan including a detailed explanation of settlements, excavations, and tunnels in Silwan. He also provided an overview of the center’s activities in serving and defending the rights of the community of Silwan, particularly children and women. Siyam also addressed the occasional politically motivated attacks against the center by Israeli Authorities, and the increasingly common and unjustified arrest of children, in addition to the collective punishment policy implemented Israeli Authorities including housing demolition, and eviction.

Hajeet Ofran, an activist against settlement activities, also addressed the Jerusalem Municipality’s negligence in providing services to the residents of Silwan and the attempt to Judaize the neighborhood. The staff of Maada provided examples of the attempts of the Israeli Authority to undermine the Palestinian identity of the neighborhood.

The Minister criticized the settlement policy in Jerusalem indicating his support for a two state solution to which settlement activities are a major obstacle. He also remarked on his role in negotiating for a two state solution and freezing settlement activities, especially in Area “C” of the West Bank and in Jerusalem. Shari Kassahun, a development advisor for GIZ who has been seconded to Maada presented a detailed explanation to the Minister on the psychological support provided by the center to the children of SIlwan and their families who are especially exposed to housing demolition, eviction, arrest and violence. Finally, Sahar Abbasi gave a presentation on women’s projects in the center, and their need for a yard to further develop their activities. At the end of the visit, the center invited the Minister for lunch and Siyam presented the Minister with a handmade mosaic flag of Palestine and Germany.

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