At the request of the EastEast editorial team, journalist Hala Alsadi has collected a list of Palestinian projects that are united in documenting, archiving, and championing the history of the land and Palestinian people through crafts, architecture, music, the performing arts, and literature. We invite our readers to consider supporting these initiatives and engaging with their work.
Amid calls for international solidarity supporting Palestinian civilians under attack in Gaza, groups of cultural organizations, artists, and writers around the world are joining efforts to launch various initiatives and networks to chant the Palestinian right to freedom. 32 Palestinian grassroots initiatives and cultural institutions have issued a statement responding to threats of withdrawing foreign aid to said initiatives: “Our ultimate aspiration is for the inherent right, will, and ambition of the Palestinian people to have control over our own resources. The determination of the Palestinian organization is to continue work without dependence on aid from any quarter, free and independent in deciding how to use the resources at hand.”
As part of Birzeit University in Ramallah, during the past 30 years the Edward Said National Music Conservatory has strived to nurture a generation of Palestinian musicians. With branches in Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Bethlehem, the conservatory hosts approximately 600 students mastering distinct styles of classical music and aspiring to create significant cultural changes in Palestine.
Rawa strives to support homegrown community-based initiatives in Palestine, with a primary emphasis on education and advocacy. Rawa runs various initiatives, one of which is the Creative Palestinian Communities Fund, which provides financial grants to new initiatives for 48-Arabs and for those operating locally in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem.
The Freedom Theatre, hailing from the Jenin refugee camp in occupied Palestine, is a non-profit organization working in the performing arts. Despite all adversities, The Freedom Theatre aims to employ the arts to uplift the human spirit and unite communities, fostering solidarity and change. Beyond Jenin, the organization extends its outreach to more than 50 other communities throughout the West Bank, providing access to cultural activities for many who would otherwise have none.
IPS is one of the leading non-profit research institutes dedicated to Palestinian affairs in Western academia, specifically in the United States. In 2021, the Journal of Palestine Studies published its 200th issue, covering various topics that concern the nation of Palestine.
Originating in Jordan, the Palestinian Culture Center is dedicated to preserving the heritage and culture of Palestine, especially the craft of embroidery. They support and empower women and their families in refugee camps by helping them become financially independent through their craft.
Operating in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Inaash Tatreez empowers Palestinian women artisans through the creation of exquisite, handmade traditional embroidery in order to broaden their employment and business prospects.
The Palestinian Museum was originally established in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Nakba, to document the catastrophic event that led to the expulsion of over 60% of the Palestinian population. The museum's purpose has expanded over time. Beyond preserving memories, it now aspires to become an institution revitalizing and honoring Palestinian culture. Through innovative programs, the museum seeks to encourage reflection on the present while fostering the imagination of a brighter future.
Founded in 2012, Visualizing Palestine is committed to utilizing data and research to convey Palestinian stories and experiences, aiming to challenge and transform prevailing narratives.
The Palestinian Performing Arts Network is a unified structure for artistic institutions with a shared mission of championing Palestinian cultural identity and emphasizing the Palestinian right to freedom of expression as a fundamental human right. These institutions work collaboratively across the fields of the performing arts, dance, music, and theater, focusing on areas that are facing political, social, and economic marginalization.