Through our football tour, we made links with some organisations and individuals who share a similar vision of peace and justice in Palestine. Below you can find information about them.
Hebron International Resource Network (HIRN)
Hebron International Resource Network (HIRN) was formed in 2011 by Hamed Qawasmeh. Hamed and some Scandinavian associates identified gaps in supporting Palestinian people within the areas of research, information, exchanges, and on the ground work in Hebron and the South West Bank. HIRN aims to protect Palestinian communities from harm and help people to survive under the brutalities of occupation. HIRN also brings individuals who resist the occupation together from all over the world and provides a base for learning, networking, and action.
HIRN reacts to what is happening on the ground with efficiency and practical solutions. Since its conception, the organisation has dealt with relentless cases of human rights abuses with bold and forward thinking action in the Hebron and South West Bank area. The following list are some of HIRN’s recent responses:
- Provided tents to families whose homes have been demolished, and supplied tools and volunteers to clear rubble from house demolition sites.
- Provided fire extinguishers to Palestinian families who have had Molotov cocktails thrown at their homes.
- Supplied thyme seedlings to communities, the cultivation of which provides vital income in the face of jeapordisation of traditional income sources.
- Built a kindergarten in the Old City of Hebron for Palestinian children and provided chaperones for children to get to school without harm from Israeli settlers.
Women in Hebron- A Palestinian Women’s Embroidery Cooperative
We had the pleasure of visiting this resourceful and motivated group of women in Idna, a mid-sized Palestinian city of around 25,000 people, located to the southwest of Hebron in the West Bank. They are part of Women in Hebron, a Palestinian not for profit fair trade cooperative under the Idna Cooperative Association for Embroidery and Handicrafts. The Association wanted to provide women in Hebron district the resources to provide for themselves and their families through the production and sales of Palestinian handicraft items. Women in Hebron was formed in 2005 when their founder and director, Nawal Slemiah, began selling items in the Old City souq (market) of Hebron in the occupied H2 sector, a short distance from the Ibrahimi Mosque. Since then, Women in Hebron has grown from a small table along the main thoroughfare of the market to a permanent fixture in the Old City.
The success of the initiative has meant that the The Idna Cooperative Association has been able to open a small community centre in the village of Idna, where members of the association can gather together to do their work, take part in educational programs, and socialize with their peers. We were welcomed to the centre with hospitality and warmth, and had a good look around the products they were making and selling.
Many of the products made by the 120 women from across Hebron are useful items with Palestinian character. The women develop products that reflect their culture and heritage, adapting them so that they can be appreciated by people from around the globe.
The proceeds from sales provide the women and their families with additional income that could not otherwise be obtained through part-time employment. Developing Palestinian handicrafts is more than just an income-generating project. It is in of itself an act of community-strengthening, of honouring the role of women in Palestinian society, and a means to show sumud – steadfastness – in the face of the occupation of Palestine and the harm it has done to the people of Hebron.