Taghyeer (Change) Palestinian National Nonviolence Movement
Empowering Palestinian Communities in the Face of Occupation
In 2016, Ali Abu Awwad and Taghyeer Movement co-founders gathered more than 3000 Palestinians in Jericho to share a dream and a vision. "Together, we can build a grassroots movement through nonviolence in action to better Palestinian lives and forge a path to freedom." Since then - village by village, embattled community by embattled community - Taghyeer has been equipping hundreds of emerging Palestinian leaders and activists to build trust and capacity for independent self-development projects in and with their communities. Through asserting nonviolent identity - Taghyeer is combatting despair, fragmentation, and the denial of rights.
By the summer of 2019, Taghyeer leadership and its local coordinators were coalescing around two flagship efforts and a major strategic planning exercise to reach deeply into Palestinian society.
1. "Messengers of Change" -- the core group of Palestinian leaders and activists who are the carriers of Taghyeer's Vision, Mission and Values. Workshops and training equip emerging leaders (especially women) to work with other Palestinian activists to engage with communities on the West Bank to determine their priority social and development needs, to identify responses to those needs, and to implement community self-development projects under the Taghyeer umbrella.
2. "The Palestinian Nonviolence Charter" -- a statement of purpose and identity for Palestinian individuals and organizations, which will be workshopped, refined and signed throughout Palestine. It aims to build unity among Palestinians in support of national nonviolent resistance to occupation.
Taghyeer in the Field: Exemplary Grassroots Partners and Activities
- The Women's Association of Jubbet ad-Dhib organized its isolated village (surrounded by three settlements) to overcome lack of access to water, electricity, education and basic opportunities. Backed up by a Taghyeer-facilitated Palestinian support network, this struggle for services, spearheaded by the Woman's Association, has turned the village into a hub of nonviolent development in the area -- protecting and developing the elementary school and village solar panels; providing a health clinic; and responding to ongoing water emergency.
The Youth of Sumud in South Hebron Hills established Sumud Freedom Camp to bring international support to cave dwellers and other Palestinians in the area, and to offer a measure of nonviolent direct protection to those threatened by demolitions and encroachments. Iftars bringing together hundreds of Palestinians with youth activists and their supporters were organized with the Taghyeer network. Taghyeer activists are partnering with Sumud to develop the Freedom Garden in al-Twani as a hub for community engagement and place of respite and activity for this embattled area.
- The Nablus Taghyeer Group began less than two years ago when a social worker-led group of three women found an outlet for their community activism as they met with Taghyeer leadership. Taghyeer then provided mission development and nonviolence identity workshops, and an action group of more than 50 women and men was built. In this past six months, they've carried out workshops empowering women's stories through photography which were linked to a mass action to begin reclaiming a severely deteriorated Nablus central park and are now identifying potential community greening and restoration projects, and more.
Taghyeer Field Coordinators in 13 geographic areas around the West Bank (among them Nablus, al-Twani, and Jubbet ad-Dhib) are working with the core community organizers in Taghyeer leadership to deepen the impact of the work of the Messengers of Change and the Nonviolence Charter within Palestinian society.
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