TONIGHT! at PSU: George Rismawi "On the Ground in Palestine" - 7 PM
A reminder: George Rishmawi, one of the founders of the Holy Land Trust and the International Solidarity Movement, will speak about the situation in the Occupied Territories this evening. He will be joined by representatives from Palestinian trade unions.
"On the Ground in Palestine"
George S. Rishmawi, Palestinian Peace Activist
Palestinian Trade Union Officials
Addressing the Human Devastation Caused by the Israeli Occupation
Portland State University, Ballroom of Smith Hall
Thursday, November 21, 2002
On November 21, 2002 at 7:00pm, Portlanders will have the rare opportunity to hear from an outstanding individual who has witnessed first hand on a continuing basis the suffering of Palestinian children and families in the territories occupied by Israel. Joining him will be a delegation from the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions speaking on how the Occupation has affected employment and working conditions for Palestinians.
George Rishmawi, currently with the Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem, Occupied Territories, will present a lecture in the Ballroom at Portland State University on the topic, "On the Ground in Palestine." The Holy Land Trust is a non-profit organization established in 1998; its purpose is to improve the lives of Palestinian children, families, and communities through programs of community development, peace and reconciliation, and nonviolence training. During his presentation Mr. Rishmawi will bring together the first-hand experience and insight from years of living and working for human rights in occupied Palestine. Along with dodging Israeli bullets and circumventing checkpoints to bring medical supplies to occupied Palestine, he has been working tirelessly for peace through non-violent direct action and through programs of community development. In this regard, Mr. Rishmawi is one of the founders of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which is an organization that engages in direct action in the Occupied Territories with the objective of ending the Occupation. Most notably, the ISM managed to break the siege of the Church of the Nativity during its fourth week by evading the Israeli barricades and delivering food and medical supplies to the 200 captives. Mr. Rishmawi's appearance in Portland is just one in a series of lectures he will be giving in the United States; other stops include Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Texas, and in Oregon he will speak in Corvallis and Salem.
The delegation from the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) consists of three individuals who will bring invaluable insight into the negative effects the Occupation has on labor and the economy of Palestine. Mr. Mohammed Mahmoud Ahmed Saleh is a member of the PGFTU executive committee and the National Secretary to the Legal Affairs Department. He is responsible for PGFTU international relations and is a member of the Palestine National Council. Mr. Saleh has been active in the PGFTU since 1980 and was a member of the Palestine delegation during peace negotiations with Israel at the Madrid Conference. Mr. Saleh develops and implements training programs concerning Labor law (Israeli and Palestinian), union organizing, elections, safety and health issues and technology. He has conducted various research projects including the study of Palestinian unions, labor, women workers, and legal issues. Mr. Saleh is married with four children and lives in Ramallah, Occupied West Bank.
Mr. Abdel Raheem Saleh Abdel Latif Khateeb has worked for eighteen years as the official Representative for the Hotel and Service workers in Jerusalem. He is responsible for the education and implementation of Palestine Labor Law, elections and bylaws. His daily responsibilities include union organizing, collective agreements, addressing grievances and legal issues faced by Palestinian workers (which included Palestinians working in Israel prior to the second Intifada). As a member of the Legal Affairs Department of the PGFTU Mr. Khateeb works with the various unions of the Federation. Mr. Khateeb is married with five children and lives in Aurora, Occupied West Bank.
Mrs. Hekmat Kamal Rateb Elsarraj is a member of the PGFTU Women's Affairs Department of the PGFTU in the Occupied Gaza Strip. The Women's Affairs Department has several main objectives, among them to organize working women within the various industrial unions affiliated with the PGFTU, to develop leadership among women workers within the unions and to encourage participation in building a democratic society in Palestine. The department works to eliminate all forms of discrimination in the workplace, and to promote equal opportunities for women. Mrs. Elsarraj is responsible for representing and working with women in companies, factories, offices, and farms, addressing issues of work safety, discrimination, and other grievances. She develops and implements training programs concerning workers rights, safety conditions, union organizing and leadership. According to Mrs. Elsarraj, women are not members of all affiliated unions of the Federation. These include the Union of Mechanical, Engineering and Electrical workers, Public Transportation and Carpentry and Construction workers. Mrs. Elsarraj is married with five children and lives in Gaza City, occupied Gaza Strip.
Thomas H. Nelson, an attorney with Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, will serve as introductory speaker, sharing some of his recent experiences, impressions and thoughts from his trip to Palestine in September 2002.
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