BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights concluded several trainings within Enhancing Youth Palestinian Refugee Identity, Cohesion, and human rights based approach at the local and international level Project (‘Masaha project’). The project aims to reinforce the connections between Palestinian youth from both sides of the Green Line and enhance their awareness, engagement, and understanding of the right of return. Trainings were held over two sessions with an average of 19 youth participants (10 female).
On 5 April, the meeting included a walking tour between the village of Battir and Wadi Al-Makhror, west of Bethlehem. Battir is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the participants experienced its beauty while simultaneously learning about the history of Battir village. During the walking tour the youth engaged in discussions, especially regarding the very visible Apartheid Wall that goes through the area and divides the land. The youth expressed concerns about how the establishment of the Wall effects the people and the land in the surrounding area.
On 19 April, the meeting was held at BADIL and participants from both sides of the Green Line, engaged in discussions regarding their perception of Palestinian identity. The youth brought up important topics, including what potential actions could be taken by the Palestinian leadership to protect Palestinian identity from the division and fragmentation policies implemented by Israel, in addition to how the youth are being affected by this fragmentation. During the project the youth will produce a short movie and it will address fragmentation. There was also a lecture on how to make a movie documentary, and the youth discussed how to best proceed with the production.
The project is one component of BADIL’s Youth Empowerment Program carried out by BADIL in cooperation with the Spanish organization, Peace with Dignity, and a number of Palestinian Community-based organizations on both sides of the Green Line, in order to provide space for rights holders, especially refugees and displaced persons, to express their rights and defend them.