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Whats Inside

Letter from Board President 2

Humanitarian Aid: Emergency Aid to Gaza and
Refugees from Syria 3
Maia Project: Bringing Clean Water to the Children
of Palestine 4-5
Community Projects in Palestine . . 6-12
Support for Youth in Silwan, East Jerusalem
Sunrise in Dheisheh Refugee Camp
Palestine Writers Workshop
Rachel Corrie Center Playroom/Let the Children
Play & Heal,
Healthy Food for Schoolchildren/Zaytoun
Womens Kitchen
Freedom Theatre
Scholarships .12-13
Public Education ... . 14-17
Teaching Palestine
Donors, Financials and Other Ways to Give 18-21
Tribute to Pete Seeger 22
And MECA supported trauma intervention in Gaza schools, a
womens cooking cooperative, media training for youth, and schol-
arships for 145 university students
As you look through this report, you should take great satisfaction in all that
MECA has achieved. Your deep concern for Palestinian and Syrian children
and their families makes it possible for them to surviveand even thrive
under some of the most diffcult conditions imaginable.
Eugene Gus Newport
President, MECA Board of Directors
MECA Board President Gus Newport with Barbara Lubin and Barbaras daughter Liz at
MECAs 25th Anniversary Event in May 2013.
CREDIT: S. Smith Patrick
Dear Friend of MECA,
In May 2013 the Middle East Childrens Alliance celebrated twenty-fve years of pro-
tecting the lives and rights of children in the Middle East. This milestone made me
feel a little oldsince Ive been involved in the work of the Middle East Childrens
Alliance for all of the last twenty-fve yearsand incredibly proud of all that MECA
has and continues to accomplish.
In 2013 I saw MECA doing all the things it does best: Responding quickly and ef-
fectively to emergencies; discovering and supporting innovative new projects; over-
coming obstacles to get help to people who need it most; creating partnerships with
organizations and individuals on the ground that are both meeting urgent needs and
building for the future.
MECA expanded all of its core programs last yearthe Maia Project, direct aid,
scholarships, playgrounds, Palestinian community projects, and public education
while the war in Syria and the worsening conditions in Gaza put pressing new de-
mands on MECAs resources.
As a supporter, you are central to all of MECAs achievements. Id like to share with
you some of the highlights of the last year:
Fourteen new water purifcation and desalination units were installed in pre-
schools, elementary, and middle schools; bringing the total number of units to
52, providing safe, clean drinking water to 50,000 children
Thousands of refugees from Syria received free medical care, hot meals, and
basic baby and hygiene supplies.
As Israeli military and settler attacks continued in East Jerusalem, MECA
helped our partner, the Madaa Center hire a childrens librarian and provide tu-
tors and counselors for the many children and youth who have been arrested.
MECA distributed blankets and warm clothes to families in Gaza during and
after the terrible fooding in December 2013.
Three new playgrounds were built in Palestinian villages in the occupied
West Bank.
Emergency Aid to Gaza and Refugees
from Syria
Nearly two years ago, MECA began exploring how we
could best address the needs of people living through
the terrible war in Syria. As we witnessed the enormous
numbers of people feeing Syria and arriving in neigh-
boring countries with only the belongings they could
carry, it became clear that meeting the needs of the
refugees was where MECA would focus. We began
working with community organizations in Lebanons
Palestinian refugee camps that were receiving hundreds
of refugees a day from SyriaPalestinians and Iraqis,
as well as Syrians.
In March 2013, MECA Director Barbara Lubin visited
Lebanon and accompanied staff from Ajial Social and
Communication Center and Child and Youth Center
(CYC) in Shatila Refugee Camp. MECA has worked
with these groups in the past, supporting projects for
children and youth, and providing aid for Palestinian
and Iraqi refugees in Lebanon. After seeing the condi-
tions in the Palestinian camps, and observing the work
that Ajial and CYC were doing, MECA gave them
$25,000 to purchase and distribute bread and rice, milk
and diapers, hot meals and medical visits, lab work, an-
tibiotics and vitamins for children and pregnant wom-
en. We also worked with the DC-based organization
ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) to ship
and distribute two forty-foot shipping containers with
$378,512 of donated blankets, school supplies, basic
hygiene kits, and baby care kits.
If you have any doubt that MECA is up to this diffcult task of getting
aid to refugees from Syria, please remember that Barbara Lubin
personally brought duffe bags of cancer medicine to children in Iraq
during thirteen years of brutal sanctions. Several times she has stood
at the Egyptian border for weeks to make sure MECAs aid got through
to children in Gaza.
Noam Chomsky
In late November 2013, when terrible rains and
the ongoing Israeli blockade combined to cause
massive fooding and shortages in Gaza, MECA
wired donated funds from supporters to our Gaza
Coordinator Dr. Mona El-Farra to provide aid to
families who had to leave their homes because
of the damage and health dangers. A group of lo-
cal volunteers distributed plastic sheets to cover
roofs and windows, powdered milk for children,
blankets, socks, pajamas, jackets, and other basic
necessities throughout the devastated Gaza Strip.
Bringing Clean Water to Children
in Palestine
Five Years, Fifty-Two Water Units,
50,000 children
MECA launched the Maia Project in 2009 to address
one of the most harmful features of the Israeli Military
control and blockade of the Gaza Strip: The system-
atic denial of clean, safe drinking water. The impact on
schoolchildren was initially brought to the attention of
MECAs Gaza Coordinator Dr. Mona El-Farra by stu-
dent parliament representatives at Bureij Boys School
in Central Gaza. They told Dr. El-Farra that they want-
ed to be able to drink clean water at school and asked
for MECAs help.
MECA installs water purifcation and desalination
units in community pre-schools and elementary and
middle schools in refugee camps. Funds for the units
have been donated by individuals or raised by commu-
nity groups in the U.S. and elsewhere. In 2013, MECA
installed fourteen units and added or continued several
key components to the Maia Project: Dr. Said Ghab-
bayen, a Gaza professor of water engineering oversees
the testing of the water and the monitoring of the
units. Safaa El Derawi, also a water engineer, just joined
the project and will make regular visits to all units to
ensure that they are properly maintained and repaired.
She will also continue the Maia Education Project to
teach children about the causes of Palestines water cri-
sis, their water rights, how to conserve water, and how
to take responsibility for the units in their schools.
There was no drinking water in the school but now there is water all the time and I bring a bottle with me to take water home from school.
Student at Preparatory A Boys School
CREDIT: Safaa A. El Derawi
We thank MECA for providing healthy water for the kids. We used
to buy drinking water and often it was salty and we didnt trust its
quality. But now we are certain that our kids are drinking clean and
safe water. Sometimes students come from neighboring schools to
drink from our MECA unit.
Headmaster, Rafah Kindergarten, Gaza

Maia Units Installed in 2013
Name of School Number of Students A Gift from
Maghazi Co-Ed Elementary School A and B 1,693 The Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle
East, Chicago, Illinois and the MECA Bay to Breakers Team
Rafah Girls Preparatory School A 1,357 The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project in honor of Karin Sandvik
Nuseirat Girls Preparatory School A 2,278 Nebraskans for Peace
Maghazi Preparatory Girls School A and B 1,129 Anonymous
Hashem Boys Elementary School A and B 1,900 Norman, Marcella, and Kirsten Pedersen
Nuseirat Co-ed Elementary School A and W 1,800 Constance Bernstein, Marjorie Wright, Ellen Rosser
Jabalia Boys Preparatory School A and B 2,321 The Genevieve McMillan-Reba Stewart Foundation
Al-Shajaia Co-ed Elementary School A and B 1,914 Sahar Masud
Bureij Preparatory Girls School 1,847 The Arab American Community Center - Youngstown, OH
Deir Al- Balah Preparatory Boys School 2,078 All Saints School Students and All Saints Church Community in
Hayward, CA
Al-Fawares, Al Zaitoun 145 Dean Pasvankias and Family
Sindibad, Ghabsan Village in Khan Younis 450 Henry Bortman and Dwayne Schanz of San Francisco, CA
Atfal Khan Younis, Khan Younis Refugee Camp 161 The Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane, WA
Rachel Corrie Kindergarten 332 The Rachel Corrie Foundation
Total Students 19,405
CREDIT: Safaa A. El Derawi
Literacy, Tutoring, Counseling
and More for Youth and Children
in Silwan, East Jerusalem
MECA has been working in partnership with the
Madaa Creative Center in the Palestinian neighbor-
hood of Silwan in Jerusalem. The families of Silwan
have been living under constant siege for many years.
Their land is being stolen under the guise of biblical
archaeology. Israeli settlers have taken over Palestinian
homes and every day they harass and attack children
and adults alike. Administrative demolitions leave
many homeless, and threaten many more. Hundreds of
peopleincluding children as young as six and many,
many teenagershave been arrested, beaten by police,
placed under house arrest, and barred from entering
the village that their families have lived in for genera-
tions. The nearby settlements security personnel and
Israeli soldiers have set up a near-permanent presence
in the neighborhood.
So many children are being arrested in Silwan that the
Madaa Creative Center has developed programs spe-
cifcally to meet their needs. In 2013, MECA provided
funds for Madaa to send counselors and tutors to the
homes of young people who were placed on house ar-
rest andin violation of international lawforbidden
from attending school. Madaa also provides counseling
and tutoring at the Center for children and youth who
are struggling with schoolwork, or have missed school
because of illness or any other reason.
MECA also supports Madaas library and the new chil-
drens librarian Tala Serhan, who says, We read stories
and discuss them and then the children express them-
selves through writing, drawing, and drama. They need to
express themselves because life in Silwan is so diffcult.
The frst time Ali was arrested, he was eleven years old. He was beaten by the soldiers
and held for hours. Later, when he was thirteen, he was put under house arrest, where he
remains today. The soldiers or the police come to check at random hours of night or in the
morning. Ali says, I used to be a soccer player. I love the game. Stuck at home, Im afraid
Im losing my ability to play. I am forbidden to go to school, forbidden to go to the cultural
center, forbidden to go to the soccer feld. Tutoring and counseling are helping Ali stay in
school. And his parents dont feel alone; they feel supported by the community.
CREDIT: Madaa Creative Center
Sunrise in Dheisheh
Refugee Camp
Shor uq, which means sunrise in Arabic, is MECAs
newest partner. The organization is new, but MECA
has been connected to Shoruqs leadership and pro-
grams for more than ffteen years.
In 1988, MECA built a dental clinic in Dheisheh Refu-
gee Camp at the request of community leaders. Since
then, we have had an ongoing partnership with mem-
bers of the Dheisheh community. In 1999, 2003 and
2005, MECA brought Dheishehs youth dance troupe
to the U.S. The funds from these tours helped build
a computer center, a women and childrens center, a
guesthouse, and the camps frst playground. Some of
those dancers, and other young community leaders,
were determined to continue to provide a place where
the leadership of women and youth was respected and
programs were developed based on the needs of the
community. Together they founded Shoruq in 2012 to:
Advocate for Palestinian refugees rights, repre
sentation and demands.
Empower Palestinian refugees in utilizing multi
media to get their messages across.
Improve mental health and psychosocial well
being of Palestinian refugee children, youth
and women.
Provide legal assistance for Palestinian refugees.
Ensure Palestinian refugees participation in the
local economy and development of their com
With a generous gift from one of MECAs major do-
nors, Shoruq has constructed a state-of-the-art audio
recording studio with professional grade equipment
for training and recording. A group of girls took a one-
day workshop in hip-hop and ended the day with a new
song and enthusiasm to keep using hip-hop to tell their
stories. Shoruq is working with the girls to complete
their frst CD.
Shoruq staff and volunteers are developing a program
that will: provide free legal aid to refugee children; work
for reforms in the Palestinian National
Authority Juvenile Justice System; and
build a community of care comprised
of legal and psychosocial professionals,
families, educators, and the community
at large for children in Dheisheh.
Shoruq works to raise the voices of ref-
ugees locally and internationally by par-
ticipation in advocacy coalitions, tours
in Dheisheh refugee camp for interna-
tional journalists and activists, and us-
ing art as an advocacy tool. Shoruq has
two debka (traditional Palestinian dance)
troupes, one for teens and one for chil-
dren, who learn dance techniques that
enable them to express their thoughts,
ideas, and national identity.
Shoruqs guesthouse apartment can
house up to ten people and generates
income for the organization. We hope
you will come and visit!
This is my life the frst song recorded in Shoruqs professional audio studio, was
a collaboration with U.S. folksinger Carrie Newcomer.
Palestinian Kids Write, Illustrate,
and Tell their Stories
MECA provided funds for the Palestine Writing Work-
shops two-part training in February and March of
2013 for youth from Jalazone Refugee Camp. The par-
ticipants learned to create original storyboards, large
illustrated boards of their own stories. Each Friday and
Saturday, they came together at the camps youth cen-
ter to work with a local storyteller/writer and illustra-
tor. The children discussed identity and relationships
to family, community, and the world. They were en-
couraged to fnd their own voices through writing
and illustration. Their beautiful storyboards were used
for storytelling activities in different communities. The
children also had training to help them present their
storyboards in front of audiences of children and
adults. In May, the kids read their stories aloud at the
Festival of Stories and Strange Creatures, which fea-
tured a large variety of art activities from puppet mak-
ing to face painting, and showcased the storyboards
from the children in Jalazone.
The kids read their stories aloud and displayed their work at the
Festival of Stories and Strange Creatures. MECA Program Director
Josie Shields-Stromsness reported, I was so impressed as they con-
fdently read out their stories with emotion and dramatic pauses,
keeping us all engaged!
New Playroom for
the Rachel Corrie Clinic
and Childrens Center
After Rachel Corrie, a young woman from the United
States, was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003 while
trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home
in Rafah, Gaza, the Union of Health Work Commit-
tees named a new clinic and childrens center after her.
The Rachel Corrie Center provides art classes, summer
camps, and a variety of other programs for children in
Rafah City and Rafah Refugee Camp in southern Gaza.
The Middle East Childrens Alliance began working
with the center in 2003, before the building was com-
plete. In 2013, MECA supported renovation and paint-
ing, furniture and toys for a new childrens playroom in
the center that will serve Palestinian children for years
to come.
CREDIT: Union of Health Work Committees
This is not just about toys for kids. This is about the right for children
to play and be in a safe space when so many other things in their life
are not safe. When they hear a plane, they get very afraid because
they think it is going to bomb them.
Rachel Corrie Center Staff

Let the Children Play & Heal
In the beginning of 2013, children in Gaza were still
suffering psychologically from eight days of Israeli
bombing at the end the previous year. MECA worked
with the Red Crescent Society to bring psychologists to
work with individual and groups of children at Gaza
schools. Meanwhile, MECA continues to support the
work that our Gaza partner Afaq Jadeeda is doing to
train parents, teachers and social workers about how to
help children cope with fear and grief. They also work
directly with children, using art, writing, and drama to
address psychological problems.
MECA was able to help send psychologists to
schools throughout Gaza where they worked with
groups of children, all of whom had been terrifed,
and many traumatized by violence they witnessed
or experienced. The psychologists helped the chil-
dren express and cope with their fears and sadness.
Felafel Is Now on the Menu!
In 2013, MECA helped purchase supplies and equip-
ment for a project in the West Bank village of Masara.
A few years ago, a group of mothers and grandmoth-
ers took it upon themselves to replace packaged snack
foods in the village school with healthy, homemade
food, using many ingredients they grow themselves.
MECA Project Director Josie Shields-Stromsness de-
scribes a recent visit:
I sat with Um Hassan over tea this morning and heard
all about the last few months in their kitchen. The women
are now able to make and serve warm falafel sandwiches
for children! This new nutritious snack made from garban-
zo beans is only possible thanks to your support. Theyve
increased the quantity of meat pies because the demand
is so high. Um Hassan tells me many kids know which
days there will be meat pies and they come to school early
(starting around 6:30am!) to get one fresh out of the oven.
The new equipment MECA supporters helped purchase,
including a stove with four burners, a second oven, and a
new mixer and juicer, are all being put to good use!
The bad news is that there is a water shortage in the village.
This is common in the West Bank, where there is an ample
aquifer, but Israel controls all water resources and allows
Palestinians to use only about 10% of the available water.
For the women cooking in Masara, water is an absolute ne-
cessity, so MECA is going to help them to buy and install
a second water tank on the roof of the cafeteria. You can
learn more about Palestinian water rights through the water
coalition that MECA works with at
Zaytoun Kitchen: Traditional
Foods, New Income
Last year, on a visit to Gaza, MECA Director Barbara
Lubin met Jamila Daloul, president of the Zaytoun
(Olive Roots) Association, a new organization in Gaza
City to provide women with education, training, and
income-generating opportunities. A few months later,
MECA decided to support their main project, known
as the Zaytoun Kitchen, a cooperative where ffteen
women grow, make, and sell traditional Palestinian dish-
es and cater special events for urban families and busi-
nesses. Running any business in Gaza is challenging but
food preparation poses special challenges: shortages of
power and cooking oil; Israels ban on many foods and
equipment; the unpredictability of supplies through
the tunnels to Egypt; the destruction of orchards and
agricultural land; and the imposition of strict limits on
how far from shore Gazas fshermen can go.
In 2013, MECA provided funds for salaries, an oven, a deep freezer,
transportation, rent and garden expenses. Ms. Leila, a member of
the Zaytoun Kitchen cooperative says, We were forced to cook in
our homes to complete our orders. This cost us too much and we
had to store vegetables in neighbors refrigerators. We now have
a garden to grow fruits and vegetables, and we can cook in larger
quantities and store foods safely in the freezer.
CREDIT: Leila El-Haddad, from The Gaza Kitchen
New Playgrounds in Old Villages
MECA continues our wonderful partnership with Ri-
waq Center for Architectural Conservation and their
50 Villages Project to restore historic buildings and
revitalize public spaces in Palestine. In 2013, we helped
Riwaq build three new playgrounds for children in
West Bank villages. And we are already working on
plans for two more in villages where families are fght-
ing to stay on their lands in the face of Israeli settle-
ment expansion. The frst new playground in Abwein
village, outside of Ramallah, is a fun and enchanting
maze of playground structures nestled into some of
the ruins from Abweins historic center. Many fami-
lies have moved out of this area of the village in re-
cent years and Riwaqs rehabilitation work on homes
and community centersalong with these great play
areasare part of bringing life back to the neighbor-
hood.The second playground is in a small village called
Nisf Jbeil close to Nablus and is part of the villages
frst kindergarten. The kindergarten will be run by a
local fair trade womens cooperative. In the afternoons
and weekends, when the kindergarten is closed, all the
children of the village can come to climb, slide, and
swing. The third playground in Beit Ur, west of Ra-
mallah, is also part of a local kindergarten run by a
womens organization.
In all of its projects, Riwaq emphasizes local materials
and trains workers in both restoration and new build-
ing. Each project creates immediate job opportunities
as well as the possibility of long-term employment. For
Riwaq, conservation and historic restoration are not
about creating museum piecesthey are tools for so-
cial and economic advancement, creating spaces where
contemporary communities can thrive.
We like having a playground in our neighborhood and were
proud of the way it looks. The playground is very nice and attracts
many kids from the old village center and other parts of the village
to come play here.
Yazan Batta, 13
The Freedom Theatre,
Jenin Refugee Camp
Two Palestinian prisoners shovel sand into wheelbar-
rows, haul their wheelbarrows over to the other side
of the stage, dump the sand out, stumble back to their
piles of sand, and start all over again. And again. And
again. In this production, the sand is imaginary, but the
actions are not: the labor itself is meaningless; it is de-
signed to break the mens spirits. In The Freedom The-
atres adaptation of Athol Fugards apartheid-era The
Island, which toured Connecticut, Rhode Island, New
York City, and Washington, DC in September 2013,
Faisal Abu Alhayjaa and Ahmed Alrakh play men who
have been imprisoned for challenging the unjust laws
of apartheidin this case, the apartheid of Occupa-
tion. While the production is set in a physical prison,
the prisoners real challenge is to survive the intellec-
tual and psychological imprisonment of Occupation;
to fght the ways in which Occupation circumscribes
intellectual freedom, creative thinking, and hope. And
they succeed. The characters use theatre as a tool for
fghting the occupation of the mind; similarly, Alhay-
jaa, Alrakh, and The Freedom Theatre use theatre as a
form of creative resistance. The Freedom Theatre,
declared Juliano Mer Khamis, who ran the theatre un-
til he was assassinated in 2011, is a venue to join the
Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation with
poetry, music, theatre, cameras.
The Island, Athol Fugards two-man play set in an island prison in
South Africa and adapted to the Palestinian scene by the Jenin
Freedom Theater.
White House Correspondent Helen Thomas. MECAs Helen
Thomas Scholarship will be awarded to a Palestinian woman study-
ing journalism in honor of women like Helen Thomas: fearless
women who challenge empire and live life unintimidated by
authority and power.
Credit: Bettmann/Corbis
Investing in Palestines Future
For the current academic year MECA is providing 145
scholarships for undergraduates at ten Palestinian uni-
versities in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.
Two special funds established by MECA donorsthe
Elly Jaensch Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Tree
of Life Scholarship Fundalong with contributions
from dozens of MECA supporters cover, students
tuition and related costs. This year, after the death of
White House Correspondent Helen Thomas, MECA
decided to honor her by establishing a memorial schol-
arship for a Palestinian woman studying journalism.
Meet Nadine Hassan Al-laham,
Recipient of MECAs First
Annual Helen Thomas Memorial
Nadine is a student at Al Quds University majoring in
Media with a minor in Gender Studies at. She travels to
Ramallah in the West Bank and Abu Dis in East Jerusa-
lem for classes. Just getting to school can be a challenge
for Nadine. Like all students who travel to school in the
occupied West Bank, she never knows if shell be able
to get through Israels numerous military checkpoints.
And recently, Nadine says, my university was in-
vaded by the Israeli army, and students were arrested.
Many times, I have smelled tear gas in the classroom.
Nadine lives with her family in Dheisheh Refugee
Camp in the West Bank. She has three sisters and two
brothers. She doesnt see her father as often as they
both would like; he works fourteen-hour days as a cab
driver while her mother takes care of the home and
children. Nadine has always wanted to study media and
become a journalist because she feels that not enough
Palestinian women are represented in the media. She
says, Palestinian women simply receive information
and news rather than making it and being part of it
The media does not adequately cover womens issues
and stories.
Since she was a young girl, Nadine worried that she
would never be able to achieve her goals because of
the walls of Occupation and society and because of
her familys fnancial limitations. Nadine says, I con-
sider myself very lucky to have this scholarship. Its a
relief for me and my family to not have to worry about
how I will pay for my education.
Nadine is motivated to study gender and media be-
cause, The media in Palestine focuses primarily on
political issues and does not usually include social is-
sues, although the two subjects are intertwined. Many
people would come to interview my grandfather about
the Nakba, or catastrophe, of 1948, but nobody would
interview women about what happened. I want to am-
plify the voices of Palestinian women, so that their nar-
rative can be heard by Palestinians and others outside
Finally, Nadine says, I am very privileged to be a stu-
dent at the university and I will do my best to do well
in school for myself, my family, and most importantly,
for those women who do not and have not had the
opportunity to take this path in life. I want to keep the
spirit of the refugee camp and show how women have
played a very important role in maintaining this spirit.
Each semester, I am documenting something impor-
tant about women and refugees.
Nadine Hassan Al-laham, recipient of the frst annual Helen Thom-
as Memorial Scholarship wants to be a journalist because she feels
that not enough Palestinian women are represented and seen in
the media. She says, Palestinian women simply receive informa-
tion and news rather than making it and being part of it. And I have
seen how the media does not adequately cover womens issues
and stories.
I want to amplify the voices
of Palestinian women, so that
their narrative can be heard by
Palestinians and others outside
Teaching Palestine
Preparing and supporting educators to teach the his-
tory of Palestine has been a focus of our work this
past year. MECA Cross Cultural Program Manager
Ziad Abbas, along with Jody Sokolower of Rethinking
Schools, led workshops at a number of conferences for
educators interested in social justice teaching, includ-
ing the July 2013 Free Minds, Free People conference
in Chicago. Opening activities got participants talking
about what keeps them from teaching about Palestine
and why they would like to, Ziad used his own fam-
ily history as a vehicle, starting long before the Nakba.
Then Jody got everyone up and moving, participating
in curriculum linking the Israeli wall in Palestine to oth-
er walls around the world. Attendees all received cop-
ies of the CD Digital Resistancewhich features
Palestinian youth from refugee camps in Bethlehem
telling their own stories. Jody and another MECA sup-
porter, New York high school teacher Keedra Gibba,
did a workshop on Teaching Palestine at the March
2013 conference of the New York Coalition of Radical
Educators. Ziad and Jody led a workshop on Teaching
Palestine through Story at the November 2013 Oak-
land conference of the National Association of Multi-
cultural Educators. Ziad also spoke at a plenary panel
on international issues in education.
Ziad is currently leading a team of educators in con-
structing a website that will serve as a resource for
teaching Palestine. It will include curriculum, articles
about teaching Palestine, and a variety of resources. As
always, Ziad Abbas speaks directly to students at high
schools and colleges and to religious and community
groups throughout the country.
CREDIT: Jay Fineberg
In May, more than two thousand people attended MECAs
anniversary event with international hero and activist/intel-
lectual Noam Chomsky, accompanied by Holly Near and her
Peace Becomes You Band at Oaklands historic Paramount
Theatre. After MECAs 25th anniversary video, Holly and the
band performed an electrifying set, followed by ninety min-
utes of non-stop eloquence from Professor Chomsky, speak-
ing on Palestinian Hopes, Regional Turmoil. In response to
the last question from the audience, Whats your favorite
joke? Chomsky replied, My favorite joke is that the U.S. is
an even-handed broker.
CREDIT: Print by Jos Sances
2013 MECA Events
Raising Funds
and Raising Awareness
February, 2013: Tears of Gaza, a Norwegian anti-war movie
about the 2008-09 attacks on the people of Gaza, as seen
through the eyes of a group of Palestinian children.
CREDIT: Vibeke Lokkeberg
Angela Davis spoke at a beneft for MECA on Palestinian Pris-
oners Day, April 17, 2013 with Ziad Abbas, Palestinian refu-
gee and journalist, and MECA staff. They both spoke movingly
about the connections between political prisoners in the U.S.
and in Palestine. Angela recounted meeting teenagers who
had been arrested on her recent trip to Palestine and about
how Palestinian childrens acts of resistance, including throw-
ing stones, are what children are supposed to do in order to
avoid internalizing a sense of inferiority that Israel would like
to see.
MECA hosted three speakers from Defense for Children Inter-
national-Palestine, a leading international organization that
defends the rights of children living under Israeli occupa-
tion, along with Josh Ruebner, Advocacy Director for the U.S.
Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, who spoke about his
new book Shattered Hopes: Obamas Failure to Broker Israeli-
Palestinian Peace. Available at
MECA showed Welcome to Hebron, the story of seventeen-
year-old Leila Sarsour, a strong, intelligent and outspoken
student at the Al-Qurtuba School, a Palestinian high school
for girls in the West Bank city of Hebron that is surrounded by
Israeli military installations and violent Israeli settlers.
CREDIT: Terje Carlsson
In October, Laila El-Haddad, co-author of The Gaza Kitchen
delighted the audience with a verbal and photographic tour
of Gazas food, traditions, history, and the resourcefulness
of people living under siege. She also prepared a delicious
dagga salad for all to enjoy. The Gaza Kitchen and Gaza Mom,
also by El-Haddad are available at
CREDIT: Jos Sances
In December MECA and Joining Hands, a Bay Area womens
solidarity group, held our annual Holiday Bazaar to showcase
traditional Palestinian embroidery, glass, olive wood crafts,
ceramics, honey, soap, and much more. During the year, you
can Shop Palestine online at Pur-
chases provide income for craftspeople, especially women,
who struggle every day under Israeli occupation to protect
and care for their families.
In response to the last question from the
audience, Whats your favorite joke?
Chomsky replied My favorite joke is that
the U.S. is an even-handed broker.
CREDIT: Laila El-Haddad
Delegations to Palestine
MECA Program Director Josie Shields-Stromsness led
two delegations inside Palestine in 2013: A tree-planting
and educational tour organized by Stop-JNF (Jewish
National Fund) a coalition of U.S. and Palestinian orga-
nizations; and an educational tour for a group from the
Portola Valley (CA) Presbyterian Church. With MECA
staff and local guides, participants planted trees; vis-
ited Palestinian refugee camps and West Bank villages
with no access to water; video-conferenced with youth
in Gaza; explored the old cities of Jerusalem, Hebron,
Nablus, Nazareth, and Akka; and met with community
activists, religious leaders, and human rights experts.
Main street of Hebron, where Palestin-
ians are forbidden. We continue to be
absorbed by and consumed with the af-
ter-effects of last Mays trip. What we had
studied on an intellectual level became
real. Our hearts were now touched, which
cements what the mind has learned, and
which supplies the passion to continue
bringing forth the subject to the uniniti-
Robin Polastri
CREDIT: Gian Polastri
CREDIT: Alex Safron
We had our frst tree planting day in Khirbet Twael, a small
farming village that has experienced housing and structure
demolition and also violence from settlers coming down
the mountain and trying to drive villagers out. We planted a
bunch of trees on their land and 112 signs were made with
different village names on them to commemorate the ongo-
ing resistance to the Jewish National Funds plans to take over
more land. Many people young and old gathered to dig into
the rich earth and put beautiful saplings into the ground.
Alex Safron and Jonah Aline Daniel
There are lots of ways to support
MECAs work!
Matching Gifts
Check to see if your employer has a matching-gifts
program. You may be able to double (or even triple)
your donation to the MECA just by flling out a form.
Workplace Giving
Sign up at work to give through the United Way or an-
other work-place giving program. If MECA is not on
the list of organizations, you can still choose it.
Gifts of Stock
You can make a stock contribution by contacting:
TD Ameritrade
Middle East Childrens Alliance,
Account No. 883111095
*Please Note: If you want MECA to know you are
giving a gift of stock, please contact Deborah Agre.
Neither your broker or ours is allowed to give us your
name. Email: Phone:
510-548-0542, ext. 314
Bequests and Other Planned Gifts
Remember the Middle East Childrens Alliance in your
Attend MECA Events
MECA regularly holds public events with activists, writ-
ers and performers from the Middle East and around
the U.S. All funds from ticket sales and contributions
go toward our work.
Donate your car or other property
Donate for Charity will tow your car, handle all the pa-
perwork, and sell your carwith the proceeds going
to MECA.
Call 866-392-4483 or fll out an online form at www. Be sure to select Middle East
Childrens Alliance from the pull-down menu on the
Make a donation by phone, mail or online

Board of Directors
Sherry Gendelman
Howard Levine
Barbara Lubin
Eugene Gus Newport
Osha Neumann
Michel Shehadeh
Ziad Abbas, Program Manager for Cross-Cultural Programs
Deborah Agre, Development Director
Safaa El Derawi, Maia Project Manager
Dr. Mona El-Farra, Director of Gaza Projects
Dr. Said Ghabayen, Water Expert and Technical Supervisor
Nancy Ippolito, Finance Administrator
Barbara Lubin, Founder and Executive Director
Danny Muller, Consultant
Penny Rosenwasser, Ph.D., Special Events Coordinator
Jos Sances, Art Director
Josie Shields-Stromsness, Program Director
Susan Silva, Administrative Coordinator
Nawal Tamimi, Volunteer Coordinator
Founding Advisors
Sen. James Abourezk
Maya Angelou
Anan Ameri
Dr. Swee Chai Ang
Dr. Fathi Arafat
Prof. Naseer Aruri
Rabbi Leonard Beerman
Prof. Joel Beinin
Jeanne Butterfeld
Prof. Noam Chomsky
Ramsey Clark
Dr. Charlie Clements
Dr. Davida Coady
Hon. John Conyers
Angela Y. Davis
Ossie Davis
Hon. Ronald Dellums
Prof. Troy Duster
Kathy Engel
Samih Farsoun
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Max Gail
Allen Ginsberg
Hon. Jackie Goldberg
Yvonne Golden
Bluma Goldstein
Susan Goltsman
Khader Hamide
Rabbi Burt Jacobson
Hon. Grantland Johnson
June Jordan
Casey Kasem
Ying Lee
Riyad Khoury
Prof. Mel King
Felicia Langer
Jerry Levin
Howard Levine
Ibrahim Abu Lughod
Bill Means
Holly Near
Prof. Hilton Obenzinger
Jack ODell
Father Bill ODonnell
Matti Peled
Antonio Rodriguez
Michel Roublev
Prof. Edward Said
Rev. Gus Schultz
Pete Seeger
Prof. Hisham Sharabi
Stanley Sheinbaum
Samir Totah
Leah Tsemel
Marc Van Der Hout
Alice Walker
Prof. Dick Walker
Sharon Wallace
Hon. Maxine Waters
Leonard Weinglass
Brian Wilson
Leon Wofsy
Tawfq Zayyad
Howard Zinn
Jim Zogby
Program Expenses, 70% 1,077,558.00 70%
Fundraising Expenses, 22% 336,390.00 22%
Administra@ve Expenses, 8% 127,518.00 8%
Total Expenses 1,541,466.00
Program Expenses, 70%
Fundraising Expenses, 22%
Administra@ve Expenses, 8%
The Maia Project 145,996.00 4%
Direct Aid 95,172.00 9%
Children's Project 344,673.00 32%
Medical Aid 201,177.00 19%
The Scholarship Program 190,199.00 18%
DelegaGon Expenses 49,222.00 5%
EducaGon/conferences 51,119.00 4%
Total ProgramExpenses 1,077,558.00
The Maia Project
Direct Aid
Children's Project
Medical Aid
The Scholarship Program
DelegaGon Expenses
Individual donors, 73% 1,302,060.00 73.4%
Delega:ons Income, 2% 31,202.00 1.8%
Grants & Founda:on Income, 3% 47,000.00 2.6%
Income from Events, 6% 100,626.00 5.7%
Sales Revenue, 5% 85,879.00 4.8%
Adver:sing Income, .6% 10,900.00 0.6%
Interest Income, .4% 6,695.00 0.4%
Medical Supplies in kind, 11% 189,569.00 10.7%
Total Income 1,773,931.00
Individual donors, 73%
Delega:ons Income, 2%
Grants & Founda:on Income, 3%
Income from Events, 6%
Sales Revenue, 5%
Adver:sing Income, .6%
Interest Income, .4%
Medical Supplies in kind, 11%
Individual Donors 1,302,060.00 73.4%
Delegations Income 31,202.00 1.8%
Grants & Foundation Income 47,000.00 2.6%
Income from Events 100,626.00 5.7%
Sales Revenue 85,879.00 4.8%
Advertising Income 10,900.00 0.6%
Interest Income 6,695.00 0.4%
Medical Supplies in kind 189,569.00 10.7%

Total Income 1,773,931.00
Program Expenses 1,077,558.00 70%
Fundraising Expenses 336,390.00 22%
Administrative Expenses 127,518.00 8%

Total Expenses 1,541,466.00

Program Expenses
The Maia Project 145,996.00 4%
Direct Aid 95,172.00 9%
Childrens Projects 344,673.00 32%
Medical Aid 201,177.00 19%
The Scholarship Program 190,199.00 18%
Delegation Expenses 49,222.00 5%
Education/Conferences 51,119.00 4%

Total Program Expenses 1,077,558.00
Revenue and Expenses
January 1, 2013December 31, 2013
So Long, Its Been
Good to Know You
MECA Remembers Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger sang, played, and worked for peace and jus-
tice his whole long life. He died at the age of 94 on Jan-
uary 27, 2014, just six months after his wife Toshi who
was Petes partner in every way. Pete was a Founding
Advisor of the Middle East Childrens Alliance nearly
twenty-six years ago. He remained a dear friend and
supporter who gave three beneft concerts for MECA
to raise funds for children in Iraq and Palestine. In a
2006 interview, he said, some of my greatest heroes
and heroines are people who have gone to far-away
places like Barbara Lubin who started the Middle East
Childrens Alliance.
All of us at MECA will miss Pete Seeger a great deal.
Commemorative poster of Pete Seeger for 1994 MECA beneft concert by Jos Sances.
The frst person I called and asked to join the Board of the
Middle East Childrens Alliance in 1988 was Pete Seeger.
Not only did he join but one year later Pete, Marcel Khalife,
Holly Near, and Ronnie Gilbert came to Berkeley and per-
formed at the Berkeley Community Theatre. The theatre
was packed and all 3,200 seats were flled. This was the be-
ginning of a twenty-five-year friendship that I will always
treasure. I miss you Pete.
Barbara Lubin