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MECA 2017 Annual Report • With 30th Anniversary Highlights

MECA 2017 Annual Report With 30th Anniversary Highlights

From the Director

Dear Friend of MECA,

Last June when I spoke to Mona (Dr. Mona El-Farra, MECA Gaza Projects Director) she sounded desperate. I hadn’t heard her sound so distressed since the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza. Electricity in Gaza was available only a few hours each day—down from the “normal” ten to twelve hours. Children, still filled with fear from living through one, two, or three Israeli assaults, were terrified of the dark. As summer grew hotter and hotter, fans stopped working. And cell phones, one of the only ways people could stay in touch, ran out of charge.

I can’t imagine living this way. On top of the siege that has kept people

trapped in Gaza and kept basic necessities out for more than ten years. Unemployment reaching new heights. People being shot at the borders. Bombs falling with no warning. I asked myself what can MECA do about the new electricity crisis. And before I could figure it out, the answer came from the people on the ground. A group of young engineers in Gaza de- signed a small household system that could be charged in an hour or two, provides electricity for up to twelve hours, and included three lights, a fan, and a cell phone charger. MECA staff in Gaza immediately began installing them in the homes of the most vulnerable families. We call this new proj- ect “Gaza Lights.”

Sometimes people ask me, “What will MECA be doing in ten years.?” It’s

a reasonable question but I can’t really answer it. MECA’s “strategic plan” has always been to respond to the needs of people on the ground, and to support their initiatives, their solutions. Our partners in Palestine and Lebanon are the leaders of the work we do. With the support of a few thousand individuals like you, we follow their lead.

As refugees continue to flee from the horrific violence in Syria, MECA’s partner organizations in Lebanon are working to meet their needs for shelter, medical care, children’s education, winter clothes, heating fuel, hygiene products, and whatever else arises.

cover photo: Pablo Pitcher Deproto

In 2017, a little bit of Palestine, of MECA’s work, came to the U.S. In March, MECA brought eighteen young dancers and hip-hop performers from the Shoruq (“Sunrise”) Organization in Dheisheh refugee camp. People from California to New Jersey heard the voices of Palestinian refugee children and learned about their lives and their culture. The young Palestinians visited high schools and universities where they exchanged stories about their lives, political struggles, and dance steps with U.S. students.

In December, Dr. Mona came to the Bay Area where she spoke to several groups and MECA supporters about the difficulty of life in Gaza and the dignity people maintain in spite of all the injustice. She shared her own grueling months-long effort to leave Gaza to visit her daughter in the UK, and the struggle she would face to return.

I hope this Annual Report communicates, better than I can the determi- nation and creativity of our partners in Palestine and Lebanon. We’ve in- cluded a few “30th Anniversary Highlights,” with more on MECA’s history in next year’s report. I hope you feel pride in all MECA has accomplished because we couldn’t do it without your support.

in all MECA has accomplished because we couldn’t do it without your support. Barbara Lubin Founder

Barbara Lubin Founder and Director 

in all MECA has accomplished because we couldn’t do it without your support. Barbara Lubin Founder
Credit: AP Support for Arrested and Detained Children I was thirsty and hungry. When I

Credit: AP

Support for Arrested and Detained Children

I was thirsty and hungry. When I asked to go to the toilet they told me to pee in my jeans.

—An eight-year-old child arrested by Israeli police

In 2017, MECA supporters provided:

Lawyers to protect and represent the children

Psychologists to work with the children and their families

Academic tutors for children under house arrest

Library with daily activities

Videographer and researcher for legal evidence and advocacy

MECA Partner:

Madaa Creative Center, Silwan, East Jerusalem, Palestine

Projects for Children

Education for Syrian Refugees

Our biggest challenge right now is the children’s loss of hope for the future. Kids see their parents sleeping much of the day since they’re not allowed to work in Lebanon, and the children can’t attend public schools. They’re angry and feel forgotten by the world.

—Olfat Mahmoud, Director, Palestinian Women’s Humanitarian Organization, Shatila Refugee Camp, Lebanon

MECA Partners in Lebanon: Palestinian Women’s Humanitarian Organiza- tion, Children of Al Jalil Center (CJC)

In 2017, MECA supporters provided:

Classes in Arabic reading and writing, English, math

Workshops in human rights and children’s rights

Field trips, music, dance, theater, and art  

English, math • Workshops in human rights and children’s rights • Field trips, music, dance, theater,

Projects for Children

New Park and Playground in Gaza

The new park provides fresh air, a relaxing place for mothers, and a safe place for children to play. The pressures of life are increas- ing dramatically in Gaza. People need green places to free them- selves.

—Wafaa El-Derawi, MECA Gaza Projects Assistant

In 2017 MECA supporters helped build a new park and playground in the village of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza.

MECA partner:

Palestinian Association for Development and Heritage Protection

Association for Development and Heritage Protection Credit: Tamara Abu Laban Healthy Food for Palestinian
Association for Development and Heritage Protection Credit: Tamara Abu Laban Healthy Food for Palestinian

Credit: Tamara Abu Laban

Healthy Food for Palestinian Schoolchildren

Palestinian children need strong bodies because we are first and foremost living under occupation. When the occupation is com- bined with poverty, this is an impossible situation for the children.

—Um Hassan, Project Founder, Farmer, Grandmother, and head of the Masara Village Council

In 2017, MECA supporters provided kitchen supplies, a new stove, rent for cafeteria, and a monthly stipend for volunteers.

MECA Partners:

Al-Zawahra Women’s Society Center, Masara Village, Palestine

ANNIVERSARY
ANNIVERSARY

I loved when the trainer gave us balloons and said, ‘Everything you hate is in the balloon’. Then we tied the balloons to our feet we kept running to pop the balloons. We felt really awesome and relieved.

—Jihan, age 11, Jabalia Refugee Camp, Gaza, Palestine

In 2017, MECA supporters provided:

Bicycles, balls, uniforms, and equipment

Coaches

Workshops on first aid, life skills, conflict resolution, hygiene, menstruation, and psychological health

MECA Partners:

Al-Jalil Children’s Center in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon; Women’s Affairs Technical Committee and UNRWA in Gaza, Palestine

30th Anniversary Highlight:

In the 1990s MECA and the WelfareAssociation designed and built three state-of-the-art, accessible parks and playgrounds in Gaza, Al-Bireh, and Nablus.

Girls’ Sports in Gaza and Lebanon

And More

In 2017, MECA donors also supported these children’s projects:

Counseling and trauma intervention

Community kindergartens and pre-schools

Summer camps

Classes for children with learning disabilities

Cultural heritage education

Youth activism for refugee rights

Art, theater, dance, and music classes

A school for deaf children

Youth leadership and fundraising training

• Art, theater, dance, and music classes • A school for deaf children • Youth leadership

Aid for Gaza and Syrian Refugees

Emergency Aid and Winter Relief

I am from one of the poor families living in the Bekaa Valley. When we came to Al Jalil Association, we were treated with all respect and love. The humanitarian assistance helped us keep warm at home and, on a personal level, the good treatment was as import- ant to us as the fuel for heat.

—Syrian refugee in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

In 2017, MECA supporters provided:

Jackets and warm clothes for children in Gaza

Weather protection for 600 homes in Gaza

Heating fuel for 500 refugee families in Lebanon

Scarves, mittens, and hats for 500 refugee children in Lebanon

Food parcels for 750 families in Gaza

MECA partners: Children of Al Jalil Center (CJC), Bekaa Valley, Lebanon; Never Stop Dreaming Association, Palestinian Association for Development and Heritage Protection, Gaza

Association for Development and Heritage Protection, Gaza Gaza Lights When the ongoing electricity crisis in Gaza

Gaza Lights

When the ongoing electricity crisis in Gaza got dramatically worse in June 2017, MECA Gaza Staff launched a pilot project to install rechargeable bat- tery systems with three lights, a fan, and a phone charger for 390 families.

three lights, a fan, and a phone charger for 390 families. I want to thank you

I want to thank you very much because you bring light and cool air [from fans in the summer] to 2,500 people through this project.

—Amal Abu Moalique, Gaza engineer and Maia Project Coordinator

MECA Partners:

Sketch Engineering and Never Stop Dreaming Association, Gaza

ANNIVERSARY
ANNIVERSARY

30th Anniversary Highlight:

MECA brought in more than $2 million in medicine to Iraq between 1995 and 1998, when the U.S-led sanctions were causing life-threatening shortages.

New Maia units were installed in these schools in 2017:

Beach Camp Elementary Boys A&B schools Funded by Zam Zam Water on behalf of Yusuf A. Nessary, Sakina Zazay, and the volunteers of Zam Zam Water. In Honor of Fatema Adina, Sheikh Omar Suleiman, Ustadh Mohamed Bajour, and the entire Muslim community of Dallas, Texas.

Sindibad Kindergarten In honor of Dr. Ralph McCoy, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Msadar Kindergarten Funded by Frank and Blythe Baldwin of Ithaca, New York, USA

Al Maghazi Rehabilitation Kindergarten With love from ConnectHer Austin to the beautiful children of Gaza

Beach Camp Elementary Boys H school & Beach Camp Elementary Co-Ed B school, Nuseirat Preparatory Boys C, Deir El-Balah Elementary Co-ed Funded by Zam Zam Water in dedication to the health, prosperity, and peace of the children of Gaza. Peace and Blessings

Shaimaa El-Ola Kindergarten In friendship and solidarity from supporters in Nevada County, California

MECA partner:

Palestinian Association for Development and Heritage Protection, Gaza, Palestine

30th Anniversary Highlight:

In 2009 MECA launched the Maia Project when the Stu- dent Parliament at a school in a Gaza refugee camp held an election to select the one thing they most wanted for their school. They chose drinking water, and that’s how the Maia Project began.

The Maia Project:

Bringing Clean Water to the Children of Palestine

The best thing is this unit is accessible to children with disabilities. They don’t need any help because it is the right height for them. Before we had the water unit in the center, we were forced to wait and buy water from the supplier. Now, we always have the water and we became the water supplier for many people nearby.

—Wafaa Abu Mashaikh, Maghazi Community Rehabilitation Center Manager, Gaza

the water supplier for many people nearby. —Wafaa Abu Mashaikh, Maghazi Community Rehabilitation Center Manager, Gaza

Investing in Palestine’s Future:

University Scholarships

In 2017, MECA supporters provided scholarships for 112 students at ten Palestinian universities.

There are twelve people in my family and, since my father died ten years ago, we have suffered a lot financially. My mother was look- ing for every chance for me to pursue my university education. Finally, MECA gave me this great chance to get a professional de- gree and develop skills like leadership and public speaking.

—Salsabil AlHaw, Pharmacy student, AlAzhar University, Gaza

July 8, 2017 was the best day in my life. I had beautiful moments with my family on that day that I graduated with an accounting degree and my dreams and my hopes came true.

—Musab Sarhan, Accounting student, Bethlehem University

I graduated from high school with grade of 97.5% but I could not think of how I’d be able to pay for my education. A MECA scholarship came along and it felt like a gift from heaven. Study- ing at university made a big change in my life. I became more committed, more confident, and happier.

—Dina Kamal Elbesh, Al-Aqsa University, Gaza, English Language and Teaching

MECA partners: Al Aqsa University, Al Azhar University, Al Quds Open University, Al Quds University, An-Najah University, Bethlehem University, Birzeit University, Hebron University, Palestine Ahlia Uni- versity College, Palestine Polytechnic University

Uni- versity College, Palestine Polytechnic University ANNIVERSARY 30th Anniversary Highlight: In 2003, two
Uni- versity College, Palestine Polytechnic University ANNIVERSARY 30th Anniversary Highlight: In 2003, two
Uni- versity College, Palestine Polytechnic University ANNIVERSARY 30th Anniversary Highlight: In 2003, two
ANNIVERSARY
ANNIVERSARY

30th Anniversary Highlight:

In 2003, two generous MECA donors established the Elly Jaensch Memorial Scholarship for Palestinian refugees in honor of their mother, a refugee. Now, this fund and other funds provide more than 100 Palestinian students with scholarships every year.

Community Income-Generating Projects Resources for Educators and Students Sanctuary Education, February 2017, Oakland

Community Income-Generating Projects

Resources for Educators and Students

Sanctuary Education, February 2017, Oakland Responding to requests from teachers, MECA collaborated with Arab Re- source and Organizing Committee, Teachers 4 Social Justice, People’s Edu- cation Movement, and Alliance of South Asians Taking Action to hold a one- day workshop on “Sanctuary Education: A conference for K-12 teachers, staff and youth workers on meeting the needs of Arab and Muslim youth in the Trump era.”

Syrian and Palestinian refugee women in Lebanon crochet and knit warm clothing items for refugee children and sell them to sustain and expand the project.

I’m proud of my work with this knitting project that will help ref- ugees during winter. Also, I can depend on myself and support my mother and sister.

—Ibtisam Mohammed Al Ahmad, a Palestinian refugee from Syria

In addition, in 2017 MECA supporters provided:

Workshops for teachers on how and why to teach about Palestine

A website with resources for teaching Palestine (in progress)

Support for teachers in developing and implementing curriculum on Palestinian history and current issues

Collaboration with other educators on evaluating resource materials on Muslim and Arab history

Ceramics, Olive Wood, Keffiyehs, Embroidery, Jewlery, Clothing, Books, Prints, Rugs, Olive Oil and more!

Ceramics, Olive Wood, Keffiyehs, Embroidery, Jewlery, Clothing, Books, Prints, Rugs, Olive Oil and more!

Jewlery, Clothing, Books, Prints, Rugs, Olive Oil and more! 30th Anniversary Highlight: In 2003 Joining Hands,

30th Anniversary Highlight:

In 2003 Joining Hands, a group of Bay Area women, held the first Palestinian Crafts Bazaar to support women in Palestine.

In 2017 MECA supporters

Spent $148,801.11 helping dozens of women’s collectives, artisans and businesses in Palestine produce and sell their goods

Attended the MECA/Joining Hands 15th Annual Palestinian Crafts Bazaar, a main solidarity event in the Bay Area, featuring items made in Palestine

Hands 15th Annual Palestinian Crafts Bazaar, a main solidarity event in the Bay Area, featuring items

2017 EVENTS

Palestinian Theatre, Dance, and Girls’ Hip Hop Come to the U.S.

In March 2017, MECA brought eighteen young dancers and hip-hop per- formers from Shoruq (“Sunrise”) Organization in Dheisheh refugee camp, Palestine to visit the U.S. People from California to New Jersey heard the voices of Palestinian refugee children and learned about their lives and their culture. (See front cover photo).

In October 2017, MECA’s long-time partner, the Friends of the Jenin Free- dom Theatre, brought The Siege to an audience of 3,500 people in New York City. The play tells the story of the 2002 siege on Bethlehem’s Holy Church of the Nativity, at the height of the Second Intifada, from the point of view of six Palestinian fighters who took refuge inside the church and were trapped there for thirty-nine days. (See top photo).

were trapped there for thirty-nine days. (See top photo). Credit: The Freedom Theatre Bay Area MECA

Credit: The Freedom Theatre

days. (See top photo). Credit: The Freedom Theatre Bay Area MECA Events • Jerusalem We Are
days. (See top photo). Credit: The Freedom Theatre Bay Area MECA Events • Jerusalem We Are

Bay Area MECA Events

Jerusalem We Are Here, interactive documentary

3000 Nights film

Kate Raphael Book Release, Murder Under the Fig Tree

Mustafa Barghouti speaking event

ANNIVERSARY
ANNIVERSARY
Fig Tree • Mustafa Barghouti speaking event ANNIVERSARY Credit: Nour Productions 30th Anniversary Highlight: In
Fig Tree • Mustafa Barghouti speaking event ANNIVERSARY Credit: Nour Productions 30th Anniversary Highlight: In

Credit: Nour Productions

30th Anniversary Highlight:

In 1996, then-Congressman Bernie Sanders spoke at a benefit for MECA on “The State of the Union: A Progressive Perspective”.

Friends Raising Funds

14 Friends of Palestine, San Rafael, California Abrar Ebady on Facebook Arab American Community Center, Youngstown Arabic Classical Music Concert, Berkeley Big Ride for Palestine, UK Cardiff Reds Choir (Cor Cochion Caerdydd), Wales Charlie Cassey on Global Giving College of Marin Students, Kentfield, California Comma Press Denison University Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre, New York Jewish Voice for Peace – New Haven Joining Hands Fundraiser in memory of David Halaby, Berkeley, California Kate Brunotts on Global Giving Liverpool Friends of Palestine Madison Rafah Sister City Project, Madison, Wisconsin Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign, UK Medha, Josh, and Naija for Naija's First Birthday Mervette Jebara on Facebook Palestine Heritage Group, Seattle Palestinian American Community Center, New Jersey Palestinian American Women’s Association – San Diego Palestinian American Women’s Association of Southern California Paliroots Pilgrims of Ibillin Presbytery of Greater Atlanta Joining Hands for Justice in Israel Palestine Partnership Rana Rezapour, “Basmeh” Photographs of Syrian refugees, Berkeley Recitation of World Poetry, Rumi’s Caravan, Oakland Sandra Ramini and Ann Wright, London, UK Santa Feans for Justice in Palestine, New Mexico South Connecticut State University Women’s Studies University of New Mexico Muslim Student Association Tree of Life Educational Fund WILPF Challah for Gaza Brunch, Tucson Women Against Military Madness, Minneapolis Younos Aboulnaga, Google Giving Week, Ontario, Canada Zam Zam Water, Fremont, California

Giving Week, Ontario, Canada Zam Zam Water, Fremont, California Zam Zam Water raised more than $120,000

Zam Zam Water raised more than $120,000 for Gaza in 2017

Board of Directors

Sherry Gendleman

Howard Levine

Barbara Lubin

Osha Neumann

Gus Newport

Jos Sances

Michel Shehadeh

Staff

Amal Abu Moaliqe,

Maia Project Water Engineer

Deborah Agre,

Development Director

Wafaa El Derawi,

Gaza Projects Assistant

Dr. Mona El-Farra,

Director of Gaza Projects

Nancy Ippolito,

Finance Administrator

Barbara Lubin,

Co-Founder and Executive Director

Penny Rosenwasser, Ph.D.,

Special Events Coordinator

Jos Sances,

Art Director

Zeiad Abbas Shamrouch,

Manager for Cross-Cultural Programs

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 Butterfield 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 Ibrahim Abu Lughod Bill Means Holly Near Prof. Hilton Obenzinger Jack O’Dell Father Bill O’Donnell 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 Willson Leon Wofsy Tawfiq Zayyad Howard Zinn Jim Zogby

Support MECA’s profit making business!
Support MECA’s profit making business!

Remember the Future!

with a Planned Gift to the Middle East Children’s Alliance

There are several simple ways to make contributions through your will. For further assistance, please contact Deborah Agre at deborah@mecaforpeace. org, 510 548-0542.

MECA also welcomes: Employee giving, employer matching gifts, car donations, gifts of stock, gifts of time (volunteers), and donations by phone, mail or online at www.mecaforpeace.org/donate.

Income:

Individual Donors

$1,632,097.37

47.7%

In-kind Donations

$951,758.00

27.8%

Foundation Grants

$276,330.00

8.1%

Benefits & Fundraisers

$222,202.62

6.5%

Sales of Palestinian Crafts

$148,801.11

4.4%

Children’s Circle (monthly donors)$61,732.53

1.8%

Miscellaneous Income

$55,243.62

1.6%

Events

$40,715.04

1.2%

Bequests

$31,471.74

0.9%

TOTAL

$3,420,352.03

Expenses:

Humanitarian Aid

$1,151,741.22

37.0%

Projects for Children

$608,158.11

19.5%

Education & Cultural Programs

$354,315.31

11.4%

Fundraising

$315,072.91

10.1%

Administration

$213,306.04

6.9%

Maia Project

$181,251.22

5.8%

Scholarships

$139,228.62

4.5%

Shop Palestine/Bazaar

$125,846.93

4.0%

Community Income Projects

$23,858.00

0.8%

TOTAL

$3,112,778.37

Projects $23,858.00 0.8% TOTAL $3,112,778.37 Income: Individual Donors In-kind donations Foundation
Projects $23,858.00 0.8% TOTAL $3,112,778.37 Income: Individual Donors In-kind donations Foundation

Income:

Individual Donors$23,858.00 0.8% TOTAL $3,112,778.37 Income: In-kind donations Foundation Grants Benefits &

In-kind donations0.8% TOTAL $3,112,778.37 Income: Individual Donors Foundation Grants Benefits & Fundraisers Expenses:

Foundation Grants$3,112,778.37 Income: Individual Donors In-kind donations Benefits & Fundraisers Expenses: Humanitarian Aid Maia

Benefits & FundraisersIndividual Donors In-kind donations Foundation Grants Expenses: Humanitarian Aid Maia Project Projects for

Expenses:

Humanitarian AidFoundation Grants Benefits & Fundraisers Expenses: Maia Project Projects for Children Scholarships Financials

Maia ProjectGrants Benefits & Fundraisers Expenses: Humanitarian Aid Projects for Children Scholarships Financials Sales of

Projects for Children& Fundraisers Expenses: Humanitarian Aid Maia Project Scholarships Financials Sales of Palestinian Crafts

ScholarshipsHumanitarian Aid Maia Project Projects for Children Financials Sales of Palestinian Crafts Children’s Circle

Financials

Maia Project Projects for Children Scholarships Financials Sales of Palestinian Crafts Children’s Circle (monthly

Sales of Palestinian CraftsMaia Project Projects for Children Scholarships Financials Children’s Circle (monthly donors) Miscellaneous Income

Children’s Circle (monthly donors)Children Scholarships Financials Sales of Palestinian Crafts Miscellaneous Income Events Bequests Education &

Miscellaneous Incomeof Palestinian Crafts Children’s Circle (monthly donors) Events Bequests Education & Cultural Programs Shop

EventsChildren’s Circle (monthly donors) Miscellaneous Income Bequests Education & Cultural Programs Shop

BequestsCircle (monthly donors) Miscellaneous Income Events Education & Cultural Programs Shop Palestine/Bazaar

Circle (monthly donors) Miscellaneous Income Events Bequests Education & Cultural Programs Shop Palestine/Bazaar

Education & Cultural ProgramsCircle (monthly donors) Miscellaneous Income Events Bequests Shop Palestine/Bazaar Fundraising Community Income Projects

Shop Palestine/BazaarIncome Events Bequests Education & Cultural Programs Fundraising Community Income Projects Administration

FundraisingIncome Events Bequests Education & Cultural Programs Shop Palestine/Bazaar Community Income Projects Administration

Community Income ProjectsMiscellaneous Income Events Bequests Education & Cultural Programs Shop Palestine/Bazaar Fundraising Administration

AdministrationIncome Events Bequests Education & Cultural Programs Shop Palestine/Bazaar Fundraising Community Income Projects

NON PROFIT ORG. US POSTAGE PAID BERKELEY, CA PERMIT #265 www.mecaforpeace.org

NON PROFIT ORG. US POSTAGE PAID BERKELEY, CA PERMIT #265

www.mecaforpeace.org