Holy Land Trust

Organization Description: 

Holy Land Trust revived the work of The Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence (PCSN). The PCSN was established in East Jerusalem in1984 by Dr. Mubarak Awad. Seeking to educate communities on nonviolent solutions to conflict in the Middle East and advocating a campaign of civil disobedience against Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, Awad spent three years giving talks on nonviolent resistance in the West Bank. The PCSN engaged in many activities and protests. These included planting olive trees on Palestinian lands that were under threat of confiscation from Israeli colonial expansion plans, supporting the right of Palestinian family reunification, promoting boycott campaigns of Israeli products, being actively involved in the lead up to the Palestinian parliamentary elections in 1996 and launching a campaign to open homes sealed by the Israeli occupation. The PCSN also translated many writings on nonviolence into Arabic, notably those of the Muslim Pathan colleague of Gandhi's, Abdul Ghaffar Khan.

In June 1988, a few months after the outbreak of the first Palestinian Uprising (Intifadah), Dr. Awad was arrested and deported by the Israeli government. He was forcibly expelled despite strong opposition from the U.S. Administration, which advocated Dr. Awad's right to stay in Palestine and petitioned the Israeli government to reverse the deportation order. In Washington D.C., Awad currently heads Nonviolence International an organization dedicated to strengthening the global nonviolent movement.

Several local advocates took over the leadership role for PCSN after Dr. Awad?s deportation, including Nafez Assaily who moved on to independently direct one of the PCSN projects, the Library on Wheels for Nonviolence and Peace; and Lucy Nusseibeh, who is the current director of Middle East for Nonviolence and Democracy (MEND).

After a decision by the PCSN Board of Directors in 1998, Sami Awad ? a long time volunteer and advocate with PCSN, who had just completed his studies in International Peace and Conflict Resolution at the American University in Washington DC ? moved the PCSN office from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. This was one of the initiatives that started Holy Land Trust (HLT).

One of the first programs established by Holy Land Trust was the Peace and Reconciliation Program, a program that promoted Palestinian nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation and nonviolent community building within the Palestinian Society. This program has evolved tremendously since the second Palestinian Intifadah broke out in the year 2000 and has now been re-named ?HLT?s Nonviolence Programs?.

Organizational Email: 
Manger Street
Bethlehem, 97202
Palestinian Territory
Mission Statement: 

Holy Land Trust seeks to strengthen and encourage the Palestinian community by providing it with the means to build a future founded on the principles of nonviolence, justice and peace. This is realized through creating local and global awareness programs, engaging in advocacy initiatives, and building of global networks and partnerships.

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