FESTIVAL: Sumud Festival 2010, Bethlehem,15-16July10 February 13, 2010


Organized out of the Sumud Story House near Rachel’s Tomb
Arab Educational Institute (AEI-Open Windows) in Bethlehem

Background: the Rachel’s Tomb area

The Wall, in combination with settlements and closures, is of major influence on the human rights conditions in the Bethlehem area. In northern Bethlehem, some hundreds of inhabitants live in a desolate environment near checkpoint 300 and the Wall surrounding Rachel’s Tomb. Internationally, the human consequences of the Wall are little known in their concreteness and detailed community stories.

AEI’s Sumud Story House in that area works with women and families living close to the Wall in northern and western Bethlehem, to foster a creative culture of non-violence, called sumud or steadfastness/resilience. It invites and creates “story events” like community interviews and story-telling, drama and music performances along the Wall, also for international visitors.

The first two-day Sumud Festival in April 2009 was a new event in Bethlehem city. Balconies and roofs around the Walls at Rachel’s Tomb were creatively used for inspiring musical dialogues over 100 meters crossing various Walls around the Tomb. It was decided to hold an annual Sumud Festival.

Festival program 2010

July 15, Thursday: During the first festival day, the emphasis will be on small events along the Wall in which attendants can actively participate. Palestinian youth of different age levels and women will be invited to share 8 workshops where they can conduct artistic and musical practices, such as graffiti painting, popular and classical music, circus activities, and creative handicrafts. In these workshops, the Festival will use the Wall as stage, screen, background and surface for Arts..

July 16, Friday: During the second day, there will be musical performances by some 20 local and international music groups and performers for larger audiences during a 2,5 hour concert near the Wall.


  • Morally supporting inhabitants in the Bethlehem area who live close to the Wall, or who are otherwise affected by it; preventing despair
  • Creating international attention to the infringement of human rights in Palestine as a result of the building of the Wall
  • Fostering a culture of non-violence in support of peace and justice in Palestine
  • Increasing the interest in various forms of Arts among Palestinian youth and women in the area.

Target groups

  • International and local music groups and artists willing to contribute to the festival
  • Some 500 citizens of the larger Bethlehem area to attend the concerts
  • Some 150 Palestinian youth and women, to share in 8 artistic workshops near the Wall
  • Visiting internationals in the Jerusalem-Bethlehem area

Budget required

Traveling and accommodation local and international artists, staff and office costs,

communications and publicity, equipment and materials, hospitality: 17.650 Euro

Information and videos about the Rachel’s Tomb area

1. For overviews of the situation at Rachel’s Tomb, see the slide shows:
http://www.aeicenter.org/aei/archives/Rachel_Tomb/index.htm (Leo Gorman, made for AEI-Open Windows) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm3gP0Pp-PU&feature=related (Open Bethlehem)

2. The 2008 open air concert “Carried by the Wind” of Dutch composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven with international and local musicians, was filmed by Australian Adam Sebire for the Dutch organization La Vie sur Terre: http://www.youtube.com/v/008p-_LePrg

Map of the Rachel’s Tomb area: http://www.aeicenter.org/aei/newsletters/dec2005/map.htm

About AEI-Open Windows

AEI-Open Windows is an Arab-Palestinian NGO affiliated to Pax Christi International and established in Bethlehem in 1986 by a group of Palestinian educators. Working with youth, women and educators, it is engaged in the field of community education to contribute to the general causes of participation in public life and in human rights, peace and justice; the building of a free, democratic and culturally pluralistic Palestine, and the sharing and communication of the daily life reality of Palestine with broader audiences.

Toine van Teeffelen, director development

Arab Educational Institute (AEI-Open Windows)



02-2744030 (off). 02-2776573 (h), 0522-789156 (m)

02-2777554 (fax)

tvant@p-ol.com, aei@p-ol.com


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