During the past ten days, we in Palestine have experienced a whirlwind of change – partial lockdown, then complete lockdown, followed by a return to “normal” after Eid al-Fitr – with Qalqilya being closed off right after the holiday due to the discovery of tens of new COVID-19 cases. While the lifting of restrictions is a relief for business owners, many are struggling to deal with financial obligations. My young-adult daughter met with friends in an open space last night, observing social distancing rules to an extent that is exceedingly rare in our area. We are all tired of safety measures and never got used to wearing masks consistently or keeping an appropriate distance in public spaces. Breathable, reusable face covers are not produced here; there is no demand. I hope that Palestine can sustain its excellent track record in containing COVID-19. The future seems as uncertain as it was a month ago.
In this issue, we focus on strategies to get Palestine back on its feet after months of lockdown, while tourism remains at a standstill. Thanks go to our authors Fida Touma, general director of A.M. Qattan Foundation; Amir Dajani, CEO of Amaar Jerusalem; women’s rights activist Amani Aruri; Reem Khalil, country director for DROSOS FOUNDATION; the representatives of the Palestinian Circus School, Art to Heart, Bait Byout, Theatre Day Productions, Visual Arts Forum, NAWA for Culture and Arts Association, Al Kasaba Theatre and Cinematheque, The Wonder Cabinet, The Mountain/Taghyeer for Social Media, and the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling; Sari Taha, a co-founder and principal consultant at Momentum Labs; PALTRADE; Dr. Samah Jabr, head of the Mental Health Unit at the Palestinian Ministry of Health; Nassim Nour, executive director at the Palestine Investment Fund; Mahdi Kleibo, a business lecturer at Bethlehem University’s Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism; Dawoud Zahran, founder and director of MISSION Startups Center; journalist Amira Gabarin; and Fuad Abu Saif, a human rights defender and agricultural development specialist. We would like to thank CARE Palestine West Bank/Gaza and DROSOS FOUNDATION for using TWiP as a communication tool to inform you about their projects. Our Personality of the Month is Tarek Bakri, Artist of the Month is Ibrahim Al Mozain, and Book of the Month is Where the Bird Disappeared by Ghassan Zaqtan. Enjoy a delicious tahini bowl, presented in TWiP Kitchen by Lina Qadri, while visiting the online events listed in our Events section – now accessible to all our readers worldwide.
I would like to welcome Elias Tannira, who joins our team as an intern.
From the entire team at TWiP, we wish you a healthy summer!