Friday, 28 December 2012

Enjoy Palestinian Cookies

Palestinian Days: Palestinian Food in LSU School's Kitchen.
By :Tamara Halasi

Do you want to make chocolate, jam,zatar and olivescookies? LSU Schools' students will tell you how!

Palestinian Pastry Ingredients :
  • 2 Kilos Flour
  • 1 glass Milk
  • 2 glasses olive oil or (any oil)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 spoon salt
  • 1 spoon sugar
  • packing pouder or yeast
  • water
  • Jam,Zaater ,Olives and Chocolate  
I hope you enjoy eating :) :)
Tamara Halasi

Friday, 21 December 2012

Planning for Palestine-LSU School Twinning Club Party

Planning for the Part :) :) 
by Tamara Halasi
After 6 weeks from starting the twinning club ,we have a party to promote the club and CADFA activities in Palestine and UK.
The party includes: CADFA stall ,music,film,Palestinian food and presentation.

Wait the party's photos
Tamara Halasi

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Goodbye Abu Dis Girls!

This week was the last week of sessions at Abu Dis Girls.

Unfortunately the strikes have started again!  Teachers have not received their salaries from last month.  As you might have noticed, strikes are common here because the Palestinian Authority (PA) are constantly late in paying wages.  Following Palestine's upgrade to UN non-member observer state, Israel have carried out their threat of withholding money from the PA.

As there was a full day of strikes on Monday, I sadly did not have the final session with the grade 9 students I have been working with.  They were a lovely, chatty bunch and I wish them all the best for the future!

The session with grade 11 continued as normal, however, I did not have a full class this time!  I had a small group of students who told me they spent their day yesterday relaxing, as well as studying for exams they had earlier today.  I continued the session on London with grade 11, following the delay due to the funeral last week.  They were shocked to hear about the number of cold-related deaths that take place in winter because people are homeless or cannot afford to heat their houses.  They believe that the government should take greater responsibility for this.  They were also surprised to hear about the problems with the police, such as the issue of discrimination when using stop-and-searches.

After speaking to the headmistress, I hope the group I had will be able to continue sessions with the next set of volunteers, group 6.

I enjoyed my time here and want to thank the teachers and the support staff for being so accommodating!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Learning about London & Israeli settlements

The past two weeks grade 9 have been learning about life in London using a powerpoint.  I showed them pictures of the public transport system, parks and homes in London: terraced houses and council estates.  We also discussed how expensive London is to live in, making it difficult for many people to survive as well as the high number of homeless people.

Whilst showing them the cyclists in London, many girls said they have bikes and scooters which they enjoy using.  However, they only use them around their homes and not in the road.  Cycling in Abu Dis is not found as commonly as in London!

Grade 11 were also excited to see the diversity in London and amazed at the number of people at the protest against the attack on Gaza.  I was unable to see them this week as the previous headteacher had passed away.  She was a big part of the life for the teachers and students here as she was a very active woman.  She had taught the current headmistress, Miss Nidal, as well as many of the other teachers there.  Therefore last Tuesday the students spent the day reading Qu'ran; one could hear the Qu'ran verses being played on the sound system.

The funeral was that day, as in Islam people are buried within three days of passing away.  The teachers and students and arranged to attend.  The school has a marching band who also played at the funeral.  Talking to Miss Nidal I learnt that the previous headteacher had passed away from cancer.  She was talking about how the rate of cancer has increased drastically here but they do not know why.

Not too far from Abu Dis is a rubbish dump containing all the waste from the illegal Israeli settlements in Jerusalem.  As well as this, Ma'ale Adummim, which is one of the largest settlements (the population is six larger than the population of Abu Dis!) pumps raw sewage into land that belongs to families in Abu Dis and where the Bedouin (travelling) community live.  The instance of leukemia is much higher than the average as a result.  The Bedouins in this community will be greatly affected by the E1 settlement project that Israel are currently planning.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

After various delays: First sessions at Abu Dis Girls!

Unfortunately there were further delays in starting at Abu Dis Girls since they had mid-term exams during Guy Fawkes.  Tahmina will now be working with two groups, Grade 9 on Monday and Grade 11 on Tuesday.

Grade 9 saw the pictures of Camden School for Girls, which they were very impressed by.  Some of the girls even said they now want to go to school in London!

Grade 11 and I spoke about what their roles are in the twinning relationship, to learn from the students in London about life there and to teach them about life in Palestine.  We discussed what they wanted to tell the students in London.  Of the things we discussed, one of the key points that one student made is that the main issue here is the lack of freedom.  This lack is mostly, the following through travel restrictions that affect other aspects of life.  The students mentioned the following:
-cannot travel to Jerusalem or 1948 (Israel)
-cannot get medical care because hospital is in Jerusalem
-checkpoints manned by Israeli soldiers make it difficult to get employment as cannot get to 1948 for work
-Separation/Occupation Wall has taken land
-no security: checkpoints with Israeli soldiers make some areas unsafe to be around

It was really interesting talking to them, and they are looking forward to learning more about London and students there.  Next week I will be showing both classes the blog and a Powerpoint about life in London as well as information on La Sainte Union and Camden School for Girls to which they are twinned.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Palestinian Days : Palestinian Film

LSU School 

5 Broken Cameras 

One Camera after another is shot at or smashed, each camera tells a part of the story.

5 Broken Cameras film is a great way  to understand  the importance of this documentary in helping British People to see exactly what life is like in Occupied Palestine.


An extraordinary work of both cinematic and political activism, 5 Broken Cameras is a deeply personal, first-hand account of non-violent resistance in Bil'in, a West Bank village threatened by encroaching Israeli settlements. Shot almost entirely by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son, the footage was later given to Israeli co-director Guy Davidi to edit. Structured around the violent destruction of each one of Burnat's cameras, the filmmakers' collaboration follows one family's evolution over five years of village turmoil. Burnat watches from behind the lens as olive trees are bulldozed, protests intensify, and lives are lost. "I feel like the camera protects me," he says, "but it's an illusion."
In his village, Bil'in, a separation barrier is being built and the villagers start to resist this decision. For more than five years, Emad films the struggle, which is lead by two of his best friends, alongside filming how Gibreel grows. Very soon it affects his family and his own life. Daily arrests and night raids scare his family; his friends, brothers and him as well are either shot or arrested.

You can watch the film: 

Tamara Halasi

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


Tahmina will be starting English conversation clubs in Abu Dis Girls from Guy Fawkes Day (5th November) for two reasons: Strikes and Eid.

Eid is being celebrated in Palestine on Friday 26th October, and with it comes a 5 day holiday! 

This week, however, the teachers have been on strike because they haven’t been paid in 3 months.  The strike is taking place all over the West Bank (the part of Palestine we are in) as the Palestinian Authority (PA - the government in charge of for paying teachers wages in the West Bank) do not currently have enough money. One reason is that Israel’s occupation of Palestine means that the West Bank's economy income is linked to Israel’s economy. The direct effect of this linkage is that the West Bank is prevented from developing its own economy that can rely only on Palestinian businesses, factories and economic projects. The West Bank is therefore partially dependent on the money generated from Israel’s economic endeavours (Israel is obligated to give money to the PA because as the occupying power they have to financially support the Palestinians according to international law) and since 1993 has been largely dependent on foreign aid ( In the wake of the current global financial crisis many donor countries have cut back on their foreign aid agreements with the West Bank ( Additionally, Israel have significant control over how much money is given to the PA and consequently influences the amount of money that is available  to pay public sector workers in the West Bank.

Both of these factors mean that the Palestinian authority do not currently have the $150 million dollars monthly they say they need to pay their public sector employees, including state school teachers and university lecturers. Although, the effects of the linkage of the Palestinian and Israeli economies hugely influences the money that is available to pay state school teachers in the West Bank, questions should also be asked about the extent to which economic corruption within the PA influences why they are currently not paying their teachers. This is a popular view shown by a Palestinian Public Opinion Poll conducted in June 2012; 71% of Palestinians interviewed thought that there was corruption within the PA (

These brief considerations highlight how the Israeli occupation of Palestine is hindering the amount and quality of education that state school students receive in the West Bank.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Hello from Abu Dis!

Starting from this Monday one CADFA volunteer will be working at Abu Dis Girls on Mondays and Tuesdays running English clubs in an attempt to strengthen the link between the schools.  Ireally hope to create a strong link between the students at these schools where they can share conversations, photos and ideas.

Here are some photos of the school building and we look forward to hearing from you all soon!
Above: Some of the playground

Above: School building

Monday, 15 October 2012

Let's get to know each other : Building

Let's get to know each other : Building 

The School 's Entrance 

Staff Room 

Sport Department 

Design and Technology Department 

Tamara Halasi

For more information :

Friday, 12 October 2012

Great Law


It was a lovely day in


The most important  thing I have learned in Camden School was

Tamara Halasi

For more information :

Monday, 1 October 2012

Abu Dis Girls Here We Come!

Anna, Sabrina and Clare met with Tamara to talk about her meeting at Abu Dis Girls School and find out what they might like from the Twinning Links for the coming months!

We're really excited to get there. 

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Four girls from Camden School for Girls who organised a petition against the Separation Wall in Palestine and took it to present to the British prime minister.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Drama Week at Dar Assadaqa!

Marhaba all,

My name is Rukaiya and I am one of the new volunteers that will be living and working in Abu Dis as part of CADFA. I'm really excited to meet you all over the next couple of months and I just wanted to let you know about the exciting week we have coming up at Dar Assadaqa (21st-25th Jan).

There will be lots of games, drama, arts and fun :-)

We hope to see lots of you there and tell your friends!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Step one

Ahlan everyone,

here's a first picture of the La Sainte Union School which is twinned to the Abu Dis Girls School.
The library is apparently always very busy, lots of 'be prepared to read' and 'keep on reading' signs everywhere.

You too, be prepared and keep on reading the blog:)