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THE CHALLENGES AHEAD It was in a turbulent time politically, both within Palestine and the wider region, that we realized there was an urgent need to create a progressive movement among Palestinians. One year ago, we launched Zimam Palestine, a movement that has since grown to become the largest of its kind in Palestine, and that has led the charge against the rising tide of extremism within our country. Instead of fruitless violence, we offer Palestinians non-violent means to resist the occupation and ways to build a pluralistic, secular, and democratic society. Personally, I was most inspired by the thousands of young men and women, elders, students, and farmers who have joined us in our activities across Palestine throughout our first year. Among this diverse group, I found a thrilling energy and a tremendous will to work together and build a better future, the type of future we’ve always dreamt of—a Palestine that is free from occupation, free from violence, and free from all forms of extremism. From Rafah in southern Gaza to Jenin in the north of the West Bank, our youth groups are working tirelessly, campaigning in every city, town, and village for our collective right to self-determination. The successes of this year mark a major accomplishment for us, but this is just the beginning. We still have so much work to do, and we’re ready. With the support of our donors and friends, and the determination of our activists, we will realize our goals of freedom, justice, and peace. Samer Makhlouf, CEO of Zimam Palestine

A PROGRESSIVE PALESTINIAN

MOVEMENT In January 2016, Zimam (literally meaning “reins,” but also meaning “taking the initiative” in Arabic) was founded by the leadership of OneVoice Palestine. At its core, Zimam is a Palestinian-led movement that aims to take a comprehensive and domestic-oriented approach to conflict resolution, and that takes inspiration from a decade of grassroots activity and accomplishments in order to: • Strengthen progressive Palestinian voices; • Promote a culture of non-violence; • Foster national unity; and • Counter the false promises of extremist ideology and agendas among Palestinian youth.

It is Zimam’s belief that these are necessary steps toward achieving statehood and an end to the occupation. They are also grounded in a profound belief that these values must be strengthened within Palestinian society, and serve as guiding principles for creating the foundation of an independent Palestine. In its very first year, Zimam has made extraordinary progress, developing two separate but interlinked strands of activities: sophisticated, locally targeted grassroots work, and highly visible national media campaigns.


THE CHALLENGES AHEAD It was in a turbulent time politically, both within Palestine and the wider region, that we realized there was an urgent need to create a progressive movement among Palestinians. One year ago, we launched Zimam Palestine, a movement that has since grown to become the largest of its kind in Palestine, and that has led the charge against the rising tide of extremism within our country. Instead of fruitless violence, we offer Palestinians non-violent means to resist the occupation and ways to build a pluralistic, secular, and democratic society. Personally, I was most inspired by the thousands of young men and women, elders, students, and farmers who have joined us in our activities across Palestine throughout our first year. Among this diverse group, I found a thrilling energy and a tremendous will to work together and build a better future, the type of future we’ve always dreamt of—a Palestine that is free from occupation, free from violence, and free from all forms of extremism. From Rafah in southern Gaza to Jenin in the north of the West Bank, our youth groups are working tirelessly, campaigning in every city, town, and village for our collective right to self-determination. The successes of this year mark a major accomplishment for us, but this is just the beginning. We still have so much work to do, and we’re ready. With the support of our donors and friends, and the determination of our activists, we will realize our goals of freedom, justice, and peace. Samer Makhlouf, CEO of Zimam Palestine

A PROGRESSIVE PALESTINIAN

MOVEMENT In January 2016, Zimam (literally meaning “reins,” but also meaning “taking the initiative” in Arabic) was founded by the leadership of OneVoice Palestine. At its core, Zimam is a Palestinian-led movement that aims to take a comprehensive and domestic-oriented approach to conflict resolution, and that takes inspiration from a decade of grassroots activity and accomplishments in order to: • Strengthen progressive Palestinian voices; • Promote a culture of non-violence; • Foster national unity; and • Counter the false promises of extremist ideology and agendas among Palestinian youth.

It is Zimam’s belief that these are necessary steps toward achieving statehood and an end to the occupation. They are also grounded in a profound belief that these values must be strengthened within Palestinian society, and serve as guiding principles for creating the foundation of an independent Palestine. In its very first year, Zimam has made extraordinary progress, developing two separate but interlinked strands of activities: sophisticated, locally targeted grassroots work, and highly visible national media campaigns.


2016 KEY

ACCOMPLISHMENTS A cornerstone of Zimam’s strategy is harnessing the local energy and human infrastructure of its supporters to lead national campaigns that aim to confront difficult topics in Palestine. A leading example of these initiatives is Zimam’s “I Live for My Country” campaign, that came as the wave of knife attacks on Israelis and military operations against Palestinians were escalating. Through a series of five videos, young Zimam activists from across Palestine demonstrated how they non-violently resist occupation and help build a state through the act of living and fulfilling their goals. The campaign went viral, amassing almost 700,000 views in a matter of weeks, and attracted coverage from major news outlets like al Quds al Arabi, Ma’an and even Beirut-based TV station al Aqsa TV, providing Zimam’s CEO Samer Makhlouf the opportunity for a televised international debate. Addressing the spiraling violence, Samer said: “We need to revisit our national strategy. In my opinion, all Palestinian political parties should officially adopt non-violence; and if we do, I am sure that the day the occupation ends will be very soon. The Palestinians are the people who demand implementation of international law, this is why we have to be the people who respect this law the most.”

Activist Spotlight

SAIF AQEL Saif Fawaz Aqel is a 20-year-old student from Nablus, and one of Zimam’s up-and-coming leaders, hosting sessions among Nablus activists about the two-state solution, non-violence, and civic peace. Thanks in part to the leadership training provided by Zimam, Saif is now a prominent student politician at his university, al-Najah, and even staged a sit-in in the center of the city, calling on Palestinian politicians to put aside their divisions and unite in order to build a Palestinian state. Thanks to the work of leaders like Saif, and his colleague Alaa Salous, Zimam’s Nablus chapter is now the biggest in Palestine, with over 130 members, a massive presence on campus at al-Najah, and representation on the Student Council, and some of the most creative local campaigns in the West Bank.

“I believe in peace. Peace can be achieved when Palestinians are finally granted their right to self-determination.”


GOING

VIRAL

Social media use has exploded in Palestine in recent years, with Facebook becoming the primary way in which young Palestinians get their news and engage with the issues of the day. Zimam has quickly become one of the most important—and largest—social media addresses for young Palestinians, with over 200,000 likes. It is also a tool that allows West Bank Palestinians and Gazans to interact with each other on a daily basis, bridging the physical divide and allowing a shared agenda based on common, progressive values to be built. Young Palestinians—just like young people everywhere—find videos one of the best methods of engagement, and Zimam have had almost 700,000 unique views of their ground-breaking videos since launching in January. Those videos have also been picked up by the mainstream media too, with the campaigns covered in Al-hayat and Al-Ayyam, and the videos broadcast on national TV. Some of the most popular videos are highlighted below:

NEW

RECRUITS

Activist Spotlight

RAYA FATAYER Raya Fatayer, 23-years-old, was born and raised in the Palestinian city of Nablus, where she graduated from Al-Najah University, majoring in Media, TV and Radio broadcasting. Raya spent her teenage years volunteering with local organizations to help her community in the aftermath of the Second Intifada. She shares a big house with her four other siblings on the top of Mount Gerizim, and although she loves it very much, her most memorable experience there was in 2002 when Israeli soldiers broke in and turned it into a military outpost. The experience made Raya stronger, and it also led to her decision to become more actively involved in conflict resolution and peacemaking.

“To make a positive impact in the community, we need to ensure that young leaders can practice democracy freely and take part in the decision-making process”


GOING

VIRAL

Social media use has exploded in Palestine in recent years, with Facebook becoming the primary way in which young Palestinians get their news and engage with the issues of the day. Zimam has quickly become one of the most important—and largest—social media addresses for young Palestinians, with over 200,000 likes. It is also a tool that allows West Bank Palestinians and Gazans to interact with each other on a daily basis, bridging the physical divide and allowing a shared agenda based on common, progressive values to be built. Young Palestinians—just like young people everywhere—find videos one of the best methods of engagement, and Zimam have had almost 700,000 unique views of their ground-breaking videos since launching in January. Those videos have also been picked up by the mainstream media too, with the campaigns covered in Al-hayat and Al-Ayyam, and the videos broadcast on national TV. Some of the most popular videos are highlighted below:

NEW

RECRUITS

Activist Spotlight

RAYA FATAYER Raya Fatayer, 23-years-old, was born and raised in the Palestinian city of Nablus, where she graduated from Al-Najah University, majoring in Media, TV and Radio broadcasting. Raya spent her teenage years volunteering with local organizations to help her community in the aftermath of the Second Intifada. She shares a big house with her four other siblings on the top of Mount Gerizim, and although she loves it very much, her most memorable experience there was in 2002 when Israeli soldiers broke in and turned it into a military outpost. The experience made Raya stronger, and it also led to her decision to become more actively involved in conflict resolution and peacemaking.

“To make a positive impact in the community, we need to ensure that young leaders can practice democracy freely and take part in the decision-making process”


2016 KEY

ACCOMPLISHMENTS A cornerstone of Zimam’s strategy is harnessing the local energy and human infrastructure of its supporters to lead national campaigns that aim to confront difficult topics in Palestine. A leading example of these initiatives is Zimam’s “I Live for My Country” campaign, that came as the wave of knife attacks on Israelis and military operations against Palestinians were escalating. Through a series of five videos, young Zimam activists from across Palestine demonstrated how they non-violently resist occupation and help build a state through the act of living and fulfilling their goals. The campaign went viral, amassing almost 700,000 views in a matter of weeks, and attracted coverage from major news outlets like al Quds al Arabi, Ma’an and even Beirut-based TV station al Aqsa TV, providing Zimam’s CEO Samer Makhlouf the opportunity for a televised international debate. Addressing the spiraling violence, Samer said: “We need to revisit our national strategy. In my opinion, all Palestinian political parties should officially adopt non-violence; and if we do, I am sure that the day the occupation ends will be very soon. The Palestinians are the people who demand implementation of international law, this is why we have to be the people who respect this law the most.”

Activist Spotlight

SAIF AQEL Saif Fawaz Aqel is a 20-year-old student from Nablus, and one of Zimam’s up-and-coming leaders, hosting sessions among Nablus activists about the two-state solution, non-violence, and civic peace. Thanks in part to the leadership training provided by Zimam, Saif is now a prominent student politician at his university, al-Najah, and even staged a sit-in in the center of the city, calling on Palestinian politicians to put aside their divisions and unite in order to build a Palestinian state. Thanks to the work of leaders like Saif, and his colleague Alaa Salous, Zimam’s Nablus chapter is now the biggest in Palestine, with over 130 members, a massive presence on campus at al-Najah, and representation on the Student Council, and some of the most creative local campaigns in the West Bank.

“I believe in peace. Peace can be achieved when Palestinians are finally granted their right to self-determination.”


PETITION

DRIVE

With increased frustrations, violence, and cynicism, our need for a two-state solution has never been more urgent. However, it cannot be achieved without Palestinians standing up and rejecting the sort of extremism that has engulfed the Arab world in recent years. Instead, a vision must be articulated that is free from violence, bigotry, and extremism—one that values inclusivity and peace. In pursuit of such aims, Zimam launched a national petition drive calling for a rejection of extremism, and an embrace of tolerance, non-violence and national unity. In just four months, more than 15,000 Palestinians of all ages and affiliations signed the petition—including senior religious clerics, civic leaders and political figures from all parties— helping to create the foundations for a new, inclusive vision of Palestinian citizenship.

NATIONAL CONFERENCE

CREATS HEADLINES At a national conference convened by Zimam in Ramallah, political figures from all major political parties in Palestine came together to engage in a program centered around promoting a culture of peace and values of tolerance and civic unity. Representatives from every Palestinian faction joined their more than 15,000 countrymen and women and signed their names to Zimam’s petition, calling for a Palestinian state to be built upon the principles of democracy, pluralism, and secularism.

Zomlot said: “I want to announce today that the 7th Fatah conference will take place on the 29th of November, and will be a major turning point. 1,400 leaders will participate, and it will engage the youth of Palestine with new ideas, new thoughts, and a new discourse. Fatah will then ask for a PNC (Palestinian National Council) meeting, followed by national elections for the Presidency and the Legislature under the supervision of a unity government in both the West Bank and Gaza.”

Also in attendance was President Abbas’ Senior Advisor for Strategic Affairs, Husam Zomlot, who made a major announcement on the President’s strategy. Speaking to hundreds of attendees from across the West Bank, along with Zimam activists joining from Gaza via Skype,

The event was a major strategic success, and elevated Zimam’s values to a national and indeed international stage. It also provided tangible proof to the current Palestinian leadership that the people of Palestine crave change, and that they are willing to act in order to realize a more pluralistic, democratic, and tolerant future.


PETITION

DRIVE

With increased frustrations, violence, and cynicism, our need for a two-state solution has never been more urgent. However, it cannot be achieved without Palestinians standing up and rejecting the sort of extremism that has engulfed the Arab world in recent years. Instead, a vision must be articulated that is free from violence, bigotry, and extremism—one that values inclusivity and peace. In pursuit of such aims, Zimam launched a national petition drive calling for a rejection of extremism, and an embrace of tolerance, non-violence and national unity. In just four months, more than 15,000 Palestinians of all ages and affiliations signed the petition—including senior religious clerics, civic leaders and political figures from all parties— helping to create the foundations for a new, inclusive vision of Palestinian citizenship.

NATIONAL CONFERENCE

CREATES HEADLINES At a national conference convened by Zimam in Ramallah, political figures from all major political parties in Palestine came together to engage in a program centered around promoting a culture of peace and values of tolerance and civic unity. Representatives from every Palestinian faction joined their more than 15,000 countrymen and women and signed their names to Zimam’s petition, calling for a Palestinian state to be built upon the principles of democracy, pluralism, and secularism.

Zomlot said: “I want to announce today that the 7th Fatah conference will take place on the 29th of November, and will be a major turning point. 1,400 leaders will participate, and it will engage the youth of Palestine with new ideas, new thoughts, and a new discourse. Fatah will then ask for a PNC (Palestinian National Council) meeting, followed by national elections for the Presidency and the Legislature under the supervision of a unity government in both the West Bank and Gaza.”

Also in attendance was President Abbas’ Senior Advisor for Strategic Affairs, Husam Zomlot, who made a major announcement on the President’s strategy. Speaking to hundreds of attendees from across the West Bank, along with Zimam activists joining from Gaza via Skype,

The event was a major strategic success, and elevated Zimam’s values to a national and indeed international stage. It also provided tangible proof to the current Palestinian leadership that the people of Palestine crave change, and that they are willing to act in order to realize a more pluralistic, democratic, and tolerant future.


Activist Spotlight

RAWAN MARAQA Rawan Maraqa, 31-years-old, is from Jerusalem, and has been working as a lawyer since 2009. She has also studied social work and psychology, and has worked with a number of youth organizations over the years. Additonally, Rawan holds a master’s degree in Regional Studies (Israeli Studies), and is currently enrolled in her Ph.D. program at Tel Aviv University. She joined Zimam in 2016 with the aim of compounding her law experience with Zimam’s social work in order to offer her community in East Jerusalem a unique opportunity to participate in the promotion of social change within Palestinian society.

“It will take hard work and popular support to change our reality here. Zimam uniquely combines both to bring a positive change to Palestinian society.”

BUILDING

PALESTINE

Over the next year, Zimam will implement an educational and advocacy program to counter extremism and fundamentalism; creating the necessary conditions for conflict resolution and civic peace. No other organization in Palestine is doing work like this, and Zimam is using tools that are just as groundbreaking as the vision. Zimam’s 2017 activities involve a novel and regionally unprecedented approach rooted in aspects of theology and community intervention. But it also includes a strong understanding of the ways in which technology is radically changing the way that extremist ideologies, conspiracy theories and calls to violence gestate and spread. Zimam’s strategy involves approaching this highly complex issue through four distinct prisms: the roles of media, religion, civil society and education, with each individual strand having its own approach, and its own resources and network of partners; but with the sum of each strand creating societal impact on a very wide scale. The strategy is both elite-driven and grassroots, working on the one hand with national religious, academic and civil society figures through conferences and research papers; but also publishing and distributing viral videos and pamphlets across Palestinian society, and working with grassroots partners and religious leaders at the local level.


Activist Spotlight

RAWAN MARAQA Rawan Maraqa, 31-years-old, is from Jerusalem, and has been working as a lawyer since 2009. She has also studied social work and psychology, and has worked with a number of youth organizations over the years. Additonally, Rawan holds a master’s degree in Regional Studies (Israeli Studies), and is currently enrolled in her Ph.D. program at Tel Aviv University. She joined Zimam in 2016 with the aim of compounding her law experience with Zimam’s social work in order to offer her community in East Jerusalem a unique opportunity to participate in the promotion of social change within Palestinian society.

“It will take hard work and popular support to change our reality here. Zimam uniquely combines both to bring a positive change to Palestinian society.”

BUILDING

PALESTINE Over the next year, Zimam will implement an educational and advocacy program to counter extremism and fundamentalism; creating the necessary conditions for conflict resolution and civic peace. No other organization in Palestine is doing work like this, and Zimam is using tools that are just as groundbreaking as the vision. Zimam’s 2017 activities involve a novel and regionally unprecedented approach rooted in aspects of theology and community intervention. But it also includes a strong understanding of the ways in which technology is radically changing the way that extremist ideologies, conspiracy theories and calls to violence gestate and spread. Zimam’s strategy involves approaching this highly complex issue through four distinct prisms: the roles of media, religion, civil society and education, with each individual strand having its own approach, and its own resources and network of partners; but with the sum of each strand creating societal impact in a very wide scale. The strategy engages both grassroots activists and key opinion leaders, working on the one hand with national religious, academic and civil society figures through conferences and research papers; but also publishing and distributing viral videos and pamphlets across Palestinian society, and working with grassroots partners and religious leaders at the local level.


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2016 Zimam Annual Report