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2009 Capital of Arab Culture
Alquds2009.JPG
Location(s) Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Gaza, Nazareth, Mar Elias
Date(s) 2009
Website http://www.alquds2009.org/english.php

Al-Quds Arab Capital of Culture (Arabic: القدس عاصمة الثقافة العربية‎) is the 2009 edition of the Arab Capital of Culture programme.[1] The programme, organised by UNESCO and the Arab League, is designed to promote and celebrate Arab culture and encourage cooperation in the Arab world. The 2009 edition is the fourteenth of the programme since its establishment in 1996.

Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, the city that the State of Israel claims as its capital city. It is Israel's seat of government, housing Israel's legislature, the Knesset. The international community considers East Jerusalem to be Palestinian land occupied by Israel (UN Security Council Resolution 242 [2], 478 [3], etc. and UN General Assembley Resolution 181(II) [4] ). As result no state has an embassy in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is also the proclaimed capital of the State of Palestine, which is recognised by all members of the Arab League, although the seat of government and de facto capital is Ramallah, in the West Bank. However, many of the events were organised elsewhere in the parts of Palestine controlled by the Palestinian National Authority. Those that were scheduled to take place in Jerusalem were actively discouraged by the Israeli authorities. The opening event was scheduled to be held on January 2009, but it was delayed until March due to the ongoing Gaza War,[5] and it was launched on 21 March 2009.[6]

Contents

Launching of the events

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas officially launched the celebration of Jerusalem as the Capital of Arab Culture for 2009 at a ceremony in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on 21 Mar 2009. Simultaneous ceremonies were supposed to take place in Jerusalem, Gaza, Nazareth, and Mar Elias Refugee Camp in Lebanon. These synchronized celebrations in five locations reflect the desire of building a cultural bridge between Palestinian people in Palestine and Palestinians in the diaspora.[6]

Prevention of the events in Jerusalem

Israeli Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter had instructed police in advance to suppress any attempt to hold PNA-sponsored events in the framework of festivities marking the declaration of Jerusalem as 'capital of Arab culture'. According to the Avi, the events would constitute a violation of the interim agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, which includes a clause that forbids the PA from organizing events in Israeli territory.[5][7]

Acting on Dichter's orders, police shuttered eight planned events, and detained at least twenty organizers and participants for questioning.[8] The blocked events included: A soccer match scheduled to be held at a school on Nablus Road, a conference for young women at the Al-Hiya'la Center also organized by the PNA, and marches in the Wadi al-Joz and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhoods. In addition, a group of Arab students were blocked from rallying at the Temple Mount with PLO flags. A similar ceremony was blocked on the Haroun al-Rashid road.[8] Also, police issued an order preventing an event in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud celebrating the declaration of Jerusalem as "the culture capital of the Arab world." Another event in the al-Tur neighborhood was also closed.[9].

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Reactions to the Israeli ban on celebrations

  • Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas condemned actions taken by the Israeli police to prevent the events in Jerusalem, emphasizing that "there will be no peace without Jerusalem."[10]
  • Knesset member Ahmad Tibi slammed police activity in Jerusalem aimed at preventing PA-organized events for "Jerusalem – capital of Arab culture. I guess the occupation feels threatened by the Palestinian culture and narrative. This is a struggle between occupying police and the songs of freedom and the song will win in the end."[11]
  • Nazareth mayor Ramiz Jaraisy said, in response to the ban that "I never thought they [Israeli authorities] would take it this far. After all, this is a cultural event." The mayor said Dichter was made aware of the planned festivities as early as March 11 but decided to wait nine days before issuing the order "to prevent a public outcry and legal action on our part. "Dichter is trying to compete with (Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman) Avigdor Lieberman's anti-Arab trend, and anyone who holds democracy and freedom of expression dear must condemn his position," he said.[5]

Al-Quds Arab Capital of Culture in Gaza

Poster depicting the alternate logo used by the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip.

Spokesperson of the de facto Ministry of the Interior Ihab al-Ghussein said that the celebrations for Al-Quds Arab Capital of Culture in March at the headquarters of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza.[12] Nevertheless, Abbas, the Palestinian President accused Hams of blocking celebrations.[10]

Al-Quds Arab Capital of Culture in Denmark

Celebrations of Jerusalem's status as the Arab Capital of Culture for 2009 took place on September 26th and 27th in Denmark. This celebration was the only one to take place outside of the Arab world to include more than 40 Palestinian artists. Artists who participated included the hip hop group Ramallah Underground, the folklore dance troupe El Funoun, the Oriental Music Ensemble, visual artist Rana Bishara, and film director Larissa Sansour who presented her film A Space Exodus. They were also joint cultural productions produced with prominent Danish artists, as well as a bazaar showcasing cultural products and Palestinian cuisine.[13]

Al-Quds Arab Capital of Culture at Mar Elias

References

External links


2009 Arab Capital of Culture
Date(s) 2009
Location(s) "al-Quds" (Jerusalem), Bethlehem, Gaza, Nazareth, Mar Elias
Website
http://www.alquds2009.org/english.php

Al-Quds Arab Capital of Culture (Arabic: القدس عاصمة الثقافة العربية‎) was the name given to Arab Capital of Culture programme in 2009.[1] The programme, organised by UNESCO and the Arab League, is designed to promote Arab culture and encourage cooperation in the Arab world. The 2009 event was the fourteenth programme since its establishment in 1996.

Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, the proclaimed capital of the State of Palestine, although the seat of government and de facto capital is Ramallah. Many of the events were held in the Palestinian territories controlled by the Palestinian National Authority. The opening event scheduled for January 2009 was delayed due to the Gaza War.[2] It was held on March 21, 2009.[3]

Contents

Launching of the events

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas officially launched the celebration of Jerusalem as the Capital of Arab Culture for 2009 at a ceremony in Bethlehem. Simultaneous ceremonies were supposed to take place in Jerusalem, Gaza, Nazareth, and Mar Elias Refugee Camp in Lebanon. These synchronized celebrations in five locations reflect the desire of building a cultural bridge between Palestinian people in Palestine and Palestinians in the diaspora.[3]Israeli Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter instructed police to suppress PNA-sponsored events calling Jerusalem the 'capital of Arab culture' because they constituted a violation of the interim agreement, which includes a clause stating that the PA is prohibited from organizing events in Israeli territory.[2][4]

On Dichter's orders, police shuttered eight planned events and detained twenty organizers and participants for questioning.[5] The blocked events included a soccer match scheduled at a school on Nablus Road, a conference for young women at the Al-Hiya'la Center, and marches in the Wadi al-Joz and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhoods. In addition, a group of Arab students was blocked from rallying at the Temple Mount with PLO flags. A similar ceremony was blocked on the Haroun al-Rashid road.[5] Events in Ras al-Amud and al-Tur were also shut down.[6]

Reactions to the Israeli ban

  • Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas condemned the ban, emphasizing that "there will be no peace without Jerusalem."[7]
  • Knesset member Ahmad Tibi said: "I guess the occupation feels threatened by the Palestinian culture and narrative. This is a struggle between occupying police and the songs of freedom and the song will win in the end."[8]
  • Nazareth mayor Ramiz Jaraisy said: "I never thought they [Israeli authorities] would take it this far. After all, this is a cultural event." The mayor said Dichter was made aware of the planned festivities as early as March 11 but decided to wait nine days before issuing the order "to prevent a public outcry and legal action on our part. Dichter is trying to compete with (Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman) Avigdor Lieberman's anti-Arab trend, and anyone who holds democracy and freedom of expression dear must condemn his position," he said.[2]

Al-Quds Arab Capital of Culture in Gaza

[[File:|thumb|right|The Logo Used in Gazan Media]] Spokesperson of the Ministry of the Interior Ihab al-Ghussein said that the celebrations for Al-Quds Arab Capital of Culture in March at the headquarters of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza.[9] Abbas accused Hamas of blocking celebrations.[7]

Al-Quds Arab Capital of Culture in Denmark

Events took place on September 26 and 27 in Denmark. This celebration, the only one outside the Arab world, included more than 40 Palestinian artists, among them the hip hop group Ramallah Underground, the folklore dance troupe El Funoun, the Oriental Music Ensemble, visual artist Rana Bishara, and film director Larissa Sansour who presented her film A Space Exodus. They were also joint cultural productions produced with prominent Danish artists, as well as a bazaar showcasing cultural products and Palestinian cuisine.[10]

References

External links


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