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BuildPalestine

Summit 2022

October 7 – 8

BuildPalestine’s Social Innovation Summit is an annual virtual global gathering of dreamers and doers, coming together to imagine,  build, and celebrate. 

Designing for Unity

The Palestinian people have long been challenged by forced fragmentation within the homeland and beyond its borders in exile. Yet the diversity of our experiences may well prove to be the bedrock of a deep, lasting and authentic unity.

What does it mean to be Palestinian today? And, in the midst of struggle, how do we not lose sight of the society that we wish to build? How do we ensure that unity is a reflection of the rich diversity that is the Palestinian experience? Can we actively ‘design for unity’ in a way that crosses geographic, economic and political divides within Palestine and beyond?

This year’s Summit topics include Civic Participation, The Role of Trust in Movement Building, Strengthening the Palestinian Media Landscape, and much more! Join us for 2 days filled with inspiration, contemplation, and analysis on the state of our community.

 Summit Agenda

Day 1 - Oct 7th

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Panel Discussion

English/Arabic translation

Opening Remarks

Besan Abu Joudeh, BuildPalestine co-founder and Board Chair, and Lama Amr, Executive Director of BuildPalestine will welcome the audience and kickstart BuildPalestine Summit 2022

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Panel Discussion

English/Arabic translation

Opening Panel: Designing for Unity 

As diverse and complex as the Palestinian experience is, on at least one principle there is broad consensus: Palestinian unity is key to developing a national strategy able to confront the challenges facing our community both from within and without. But what does unity really mean? Why does it matter so much? And how do we consciously design for it? 

Panelists:

Aseel AlBajeh

Legal Researcher and Advocacy Officer @ Al-Haq

Ahmad Mansour

 Film Director and Art Curator @ FILISTIA Films LLC, Museum of the Palestinian People

Moderator:

Zaha Hassan

Human Rights Lawyer, a Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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Panel Discussion

English/Arabic translation

Keynote Conversation 

Join the keynote conversation between Dr. Hanan Ashrawi and Fadi Quran, as they reflect on the various chapters the Palestinian struggle, and explore what unity means for Palestinians today and why it is more important than ever.

Keynote speakers:

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi

 Political and Civil Society Leader, Academic, Activist

Fadi Quran

Senior Campaigner @ Avaaz and a Popular Struggle Community Organizer

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Panel Discussion

English/Arabic translation

The Role of Trust in Movement Building

Political trust is generally defined as citizens’ confidence in political institutions. But what do we do when political institutions are absent, co-opted or hollowed out? How can we build greater trust across society in the face of the divisive projects of settler colonialism and apartheid, and in light of internal divisions increasingly exposed in an era of social media? What lessons can we learn and adapt from other contexts? And how important is embracing diversity across the rich spectrum that makes up the Palestinian experience?

Panelists:

Guest Speaker (Presenting Anonymous)

Dismantling Global Hindutva Conference

Pascale Pean

Research Associate and Content Creator @ Makan

Moderator:

Tareq Baconi

President of Board of Al-Shabaka

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Panel Discussion

English/Arabic translation

Decolonizing our Space 

“Decolonization” generally refers to undoing the vestiges of foreign domination and control in a post-colonial world. It is concerned with priming thought processes in a way that supports the dismantling of both the physical and metaphysical aspects of  oppressive systems and structures. But what does decolonization mean when colonial systems are alive and well and at their apex? How can we visualize the whole of our homeland, our history, our people, and our identity, while at the same time resisting the very real systems aiming to destroy them? This panel of dreamers, designers and believers gives some answers. 

Panelists:

Nadi Saadeh

Postdoctoral Fellow @ ETH Zürich

Zain Al-Sharaf

Architectural Designer and Researcher - Architectural Assistant at WilkinsonEyre I Founder of the 'Image as an Archive'

Moderator:

Mahdi Sabbagh

Editor, Architect, Urbanist @ Columbia University 

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Workshop

English/Arabic translation

Workshop: How can Social Enterprises raise funds from donors?

This workshop will share tips for social enterprises to raise funds through donor funding from international organizations. Learn about the importance of networking and how to make sure that funds contribute to the sustainability of the social enterprise.

Facilitator:

Yazan Abu Al-Rous

Social Entrepreneur- Media & Business Development Expert

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Panel Discussion

English/Arabic translation

Strengthening the Palestinian Media Landscape

Palestinian journalism and media production face a wide range of challenges in our society today. Fragmentation, privatization, commercialization, censorship and authoritarianism all play a role. How can we work to ensure quality over quantity across outlets? How can we ensure that people are treated as citizens rather than consumers? And how can we improve the Palestinian media landscape to promote a stronger culture of plurality and freedom of information, debate and exchange? 

Panelists:

Jalaa Abuarab

Editor in Chief @ Dooz

Moderator:

Qassam Muaddi

Journalist and Reporter @ The New Arab

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Panel Discussion

English/Arabic translation

Self Healing for Collective Wellbeing

What is the role of healing in our fight for liberation? How do we heal ourselves in the midst of ongoing trauma? And is ancestral healing relevant? There are healers in Palestine and the Diaspora, committed to holding space and sharing tools for our people. Join this panel to learn more about the important work that is being done, and how you can tap into the collective power while embarking on your own healing journey. 

Panelists:

Laila Atshan

Palestinian Psychologist, Trauma Healer, Inspirational Speaker and a Trainer

Amina Elzerai

Gym Trainer and Yoga Teacher

Ashira Prem Rachana

Trauma Healer, Yogi, and Spiritual Meditator

Moderator:

Reem ElKalidi

Attorney and Founder of Healing our Homeland

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Special Talk

English/Arabic translation

Special Talk with Bisan Owda

Join this conversation with Hakawatieh (storyteller) Bisan Owda, a young woman from Gaza who tells stories about Gaza to the rest of the world.

Panelist:

Bisan Owda

Content Creator @ Hakawateyh Show

Moderator:

Tasnim Khlaif

Community Coordinator @ BuildPalestine

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Special Talk

English/Arabic translation

Special Talk: Narratives of Belonging

Listen in on this intimate conversation between Aline Batarshe (Executive Director, Visualizing Palestine), Nora Lester Murad (author, activist, and educator) and Besan Abu-Joudeh (Founder, Build Palestine). Questions they will explore include: How are Palestinians represented in the United States and why does it matter? What sensitivities and pitfalls exist when promoting Palestinian narratives, and how can they be managed? And how can more people be empowered to tell their stories and contribute to the narrative?

Panelists:

Nora Lester Murad

Author, Activist, and Educator

Aline Batarshe

Executive Director @ Visualizing Palestine

Moderator:  

Besan Abu Joudeh

Co-founder and Board Chair @ BuildPalestine

Day 2 - October 8th

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Panel Discussion

English/Arabic translation

Popular and Political Education: Start by Knowing Ourselves

Building unity requires us to first know ourselves - where we came from, what has come before us and why we are where we are today. In the Palestinian context, decades of imposed fragmentation, together with the depoliticization of society driven by the Oslo system, have encouraged individual skill-building rather than collective learning. It has detached Palestinians from knowing the long and deep history of our political struggle, including the institutions, associations and intellectual production that shaped our struggle before Oslo. How can we ensure a new generation that is politically aware, knows their country and each other, and is equipped to contribute to our collective struggle? What gaps and opportunities are there within formal and informal education? 

Panelists:

Maria Zreiq

Political Organizor and Filmmaker & Project Manager at "Baladna" Youth Center

Amneh Khandaqji

Freelance journalist and blogger

Abaher El-Sakka

Associate Professor, Faculty Member - Department Of Social And Behavioral Science BZU

Moderator:

Besan Ramadan

Social Activist

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Panel Discussion

English/Arabic translation

Our Products, Our Story 

Handcrafts represent a society’s culture, traditions, and identity; they are also a main driver of employment for women. In Palestine, the arts and handicrafts are particularly significant, as a form of resilience and existence amidst an occupation that shamelessly claims Palestinian heritage as its own. This panel will examine the role and future of this sector, asking questions such as: How important are Palestinian handcrafts in the struggle to protect our national identity? Can the handcrafts sector survive and scale locally through younger generations of Palestinians? Is there an opportunity to grow exports through working collaboratively? And if so, is a “clusters approach” an opportunity to grow production and volume back at home?  

Panelists:

Lina Yahya

Business owner @ Beit Al Ard

Ibrahim Muhtadi

Marketing Manager @ Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children

Shirabe Yamada

Executive Director @ Sunbula

Moderator:

Lina Barkawi

Avid tatreez (Palestinian embroidery) Practitioner

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Panel Discussion

English/Arabic translation

Impact Investing: Getting Started in Palestine

As the social entrepreneurship scene continues to mature in Palestine, funding remains one of the top barriers to sustainability and scaling impact for social enterprises. An impact investment fund for Palestine would represent an important step forward for the social innovation sector. This panel comes together to discuss the prospect, discussion questions such as: What are the critical elements of successfully operating an impact fund? How will an impact fund differ from existing funds in Palestine? And what is the role of our community in ensuring its success?

Panelists:

Omar Itani

General Manager @ FabricAID

Lama Amr

 Executive Director of BuildPalestine

Amine Goraieb

Consultant at Alfanar Venture Philanthropy

Moderator:

Mary Nazzal-Batayneh

Chairperson and Owner of 17 Ventures & Landmark

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Workshop

English/Arabic translation

Workshop: How Can We Preserve the Palestinian Identity Using NFTs? 

This workshop introduces the NFTine Project, which aims to preserve a part of the Palestinian legacy and history by converting the Palestinian currency to a non-fungible token or NFT. Come learn about the power of blockchain and how it can be used to preserve the Palestinian identity. 

Facilitators:

Hamzah Ghosheh

Founder and CEO @ Naviatx

Rakan Abbasi

Co-founder and CMO @ Ayzeen

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Panel Discussion

English/Arabic translation

Agricultural Resistance: Fighting by Farming the Land 

Despite its central role in Palestinian culture and livelihood, the agricultural sector remains one of the least advanced sectors in Palestine, with a continually declining productive capacity. Although the sector’s contribution stood at over 20% of GDP and 15% of employment in the 90's, it dropped to just 7.1% of GDP and 6.7% of employment in 2021. Less than 1% of the PNA budget is directed at the sector.

Beyond economic profit, what is the role of agriculture in our fight for liberation? Who will continue to farm the land? What do they need to be successful? And how can we collectively support them?

 

Panelists:

Nasser Abufarha

Director of Canaan Palestine

Rahaf Rifai

Development and Resource Mobilization OfficerAgricultural Development Association (PARC)

Ahmad Al Hajin

Founder and CEO @ Kindy Farm

Moderator:

Zayne Abudaka

 Director of Research @Momentum Labs

This panel is co-orgnized by Momentum Labs

Momentum Labs

Start-up studio and boutique consultancy innovating at the intersection between technology, business, and social impact.

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Workshop

English/Arabic translation

Workshop: Access to Finance for Social Enterprises

The workshop aims to highlight the various options available to social enterprises to access finance in the region. The objective would be to highlight the financial tools available and how, based on your enterprises' development stage, founders and their teams can make the right decisions to grow and scale their enterprises.

Facilitators:

Noor Althafeer

Social Entrepreneurship Consultant @ Alfanar

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Special Talk

English/Arabic translation

Special Talk: The Palestinian Film Industry "Present and Future"

Palestine knew cinema well before the Nakba of 1948, but struggled to reach audiences and surpass obstacles put up by the dominating Zionist lobby on the cinema industry. With a new generation of young directors in the field of Palestinian cinema, as well as the massive technological advancement in filmmaking and illustration, what does the future hold for Palestinian cinema? What challenges do filmmakers face? How eligible is it in portraying the Palestinian narrative to the world? And why is the average Palestinian alien to Palestinian cinema except for some pockets of the cultural elite in major cities?

Panelists:

Ameen Nayfeh

Film writer & director

Omar Rammal

Film Director

Moderator:  

Manar Al-Tell

Presenter @ Roya TV and an independent journalist

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Panel Discussion

English/Arabic translation

Diaspora Activism 

The Palestinian Diaspora, borne out of trauma, is a powerful tool in our struggle for liberation. How do we think about designing for unity when we are spread all over the world? What ties us together as Palestinians amidst our diverse experiences? How do we stay connected to our homeland and communities in Palestine? And what are the different ways we can contribute to the struggle in or from our varying locations and contexts? 

Panelists:

Nada Elia

Senior Scholar of Arab American Studies @ Western Washington University

Diana Cahuas

Representative @the Palestinian Federation of Peru 

Saleh Hijazi

Palestinian human rights activist

Moderator:

Aimee Shalan

Co-Director @ Makan

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Workshop

English/Arabic translation

Workshop: How to build a startup community that empowers the unity and resilience of Palestinians?

Building a Startup Community: Why, how, and what Why do we need a “community” for startups? How can entrepreneurs engage the community throughout this process? And what a startup community is in the first place? These are some of the questions we’ll raise in our session! We’re introducing the concept of startup communities and see how it helped startups worldwide prosper and grow. Then we’ll start applying this concept in our context in Palestine. This workshop would be highly interactive and we would love to get your insights and BUILD a community! Then we’ll dig deeper into the “WHY”. Why do we need this startup community? What benefits do startups get from it? And then how can the whole society get involved and benefit? How are entrepreneurs contributing to solving our problems? And what’s the role of community partners and the society in supporting entrepreneurs (and vise versa)

Facilitator:

Baker Bozeyeh

Co-founder & CEO @ Flowless

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Panel Discussion

English/Arabic translation

Civic Engagement: Challenges Today and the Vision for Tomorrow

A pluralistic and inclusive Palestine requires strong, transparent and democratic institutions. Civil society and civic engagement have always formed the backbone of Palestinian society and the Palestinian struggle. Today, these things are needed more than ever to build the systems and institutions we wish to represent us. In this panel, we will explore questions such as: What are the challenges to civic engagement under Palestinian laws and the different authorities? How is the current crackdown on Civil Society Organizations informing decision-making? What are the implications of defining “good civil society” vs “bad civil society” by international funders? And what actions are needed to build a more democratic society? 

Panelists:

Ubai Aboudi

Researcher, Economist, and Human Rights Defender @ Bisan Center for Research and Development

Sama Fayez Aweidah

Director @ Women’s Studies Centre 

Moderator:

Fadya Salfiti

Chairperson @ Rawa Fund

This panel is co-orgnized by Rawa Fund:

Rawa Fund

Rawa’s participatory funding model supports creative Palestinian community development and inspires a new culture of international aid and local resource mobilization.

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Special Talk

English/Arabic translation

Special Talk with Lina Abu Akleh

This year was marked by the devastating killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist and household name who bravely put herself in the face of danger for decades to tell the story of Palestine. 
Since the killing of her aunt by Israeli Forces, Lina Abu Akleh has played a key role in advocating for justice and demanding accountability. Lina joins us to reflect upon Shireen's legacy and share what she thinks unity means for the Palestinian people. 

Panelist:

Lina Abu Akleh

Advocate for Justice

Moderator:

Inès Abdel Razek

Advocacy Director @ the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, and Board Member at BuildPalestine

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Closing Panel Palestine Time

English/Arabic translation

Closing Panel: Music Performance with Aida Qunbar

At the closing panel, we will interview Aida Qunbar, a young Palestinian singer who will sing us songs about Unity.

Aida Qunbar

Palestinian Singer

Did you miss the past summits? Don’t worry, you can still watch the inspiring conversations

Frequently asked questions

Why should I attend BuildPalestine Summit?

The BuildPalestine summit will introduce you to amazing changemakers who are doing innovative and impactful work on the ground. It will also enable you to network with Palestinians and supporters of Palestine from all over the world and discuss substantial challenges in Palestine. The summit also aims to trigger you to take action for Palestine. 

Is it online or offline?

We want to include all supporters from around the world, hence, the summit will be virtual on Hopin platform.

I registered, how can I join on the summit day?

Welcome onboard! You must have received a confirmation email, which has an “Enter Event” button. This is a direct link to the event. And don’t worry, we will be sending you reminders. We are excited to meet you in October 7&8! 

What are the different ticket types?
  1. A stranded ticket that costs $35, which is a donation for BuildPalestine to support its mission to empower sustainable impact in Palestine.
  2. Free ticket, because you are all we welcomed!
What is BuildPalestine?

BuildPalestine is a registered and non-political not-for-profit company that aims to support the inspiring and growing social innovation sector in Palestine by connecting individuals looking to support innovative projects with those making an impact within their communities.

What language does the summit support?

The summit will provide instant Arabic and English Interpretation. It will also provide sign language interpretation.

Sponsoring Partner

Community Partners