رابطة توأمة نابلس دندي
DNTA - Convener's Report 2021
Presented at the DNTA AGM on 26th October 2021
You can also read this as a PDF: DNTA Convener's Report 2020-21
At the time of writing this report, we have all been saddened by the recent news of the death of former MP Ernie Ross. Ernie was instrumental in bringing about the twinning between Dundee and Nablus forty years ago and was a member of the committee for a number of years.
On behalf of DNTA I would like to record our gratitude to Ernie for his work with DNTA and for his lifetime of support for the Palestinian cause. We are looking at ways to mark his contribution but by far the best tribute we can pay is to continue our work in bringing together communities in Dundee and Nablus.
I think Ernie would be very proud of the work we have done this year despite Covid.
As a committee, we have, like many others, adapted to use the Zoom and other communication platforms in linking us together. The unexpected bonus has been the ability to have speakers from Palestine at our meetings. Our speakers have been varied and informative but all reflected on life under illegal Israeli occupation. They have emphasised the importance of keeping the struggle of Palestinians at the forefront of public consciousness at a time when folk understandably are concerned with matters closer to home.
The importance of our twinning relationship and the need for further action was highlighted through; Ambassador Zomlot, Noor Hanbali from the Municipality of Nablus, Mohammad Zaqeb and Rasha Alshakhshir students studying at Dundee University, Hakim Sabah Director of Project Hope in Nablus, Rafiq Zeineddin from the village Majdi Bani Fadel outside Nablus, Adly Yaish former Mayor of Nablus, Saed Abu Hijleh university lecturer and poet, Anan Ateereh Deputy Governor of Nablus and many other voices from our twin city who we may not have otherwise have heard. They have been inspiring and have motivated us to continue and expand our work.
Celebrating 40 years of twinning between Dundee and Nablus
As you know, our planned Festival of Nablus 2020 had to be cancelled due to Corona. The committee therefore decided to mark 40 years of twinning between our two cities by supporting several projects in Nablus.Some of the money came from our own funds and some from donors who agreed that we could use their donations for the benefit of people in Nablus.
This practical aid has benefitted many people in our twin city. I have listed below the projects and practical support we have given:
FONSA Coronavirus appeal £500
Providing plants, seeds and irrigation equipment to help sustain families whose incomes are further reduced by Covid restrictions.
FONSA Student support fund £250
Students are the future of Nablus and many need help with fees when their families have financial difficulties.
FONSA Olive Tree planting £250
Olive trees are not just a staple part of the diet, they play an important economic and social role for many families in and around Nablus.
SEEDS Garden of Unity £500
Transforming the garden of a former synagogue donated by the Samaritan community for use as a community venue.
Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) £500
This charity makes important contributions to Palestinian life. We have heard directly from Jane McCaskill (Breast Surgeon at Ninewells) who has worked with MAP to share expertise and experience with colleagues in Nablus.
Supplying this aid has been an important role of DNTA this year.
Public Awareness raising
In June, members of the committee and the Association along with many people from Dundee and indeed across the planet, were called to action in opposing increased Israeli aggression towards Palestinians.
We helped to organise and participated in rallies and vigils highlighting to the world the continued injustice and aggression by the Israeli state towards Palestinians. Sadly the need to keep up this work has not diminished.
Recognition of the State of Palestine
Technically my report should cover the financial year from April 1st to March 31st. However, I will not miss the opportunity to comment on the historic decision by Dundee City Council on 26th April this year to recognise the state of Palestine. DNTA worked with Dundee Trades Union Council to take a motion calling for recognition to the council.
We were delighted at the reception we received from councillors of all parties who recognised and complimented the work of DNTA. Most importantly we thank the councillors who united to support the motion and to make Dundee the first city in Scotland to recognise the Palestinian State.
Finally, a big thank you to everyone (committee members, supporters and friends) for the work done over this difficult year. Please never underestimate how much it means to those in Nablus. Let’s make next year even more productive.
Committee Members 2020-2021
|Arlene Rashwan||Membership Secretary|
|Christine Issa||Minute Secretary|
|Ian Borthwick||Lord Provost (ex officio)|
|Mary McGregor||Convener and Press Officer|
|Marysia Kobylaska O'Sullivan|
|Vanessa Stark||Event Organiser|
If you share our objectives we would love to have you as a member.
Friendship and Understanding
We promote friendship and understanding between the people of Nablus and the people of Dundee.
Friends of Nablus and Surrounding Areas
A Scottish charity which supports Palestinians in and around Nablus.FONSA
We provide speakers for local community groups. Several topics and formats available.