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June 20th is World Refugee Day. This year CEPAL and SPHR Ottawa are holding an event to raise awareness on the Palestinian Right of Return.

The event will be held at the University of Ottawa, in the Montpetit building rm 203. The event will begin at 4pm and include workshops and speakers. Free dinner will be provided.

Come support your community and show solidarity to the millions of Palestinians who have been displaced and who are being prevented from returning to their homes.

CEPAL and SPHR are proud to present the 2009 Palestinian Film Festival.
The festival will feature two films, “The Children of Ibdaa” and “Tale of the Three Jewels.”

Admission is by donation and ALL proceeds will go towards CEPAL’s 2009 Summer Program in Lebanon. For more information, go to

Ottawa event:

Saturday, April 25, 2009
7:00pm – 10:00pm
Montpetit Hall, room 203
125 University
Ottawa, ON

Toronto event:

Saturday, May 2, 2009
6:30pm – 9:30pm
Room LIB72 – Ryerson University Library Building
350 Victoria Street, Toronto

Montreal event:

Date:     Thursday, May 7, 2009
Time:     6:30pm – 9:30pm
Room 26, Lealock Buidling – McGill
855 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, QC

Admission is 5$-10$ (pay what you can) and ALL proceeds will go towards
CEPAL’s 2009 Summer Program in Lebanon. For more information, go to


The Children Of Idbaa: To Create Something Out of Nothing is about the lives of several adolescents in a Palestinian children’s dance troupe from Dheisheh refugee camp in the West Bank. They use their performance to express the history, struggle, and aspirations of the Palestinian people, specifically the fight to return to their homeland.
* Golden Gate Award Winner – Best Documentary Short, San Francisco International Film Festival, 2003
* Visionary Documentary – Arab Cultural Center, San Francisco 2002
* Special Honor – Tehran International Short Film Festival, 2003

From acclaimed director Michel Khleifi, Tale of the Three Jewels is the first feature ever filmed in the Gaza Strip. Screened in the Director’s Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival in 1995, Tale of the Three Jewels effectively utilizes the grim backdrop of the war-ravaged Gaza Strip as contrast for Michel Khleifi’s whimsical story of romantic longing and the power of imagination.
* Selected! Director’s Fortnight – Cannes Film Festival
* Winner! Golden Butterfly – Isfahan Children’s Film Festival
* Winner! Grand Prix – Nantes Film Festival
* Winner! Prix des Elèves Francophones – Film Festival Raga

Download the Spring 2009 edition of The Arch, CEPAL’s own newsletter, and read about what we’ve been up to!Téléchargez le nouveau numéro du printemps 2009 de <<L’arche>>, le bulletin de nouvelles de CEPAL, et lisez de nos activités et évènements.

Désolé, ce document est seulement disponible en anglais!

The Needs Assessment occurred over a 4-week period in Lebanon during July and August 2008 and involved interviews with the heads of partner organisations, local staff of organisations, community members and former CEPAL students regarding CEPAL’s work, community needs and program development.

Overwhelmingly, the response from the interviews indicated that there continues to be a significant need for the kinds of educational initiatives that CEPAL provides in the camp, namely English language and arts instruction.

Furthermore, many of our partners see educational initiatives provided by foreigners as essential to generating a sense of hopefulness within the community and granting children and youth opportunities to mature into well-rounded community members with a sense of connectedness to the world outside the refugee camp.

Download the full Needs Assessment 2008

L’audit des besoins locaux est le résultat de recherches sur le terrain qui ont duré 4 semaines (juillet-août 2008). Elle se base sur des entrevues avec les directions des divers organismes partenaires, les membres de la communauté et les anciens élèves ayant bénéficié du programme de CEPAL. Ces entrevues ont porté sur le travail de CEPAL, sur les besoins de la communauté ainsi que sur les éventuelles modifications qu’il y aurait à apporter au programme original.

Le résultat des recherches indique un besoin persistant pour les initiatives de CEPAL en matière d’éducation, plus précisément dans les domaines de l’enseignement de l’anglais et des arts.

Par ailleurs, plusieurs organismes partenaires ont souligné le rôle déterminant des projets éducatifs étrangers dans le renouvellement du sentiment d’espoir au sein de la communauté ainsi que dans la création d’opportunités pour des jeunes qui cherchent à se développer et à devenir des membres à part entière de la communauté, tout en maintenant une ouverture au monde hors des limites du camp.

Téléchargez le document complet ici (en anglais avec résumés en français et en arabe):  Audit des besoins exprimés (2008)

Since December 26th, 2008, the shelling of 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza by Israeli forces has resulted in the death of at least 425 Palestinians, in addition to over 2000 wounded. The majority of the deaths and injured are civilians, many of whom are children. This death toll is mounting by the hour.

Moreover, the humanitarian situation, already dire due to the frequent closure of the Gaza Strip over the past year and the consequent depletion of food, medicine and petrol stocks, has been greatly aggravated. The UN warns that there is now a “critical emergency” in Gaza, despite the arrival of some humanitarian shipments.

CEPAL opposes all use of violence, including Hamas’ launching of rockets into Israel; however, CEPAL believes that the measures adopted by Israel in Gaza have been drastic and disproportionate. CEPAL regrets the Canadian government’s description of Israel’s assault on Gaza as self-defense. This position only allows Israel’s assault on Gaza to continue, leading to the continued loss of innocent lives and the destruction of vital civilian infrastructure. In the interest of human rights for all those affected by the current crisis, CEPAL therefore urges an immediate ceasefire and the use of diplomacy to resolve the conflict.
Many of CEPAL’s partner NGOs in Lebanon have begun protests and sit-ins to condemn the attacks. Starting Friday, January 2, 2009, a solidarity tent for Gaza will be set up near the entrance of Bourj Barajneh camp in Beirut. A number of activities will take place, including:

• Open phone lines to Gaza for those who wish to send their words of encouragement and solidarity to those in Gaza
• Card making activities for children who wish to draw cards for children in Gaza
• A mock funeral for the consciences of the Arab regimes who have failed to respond to the calls of their own people in condemning the Israeli government’s recent acts of aggression, along with a reception area for those who wish to offer their condolences for the families of those who have lost loved ones
• A donation box for those in Gaza, whose proceeds will be delivered via an NGO who has access to Gaza.

The initiative is being organized by a group of local NGOs in Bourj Barajneh camp who have come together in the past, such as during the 2006 July War, in order to organize emergency relief efforts and activities. The Emergency Forum for Relief has stressed the non-political nature of this initiative, and their concern as local development professionals for the well-being of their fellow Palestinians. All interested NGOs are welcome to participate, and should contact either Hiba Izdahmad or Hekmat Staytee for how they can become involved. Activities are scheduled to begin at 12:30pm on Friday, and will continue until 7 pm. The tent will remain open each day following from 9 am until 7 pm, and will host different activities each day. In case of inclement weather, activities will continue in a nearby shelter. For Canadians wishing to show their solidarity with the victims in Gaza, a Facebook group, Solidarity for Gaza in Lebanon, is scheduled to up in the next few hours, and will have a listing of current activities at the solidarity tent, as well as other activities in Lebanon in support of those in Gaza.

For more information, please contact (in Lebanon):

Hiba Izdahmad, Media and Outreach Coordinator, 03 053 290 (Arabic and English) Hekmat Staytee, Logistics Coordinator, 03 580 836 (Arabic)CEPAL thanks you for your support,

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CEPAL cookbook for sale
CEPAL cook books for sale: $15 each. Enjoy Palestinian food at home! Email to order