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Rachel Corrie, by Mazin Qumsiyeh

Today marks the 14th anniversary of the murder of a great human being, 23year old Rachel Corrie by the Israeli occupation forces in Rafah. Weremember her life as we remember her death not without sadness and tearsbut ALSO with pride, love, and amazement at how much such a life created aripple effect that millions were impacted. The message of caring for othersthat Rachel articulated as a child (see her 5th grade video of herimploring her classmates to care about hunger . The long line of martyrs for freedom, justice and peace represent thebest of humanity. Everyday we will plant a seedling in our botanical gardenin a martyr name and today we did so in the name of Rachel.Yesterday we concluded the three day international conference at Birzeit on“Archeology and Tourism in Palestine”/ OI presented an article on “Museumsand sustainability in Palestine: Challenges and opportunities”. Below isthe abstract:“Academics, policy makers, environmentalists, and concerned citizens areincreasingly generating new tools to address unprecedented environmentalchallenges. Knowledge based on scientific research is critical for thecreation of environmental awareness and education in order to eventuallyaffect behavioral changes. We show that well-structured museums andbotanical gardens in developing countries can play significant roles inresearch, education, and conservation even when governmental institutionsare weak and underfunded. We discuss a case study of the nascent PalestineInstitute of Sustainability and Palestine Museum of Natural History with abotanical garden. We engage in SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities,and threats) analysis to conclude that, despite some limitations andchallenges, this is a successful model that should be replicated in otherimpoverished communities promoting both tourism and sustainability. Thelink to sustainable development including sustainable tourism practices iscritical. Besides the classic religious tourism, there is potential foradvancing ecotourism, ethno-tourism, dark tourism, and agriculturaltourism. Our analysis shows that all of this requires proper research andbuilding a cadre of qualified people and designing a strategy that isconsistent with sustainability (most notable environmental issues). “The same day we had a visit to the museum of dozens of students from themarginalized community of Wadi Fukeen. The same day we had two workshops(one on Plant identification by Dr. Rami Arafah and one on climate changeby a British Researcher). We are saying goodby to some internationalvolunteers and welcoming others (Mari and Annabell, who will be leaving inthe next couple of days just finished making our insect hotel with helpfrom other vounteers. Yesterday and today we also received many visitors(it seems like so many now that we have time to actually do our work lateat night). We are working now on two proposals on cultural heritage and oneon exchange with US students on environmental conservation and nativepeople resilience.Please follow the museum and garden work at our facebook page and like andshare :-): older article I wrote that still relevant today on dignity & cowardice of martyr Basil Al-Araj writings news is that the Dutch anti-Muslim "Trump clone" did not win theelections and the Green party in the Netherlands went from 4 to 14 seats inthe parliament. France next. Scotland may also revisit its vote and leavethe UK after Brexit.Stay tuned. Stay human. Stay active.Mazin QumsiyehA bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at homeProfessor and (volunteer) DirectorPalestine Museum of Natural HistoryPalestine Institute of Biodiversity and SustainabilityBethlehem UniversityOccupied Palestinehttp://qumsiyeh.orghttp://palestinenature.orgJoin me on facebook