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URGENT Appeal from Radio Tariq Al Mahabbeh in Nablus (english)
by Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc)
Email: info (nospam) gush-shalom.org
01 Oct 2002
Modified: 03 Oct 2002
Urgent appeal from Nablus. Helping the Nablus local radio to stay in the air is something from which the whole population would profit - closed up in their homes and clinging to each piece of information as they continue to be.
ubject: (Fwd) Appeal from Nablus: keep radio Tariq Al Mahabbeh in the air
Date:Tue, 1 Oct 2002 01:38:34 +0200
From:"Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc)"
To:gush-shalom-intl (at) mailman.gush-shalom.org
GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 - http://www.gush-shalom.org/
The following is a cry for help of Amer Abdelhadi, director of radio Tariq Al Mahabbeh , whose once self-supporting enterprise is now kept going in spite of huge losses and thanks to an enormously devoted team - all realizing that in the present circumstances this radio is a lifeline for at least 100.000 people.
Helping the Nablus local radio to stay in the air is something from which the whole population would profit - closed up in their homes and clinging to each piece of information as they continue to be.
You can transfer money to the bank account which appears in the end.
------- Forwarded message follows -------
From: "Amer Abdelhadi"
To: "Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc)"
Subject: URGENT Appeal from Radio Tariq Al Mahabbeh
Date sent: Tue, 1 Oct 2002 01:36:50 +0200
URGENT Appeal from Radio Tariq Al Mahabbeh
Greetings from Nablus which has been languishing under a continuous curfew imposed by the Israeli military since June 20th with only sporadic lifting for a few hours every two weeks or so. Every single dimension of social, economic, cultural, and human life has been disrupted. And now, we have been struck by the latest Israeli aggression against the whole city of Nablus, were many people were killed, scores injured, homes demolished and the history of our ancient and beloved town erased from existence. These attacks against our past, present and future can only be withstood with the support of freedom, peace, and justice loving people around the world.
It is from our specific location under siege and curfews --with food and medicine running out, water cut off and electric generators destroyed, children terrorized, and social, economic, schools closed, and political developments stunted-- that we issue an appeal to all of you for you are our last and only hope. We ask you to intervene and use the resources at your disposal to pressure Israel to lift the curfew off Nablus and the other Palestinian communities that are held hostage to the whims of Sharon and his bloodthirsty government.
We are trying desperately to carry out our journalist mission and inform our public in Nablus of the developments on the ground. However, as you may already know, our job is dangerous and complicated.In April,Israel decided to reoccupy all cities, towns and villages in the West Bank. During that time, our station was shelled almost killing two of our reporters who refused to leave the station and insisted on giving the Nablus population news of what was going on.Unfortunately,heavy bullets and rockets shuttered our studios completely destroying two transmitters and other equipments valued at over $50,000.00 dollars.
Even before the recent Intifada, the Israeli military has seizedour transmitters from the top of the Jerzim Mountain under the pretext of stopping pirated Israeli radio stations. And although the Palestinian Authority has made it clear toits Israeli counterpart that we are a legitimateand fully licensed radio station,our transmitters were never returned to us nor were we compensated for their loss. An old standby transmitter was installed in a new location, but we could no longer have broadcastcoverage all over Palestine; we had to limit ourselves to Nablus and the northern parts of the West Bank.
During the April incursion the Israeli military army had stormed into our new location and caused an electric shock to our transmitters destroying them completely. We installed another set of transmitters that we previously used for outdoor live coverage the Israeli military had stormed the location and seized them as well on September 4th. We are now limiting ourselves to cover the city of Nablus only which resulted in preventing our services to neighboring
villages and towns.
Our losses exceeded US $150,000.00 since April this year. (The sum may seem small to people in the US and Europe but it is a huge investment to us here). We are threatened by the Israeli occupation on one hand and the lack of funds on the other.
Things are getting worse as days pass by. Unlike journalists elsewhere, our mission is not only to report the news. We do not exaggerate when we say that we are the lifeline of this community. Before April and the direct Israeli re-occupation of Nablus, we used to give out a bulletin on the "road situation" every 15 minutes to inform our public of what back-roads people could take to get the injured and the ill to hospitals or to get some important documents processed (sometimes people outside of Palestine do not realize that no one would make a trip and pass Israeli checkpoint unless their trip were absolutely necessary. It is not just the danger involved in taking such a trip, but the hardship of walking long distances at
the risk of being turned back and most importantly at anexuberant cost when people have no money for food, medicine, or water and electricity bills). These bulletins were heard by the population of Nablus and the surrounding villages and refugee camps, such as Balata, Askar, and Ein. We would issue an emergency bulletin every time someone spotted an Israeli patrol near the open roads and called on by Jawwal (local Palestinian Mobile Network) to notify us.
Now that the roads are completely blocked and no one comes in or leaves Nablus, we serve as the only source of information as we sadly announce the names of the martyrs to allow people to attendfunerals and offer condolences--the only form of social support people can
give to each other in the face of a continuous 24-hour curfew.
Life style has changed for everyone in Palestine: The high school general matriculation exams usually end by mid June. In Nablus, the Tawjeehi exams were delayed until the end of July.
The delay in the taking, grading and posting the results of the exams (August 6th) has already deprivedPalestinian high school students from much needed time to apply for and seek acceptance at Palestinian and other Arab universities. Under normal circumstances, newspapers and school post the results of the high school exams. But since we are under curfew, no newspapers have reached Nablus for quite a while. Schools are the other place at which students find out their results. But most schools in Nablus have now been occupied by the Israeli military and turned into armed posts. As a result of these obstacles, we decided to keep operating our radio station in order to announce the names of each student and the average she or he received in the exams on the air. Although this decision has cost us funds we do not have, not to mention the risk we took to get to the station to make the announcements, we were more than happy to bring some good news to our public that has had nothing but bad and worse news day after day. Students called to thank us and parents were celebrating their children's success; this made it all worth the risk.
New school year have also been interrupted; students in Nablus attended schools on the first day at school only, the curfew was re-imposed again, leaving more than 60,000 students without education in Nablus alone. We presented programs and talk shows that eventually
pushed the ministry of education to open schools and parents to send their children to schools, --in the curfew--. However, since not all students could make their trip safely to schools, we started a new series of educational programs that have helped students make up
for some of the missing days at school.
Our services have alsoincluded receiving calls from ill people requesting medicine or medical advices. When we receive such a call, we contact doctors,neighbors and paramedics to provide medical aid to those who cannototherwise obtain it. We have also called and have
been called by families who were held hostage by the Israeli military. For example, on August 4th, we called Mr. Nidal Shafiee, who was locked up along with 97 other relatives and neighbors who live in the Freitekh building in the old city of Nablus. Mr. Shafiee explained on the air that the 98 people had no electricity, no water, and no baby milk. We contacted the relief committees who were able to get in through the Israeli military siege to provide help.
Although we reduced our daily programs to the very minimum, some of the remaining programs had to be cancelled because the curfew prevents daily papers from reaching Nablus. Despite the high cost of running programs, we are still keeping children programs going because of the need to help children deal with anxieties and the trauma caused by the curfew and occupation and daily presence of military around.
All of our services are free of charge. We are listed as a commercial radio station. We started out as a medium to promote social justice and human rights.We used to offer cultural and social analysis and cover all local and national news.
We would get sponsors for various shows, especially from merchants who wanted to promote their business. Since the outbreak of the Aqsa Intifada, however, we have not been able to raise funds to pay the salaries of our staff nor cover the phone, fax, mobile, or internet bills. We used to have a link to the internet to broadcast live but wehad to suspend it for lack of funds.
We therefore call on all of you to please help us in our mission. Continue and escalate your efforts to end the occupation of our land so that we could live freely and peacefully like all people on the face of the earth; we deserve no less than other human beings. And we also ask you to help us raise funds to support this station thatis truly the only lifeline to the people of Nablus. We promise you that we will continue to resist all attempts to uproot us from our land and erase our identity. We hope that youcanoffer the support to allow us to maintain our sacrifices.
We have cut our costs to the minimum; our phone lines were reduced to four instead of 13, our staff have agreed to give up 50 % of their salaries, and we have reduced the running expenses by limiting our giving up on a lot of the daily essentials we needed to run the operation like printing papers, continuous Internet leased lines& etc.
However, we are still in desperate need of US $5000 to cover the expenses that we cannot do without. We also need to buy two more sets of transmitters to replace the damaged one in our main studios and the confiscated one in re-broadcasting link location.
For Justice, Peace, and a free Palestine,
Tariq Al-Mahabbeh 97.7 FM
Nablus Under Siege
Below are the bank details:
Account Name: Amer Abdelhadi
Bank Name: Bank of Palestine
Account Number: 177080
Bank Number: 89
Branch Number: 457
Swift Code: palsps22
My Postal Address
P. O. Box 1524
Al Adel Street
Mobile:+972 59 371372
------- End of forwarded message -------
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be strong, sisters and brothers (english)
by the world is watching
(No verified email address)
03 Oct 2002
while i am at a loss to explain the silence and complicity of 'my' government in this outrageous occupation, i am with you in the spirit of resistance. i know i speak for many when i say my heart burns in determination to see the palestinian people enjoy freedom soon. funds are forthcoming for this essential enterprise as well.
stay strong there; your friends in the world are mobilizing to be more effective in our demands for justice and peace in palestine.