Tuesday 15 December 2015

EVS Training

EVS Volunteers

I was very enthusiastic to attend the EVS training in Birmingham and as expected it was really nice and fruitful.
There we met a lot of active and kind volunteers from the whole world, learned about the EVS and the voluntary work, (i.e what are the volunteers' roles, responsibilities, rights...)
Three days in the training were effective, informative and very nice network.
I would like to thank the trainer 'Lorrine' for her efforts and power. Also many thanks to each and everyone of the volunteers who attended the training, who put his special touches during the congress, they made a very memorable minute


Welcoming December!

December welcomed me with a minor cold but It's not as bad as I thought. The film night last Friday was great and many people showed up to the event. The films are very informative and a are a great introduction to the Palestinian struggle. We are also currently working on making an event for women/teachers who are coming in January. Living in london generally is becoming easier although one has to come up with difficult challenges every once in a while. We took a break from London when we left for the EVS training and it was a great three days for we met many people from around the world and did some creative work with them. Looking forward to seeing what December is holding.
p.s Happy Christmas!

Scottish Night


Friday 4 December 2015

Westminster University

on the 3nd of December we made a stall at the City Let college with Carmel, and after that we (Nour, Hannad and I) went to the University of Westminster and did a presentation there for the students about what is happening in Palestine now and about the students in Palestine in general.


Tuesday 1 December 2015

Moving to SE London

After spending one month in Kentish Town near CADFA's office, now it's the time to discover London and to keep up with the transportation system (the complicated system!).

On the 29th of November I moved to SE London to live there, it would be a nice experience to use the transportation between two areas far from each other. Packing and unpacking my luggage after a long way travel reminds me of the first day in London..!

Meeting CADFA's Members

Yesterday was a very nice day, after spending time in the office working on different things, the new cards arrived, Nour and I sorted and packed them, and they are so nice! (see picture below)
At night we met CADFA's members at one of the restaurants in the Holloway road and we discussed a lot of things and knew new nice people. Finally we had a good dinner there!

CADFA Meal and a New Week

The CADFA meal on Friday was great and it was very productive. I personally met old members who I hadn't the chance to meet while I was here. We are embarking on the following week and there are lots of plans ranging from connecting with women centers to teach Arabic for youth and speaking at Westminster University. We are very excited for all of this :)

Thursday 26 November 2015

School Visit

On the 24th of Nov. we went to the LSU and met the students there who are willing to learn about Palestine and what is happening in Palestine. After that we gone back to the office, prepared ourselves and stuff to make a stall in Kentish town and was fruitful, we distributed some leaflets about CADFA and sold some Palestinian goods, had good  talks with some people there..

A Mixture of Everything

The last week was very hectic but it was very productive at the same time. We  went to different schools and we are working on having future relations with them. We are also planning for the teacher's visit that appraoching January. Other than that, we are currently focusing on fundraising solely as volunteer to help CADFA with future volunteers and campaigns.

Stuff we sell

The modest stall

Friday 20 November 2015

UN Children's Day

The CADFA youth links is really working its way towards awareness and fundraising. Today the students are gathering across Kentish Town's Station to make a small demonstration for right to childhood, education, and life. Come and join if you are interested! 

Thursday 19 November 2015

Youth meeting

Meeting Palestinian and Arab Youth yesterday was very good, we discussed CADFA goals and the youth links between Palestine and the UK..

We talked about the visits between the two countries, and how joint events with the universities could be done..


Awakening Students

Not many people showed up to our student meeting yesterday. However, the meeting was productive for we had the chance to meet students who are originally Arab. The meeting discussed a trip to Palestine on February and the ways in which to fundraise for the trip. Also, we spoke a little bit about how students can become more active in the universities and involve CADFA in their activities and events. The meeting was successful and is definitely promising for good things in the future. 

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Open meeting

Within the 3rd week for us in London, volunteering with CADFA, yesterday we created bank accounts here.
On the other hand we had a very fruitful meeting with some British youth to talk about the Students in Palestine and what's happening in Palestine in general and specially now. Nour and I presented some information and data about both topics and then we had a Q&A and discussion about them, also as there are some British volunteers going to visit Abu Dis, Palestine next July, we all had some refreshment and then went home to be prepared to the next day..


What is Happening in Palestine NOW?

Yesterday's event was great, the room looked very Palestinian with the decorations and each and every one of us were ready to take on the stage and speak about many things tackling the Palestinian issue. Nandia started first speaking about CADFA youth links and where CADFA is at right now. Wadee followed and made a powerful presentation about being student in Palestine. He addressed the teaching style in Palestinian schools and universities and then he addressed the issue of right to education and the restrictions imposed on students. I made a presentation about what is happening now (since the beginning of October) I made sure to give a little background on the violations of human rights in the beginning. I moved on to the very tension that is rising in Palestine at the moment. I decided to end the presentation by speaking about personal experiences that I went through in the frames of the occupation. The event was attended by school students and university students, creating a nice diversity for the approaching right to education week.  After the event was concluded, people ate and mingled. I believe the event was very successful! :) 

Tuesday 17 November 2015


Being in London, this big, full of landmarks city is brilliant. For the two-day weekend I visited a lot of places and much more yet to come..
I went to the Big Ben, the place i dreamed a lot to visit and London eye, which is unearthly view over the Thames river with colorful surrounding buildings

The other day Nour and I with Elizabeth Monck went to the University of Cambridge where we had a lot of fun, and a lot of things to see, also we had a lunch with Elizabeth's granddaughter who studies there, really was a very beautiful weekend..


Evaluations and More

My first week was filled with a great feeling of homesickness. I left Palestine with an aching heart because of the horrible situation it's going through. Although I had so many great things to look forward to, it seemed like I wasn't able to enjoy anything. Gradually, I found a great way to stay in touch with my reality in Palestine and my temporary reality here. I told myself that what I am doing here is very helpful for the future of the Palestinian Cause and the lives of Palestinians. From visiting museums, connecting to schools, wandering around the Themes, having intense discussions, and planning events- I can say, I am finally finding my place here. Although, I still get homesickness feelings every now and then, I manage to suppress them and tell myself that I need  to look forward to things rather than hold myself back. My goal is to make the best out of this experience, work hard and enjoy what London has to give for the time being.

Second Weekend

This is officially our second week in London. Work is great and there is so much to do and the weekends are also exciting. Yesterday, we were offered a great trip to Cambridge by Elizabeth Monck who happily took us to Cambridge for a nice tour around her old college and around Cambridge generally. Cambridge is very Harry-Potterish and is filled with great architecture. The gardens are superb and give a great fresh breeze for a new week at work. We are looking forward to accomplishing more twinnings and friendships with schools. Also, we are enthusiastic about raising awareness about the situation in Palestine.

River Cam 

Tastes of Palestine

Every Saturday, we will be in a stall at Brunswick center selling organic olive oil, soap with different tastes, Palestinian Pottery, Dates, and Kuffiyas. Trust me when I say, Palestinian Olive Oil is worth every pound. Come, come come!!

Sunday 15 November 2015

Stall at Brunswick Center

For the first day of our stall at the Brunswick Center with a horrible rainy day was very good and very nice as well, we were supplying Palestinian goods with the theme 'Tastes of
Palestine'. Olive Oil, Za'tar, Soup, Dates Mugs, Plates, Friendship Bracelets, Kufiyyas and many other things.. I really had a nice time there and I am excited for the next time. Don't forget to visit us on the next Saturday, November 21 at the Brunswick center ..


Friday 13 November 2015

Preparing for the Stall

On the 12th of November, we had some work to do at the office before Annika arrived, we started preparing things for the Stalls, then we collected some leaflets, books, cards, and other Palestinian stuff and went to the Brunswick center, left the stuff there in one of Annika friend's home. Then we visited the place we will be making the stall at. Around 3 pm we went to Haverstock school as we discussed with Ms. Sarah the possibility of joints events..


Waking Up Twinning Links

After meeting with one of the teachers in Haverstock Secondary School, we are able to discuss reviving the twinning link between Haverstock and the Arab Institute in Abu Dis. The friendship was vital until it went silent and after discussing future activities, we were able to write a revival plan. The teachers visit is approaching and we are preparing to take two teachers from the Arab Institute. for a two-day residential in Haverstock.


Thursday 12 November 2015


On the November 11th, Hannah, Nour and I went to the LSE and distributed some leaflets there also we visited SOAS university and did the same thing, we put the rest of the leaflets in the public shelves in the student union office. We three then had a good lunch and shopping time..

SOAS University


Wednesday 11 November 2015

LSU School visit

On the November 10th, Nour and I went to the La Saint Union School and met Erica there again, talked a bit about our first week in London before starting a meeting with some British youth who are excited about Palestine (some of them will be visiting Palestine in July, 2016). We talked about CADFA and being a volunteer there, about our experience with CADFA and how it would be?, Youth Links and their visit to Palestine, fundraising to do so, and about Palestine the some of cultural differences.


School Club for Palestine!

Yesterday, Wadee and I returned to the LSU for an after school club. We had no expectations but we found six students who are more than delighted to start working and fundraising for the youth links that CADFA promotes. The youth links allow the space, time and chance for youth in Palestine and youth in England to meet and have a cultural exchange. These youth links are apparently very productive for the students who we met yesterday were more than keen to fundraise for their trip to Palestine after meeting Palestinian students like themselves. These youth links create a personal bond that leaves everyone wanting to know more and go as far as becoming ambassadors of change in Palestine and show the violations of human rights in Palestine to the international world.

Tuesday 10 November 2015

School visits

We learned more about CADFA while reading brochures and books about CADFA, we met Annika and we discussed the aims of the volunteering program and this experience.
Then visited La Saint  Union School and met Erica there who showed us the facilities and gave us information about the history of the school as well.

 Also we visited the Gospel Oak school where we met Dawn-Dawee and discussed the plan of volunteering there and making Arabic language teaching sessions and some other activities..

Then left with Nandita, Nour and I had a dinner and then gone home to rest..
We enjoyed watching the fire-works in the whole London, was just amazing ..

Nov 5th

Arrived London

As it is my first time in London and the UK in general and as I am going to represent Palestine here and show the people what are the human rights have been stolen from us as Palestinians..
The plan is to work and make CADFA always forward, volunteer to help Palestine..

We aim to:
1. Develop CADFA's programs and make it spread wider 
2. Let the globe know more and more about Palestine 
3. Make new friends and build networks
3. Learn new skills
4. Meet professionals and volunteers 
5. Visit the universities, collages and schools to let them know about Palestine and CADFA 
6. Fund raising during the events
7. Blog administration
8. Take photos during the events 
9. Learn about the British culture 
10. Have fun in London

Nov 4

Visiting Schools and More

Wadee and I visited LSU and Gospel Oak School during this week. The visits were great and different, we were given a tour around the school and spoke to the faculty and staff. LSU is a beautiful Catholic School with a church in it's core. The school makes a huge effort to empower students academically especially girls who are keen to get in the world of science. We met a teacher called, Erica who was more than pleased to show us around and talk a bit about the school's system. The library as you can see is spacious and filled with different genres of books and organized according to students' years.

Oak Tree


Sunday 8 November 2015

Waking up in London

Waking up to pretty old houses in Kentish Town is never something you will complain about. The landscape is amazingly ancient and is saturated with a great history and civilization. These were my very first impressions. When we went to parliament hill, I was shocked by the combination of the natural environment and the industrial view in front of us, the combination, although rare was very thrilling and astounding. I was very homesick and perhaps had symptoms of a cultural shock due to the radical difference back home. Once we got to central London, I was determined to eat Palestinian food in a place called, “Heba”. The experience of eating Arabic food with an Arab community in central London was also very weird. However, I felt comfortable and closer to home while Nancy Ajram’s[1] songs played in the restaurant.
Before going on about London and central London, I should note that the house I have been living in is one of the most beautiful houses I have seen, its owned by great person called Lady Elizabeth. The house is very ancient and filled with great multi-cultural antiques and rugs. One of the rugs is framed and hung in the middle is actually Persian but has Arabic writing on it. It’s one of these houses where you only see at movies and wonder how they look like from the inside. I really got a taste of the English life through this house and it’s amazing exterior and interior.
I really do love the water and the sea. I am forbidden to enjoy the sea in Palestine due to the Israeli restrictions. I rarely get to see it and every time I feel, smell, or look at the water, I instantly feel better. We took a tour around the Thames River
with the great London eye background. After spending some time looking at the river, I was gradually feeling comfortable and happy. I no longer felt the urging need to call my mom or eat Arabic food. The scene was natural and the East vs. West story didn’t matter anymore. After going back home using the tube, I felt like I am starting to get a hold of the ways here. Although it’s too early to judge, but I think in a couple of days, I will be able to differentiate between colors black and blue and platform 1 or 2. Today is my second day here in Kentish Town, I feel like I still have so much to know and explore and I’m extremely looking forward to do so.


[1] Nancy Ajram: Lebanese pop icon (who everyone listens to)

The Journey from Palestine to London

I woke up at 5:00 am realizing I had to catch a flight from Amman while I am still in Ramallah, West Bank. Once I packed everything and said my goodbyes, I headed to Jericho in order to begin the journey to three stops that represent three political dimensions. The first stop is the Palestinian stop where one buys an Israeli tax and waits for a bus to head to the Israeli stop. Although I call them stops, they are more like checkpoints, places where you have to get approval from every place in order to travel freely in Amman. The bus left the Palestinian stop at 8:00 am, but the Israelis didn’t think this was appropriate for their major security checks. Thus, we waited between the two stops for two hours until the buses were mirrored and extensively searched. The Israeli stops welcomes us with metallic machines and a guy who yells at you if you don’t remove your belt, shoes, or your necklace. After being cleared as a security threat, I headed to the passport control section where the Israeli soldier asked me whether I have a different passport. I said no multiple times until he was convinced and decided to stamp it with Hebrew words and letters.

After leaving the Israeli stop, Palestinians go to a place where they have to find their bags between the rubbish. I like to call this stop the nowhere land stop because it’s literally a deserted desert. I picked up my bag and filled a card for the Jordanian stop where once again we are met by security checks and passport control. Once I finished, I ran for a taxi as if freedom finally embraced me and headed to Amman’s airport. The airplane landed in Beirut and once we were there, I could smell trouble. Since Lebanon doesn’t have any type of peace treaty with Israel, they don’t normally accept Israeli stamps in their airports or near their country. However, it was only a layover and I kept on reassuring myself nothing would happen. Once I gave my passport to the Lebanese border officer, his face looked confused and lost. He instructed me to sit on the bench and he left. After waiting for 40 minutes, he came back holding my passport and my ticket and told me that I was free to go.

I was so happy once we took the plane to Heathrow Airport. On our arrival, we met a great lady called, Jill. She took us to a different world in the underground tubes. I was too tired to profoundly explore my surrounding. But, I realized after a 17-hour travel plan that I was finally here and I wasn’t going to ruin it because of the restriction on movement stamped on my passport and identity. And now, Hello London!


Wednesday 4 November 2015

A big welcome to our new volunteers from Palestine

Wadea and Nour arrived safely and are beginning to get used to London. From CADFA, a big thank you to friends who have offered them good accommodation and are otherwise being helpful! Hope they have a good time, good for them and helpful for CADFA - there's a lot to do!

Wadea and Nour have a job in CADFA COMMUNICATIONS - this includes writing on these blogs (so keep an eye on them), supporting twinning clubs, organising and speaking at events... Their programme is firming up but do talk to us if you have a CADFA-related activity to suggest and would like to ask for their help.

We have local volunteers too - Charlot, Hannah and others may write on here too - and welcome applications from others to join us.

Friday 21 August 2015

Good Bye event

Our event last night was great fun. Robert, Emilio, Momin, Nadeen and me gave presentations. After this we watched 2 filmes. One film was about the Israeli Seperation Wall, made by volunteers in Palestine. This film was very sacastic and it made me laugh even if the topic is very serious. They sad for example that the wall is very nice and one of the biggest tourist attractions in Palestine.

After this we had delicous foode and cake fro Momin, whos birthday its was and music.

Its was a great it event and I will miss this kind of things with CADFA!

Thursday 13 August 2015

Dunja is saying good bye!

Hi everyone,

London felt so different in the my first days here. I never knew where I am exactly. For example one day I was near my house, but I did't knew were I am at all and now the same area is so familiar. I got lost at least every day or missed my bus stop. Now I am happy to say that I can travel in London without city mapper anymore.

 I feel the same if |I think about CADFA. I arrived and did't knew what to expect. Of course I had an idea of some things, but now I know I knew nothing  about how everything works. I remember Nandita always talked about the the leaders visit, which was the first for me, but I did not know what it means. After it I know what she meant with a residential and why CADFA is doing it.

cooking in the residential
hiking in the leaders visit
playing games in the resindetial
About the work of CADFA, I knew what they do and for what they do it, but I didn't know how! Just after a few month I could say how they do for example there events or what outreach means.

painting in the schools
If I look back, the most I enjoyed were the visits. I remember there were so tiring, but after all its done, I just miss it because I had an amazing time. I am so thankful that I could see such nice places like the Lake District or the sea in Norfolk, that I could meet so many great people and be part of so many fun activities. Thank you for all this great memories.
Beautiful Lake District with my lovely Rana 

A singing workshop in the women's visit
I remember we were joking so much, that we could not stop to laugh

CADFA gave me the opportunity to improve my English a lot, to meet and work wit  a lot of different people, to be  part of lots of activities like demonstrations and events, learn about Human right and Palestine and feel confident to speak about it in front of other people.

Demonstration in Kentish Town

Even if i spent 10 month in London, through the work of CADFA I feel like I also went to Palestine!