Scholarships for Palestinians: Call for applications


منحة القطان للفنون الأدائية

يأتي مشروع منحة القطان للفنون الأدائية استمراراً لمشروع تطوير حقل الفنون الأدائية الذي أطلقه برنامج الثقافة والفنون في العام 2008، بتمويل مشارك من مؤسسة فورد. وتم تطوير هذا المشروع الجديد ليقدم الدعم في مسارين بشكل تكاملي، أولهما منحة الإنتاج، وتجمع ما بين بناء القدرات، وتقديم العروض، وتوثيق الإنتاج و/أو نشره. أما المسار الثاني فيتمثل في توفير وتنظيم برامج تدريب متخصصة في مجالات ضرورية لتطور القطاع.

 

الأهداف العامة للمشروع:

·       زيادة القدرة التقنيّة والمؤهّلات المهنيّة في أوساط العاملين في حقل الفنون الأدائية، وبخاصة في تخصصات جديدة أو غير متوفّرة في السابق.

·       زيادة الإنتاج في حقل الفنون الأدائية في فلسطين وتحسين نوعيّته.

·       زيادة فرص التدريب العملي للمهنيّين والمبتدئين.

·       تمثيل أفضل لحقل الفنون الأدائية في المهرجانات والمنابر العربيّة والدوليّة.

·       جمهور أوسع في جميع أنحاء فلسطين، وبخاصة خارج مركز الضفة الغربية، عن طريق زيادة عدد العروض الفنية العامة، ولاسيما في مناطق مهمشة اجتماعياً وجغرافياً، وعبر استهداف طلاب المدارس والجامعات.

·       زيادة التعاون والاتصال بين العاملين في الحقل من مختلف أنحاء فلسطين، ما يسمح بتحسين تبادل الأفكار واستغلال الموارد المتوفرة.

 

الفئة المستهدفة:

·       يستهدف المشروع، بشكل أساسي، الأفراد الفلسطينيّين (سواء من ذوي الخبرة في مجال عملهم و/أو أولئك ذوي المواهب الواعدة) أو الفرق أو المؤسسات الفلسطينية، وغيرهم من العاملين في مجال الفنون الأدائيةً.

 

معايير هامة:

·       سوف تعطى الأولوية للمشاريع التي تتمتع بالجدية والإمتياز والإبداع والتي تستدخل ضمن طواقمها مهنيين محليين و/أو أجانب بمستوى عال و/أو ترفد الحقل بأفراد وطاقات جديدة وطازجة، وتتوفر فيها العناصر المتعلقة ببناء القدرات، و/أو تطوير خبرات محددة في المجال، و/أو توسيع قاعدة الجمهور.

·       أخذا بعين الإعتبار المحدوديات التقنية للكثير من أماكن العرض ولا سيما في الأماكن البعيدة عن المركز، وفي المدارس، ورغبة في توسيع قاعدة الجمهور، سوف تعطى الأولوية للأعمال ذات الجودة العالية التي تثبت قدرتها على التكيف مع تلك المحدوديات التقنية والمالية لأماكن العرض المختلفة.

·       تعطي الأولوية للمشاريع التي تثبت قدرها على الوصول إلى قطاعات أوسع من الجمهور ولا سيما في المناطق المهمشة، إضافة إلى استهدافها لطلاب المدارس والجامعات.

 

 

سوف يقدّم المشروع هذا العام منحاً على الشاكلة التالية:

 

أ‌)      منحة لإنتاج أعمال أدائية جديدة وترويجها وتوثيقها

يقدم البرنامج نموذج المنحة الرزمة، والتي تتضمن لدعم إنتاج أعمال جديدة في حقل الفنون الأدائية؛ سواء أكانت هذه الإنتاجات على شكل عروض فنية حيّة على خشبة المسرح أم مسجلة (على DVD، أو CD مثلاً). إضافة لترويج العمل المنتج من خلال تنفيذ جولة عروض والوصول إلى قطاع أوسع من الجمهور، ولا سيما في المناطق المهمشة، ويشمل ذلك طلاب المدارس والجامعات. كما تشمل المنحة عملية توثيق العمل إما من خلال تصويره بشكل مهني يصلح لأغراض البث التلفزيوني و/أو النشر على DVD إضافة لنشر النص الخاص بالعمل في كتاب.

 

ب‌)  منحة ترويج و/أو توثيق و/أو نشر لأعمال أدائية منتجة سابقاً (3 سنوات بحد أقصى)

يقدم البرنامج منحاً لدعم ترويج أعمال أدائية أنتجت خلال العامين الماضيين، من خلال تنفيذ جولة عروض والوصول إلى قطاع أوسع من الجمهور، ولا سيما في المناطق المهمشة، ويشمل ذلك طلاب المدارس والجامعات. كما يقدم منح لدعم توثيق و/أو نشر هذه الأعمال حيث سيحصل الإنتاج على دعم لتوثيقه من خلال:

I.            تصويره بشكل مهني يصلح لأغراض البث التلفزيوني، أو النشر على DVD.

II.        نشر النصوص المسرحية (حيث ينطبق) وما يتعلق بالإنتاج من تغطية صحافية، وطاقم الإنتاج، ومقدمات ومواد نقدية أخرى في كتاب.

 

ت‌)  منح التدريب المتخصّص

تهدف هذه المنحة إلى دعم ورش عمل تدريبيّة متخصصة (تقنيّاً أو فنياً) أو برامج تدريبية مكثفة، لبناء خبرات مهنية يحتاجها قطاع الفنون الأدائية، مع التركيز على المجالات التقنية ذات صلة بخبرات توثيق الأعمال الأدائية، وتصميم الإضاءة، والسينوغرافيا، والصوت والمؤثرات الصوتية والبصرية وغيرها.

 

المواعيد:

يستقبل برنامج الثقافة والفنون الطلبات في أي مجال من المجالات أعلاه في موعد أقصاه 11 نيسان 2011، ويعلن عن النتائج قبل نهاية أيار 2011.

 

ويجب أن يتم تنفيذ المشاريع بشكل كامل، وتسليم التقارير النهائية المالية والإدارية قبل نهاية شهر آذار 2012.

للاستفسار ولمزيد من المعلومات عن شروط التقديم، ومتطلباته، يرجى الإتصال بـ:

هاتف: 022960544 (فرعي 201)

أو الكتابة على: amal@qattanfoundation.org

www.qattanfoundation.org


choice, fate and the phoenix


Choice.

The video I attach to this post I first came across on chocolate mints in a jar blog. It contrasts two myths, the cinderella myth vs the phoenix myth. Both myths deal with change, but cinderella requires some external fairy godmother to come along and ‘save us’ from whatever situation we are in. The phoenix on the other hand is within us, by picking apart what makes us ‘us’ by getting down to the nitty gritty, we get to the core of our being. We can rebuild our lives in the image that we want, away from the chains of society. We can decide what is important and what is not. This in turn opens up the channels of creativity, allowing for new ideas and such.

The Phoenix does not necessarily need to facilitate profound change in our lives or our achievements. But it can lead to greater fulfillment and happiness. I have have burned some of my phoenixes, boiled down my beliefs to their very essence, and as a result I know I chose to be Muslim for example.

I really connected with the speakers example of the ‘good girl’ who does everything according to ‘expectation’ and desires recognition for that by those who imposed the expectations on her, only to b badly burned and left feeling trapped and depressed.

This also reminds me of a friend of mine who truly is a victim of the fatalistic mentality. She is of the opinion that things will come to you. So, for example, even if you fell into a well (her example not mine) the man you will end up marrying will fall into that well with you. This total surrender to the whims of time and chance scare the living daylights out of me.

But I wonder, what false beliefs do I hold that may be holding me back from trying to achieve certain things in my life?

62 years, memories from my village


A few months ago I attended the debut play by the Irish-Palestinian playwright Hannah Khalil. The play entitled “Plan D” was a look at the lives of a small family living in a generic Palestinian village during the spring of 1948. I was moved by the play, and it haunted me for a while afterwards, actually I still think about it every now and then. It was disturbing in the most subtle of ways, and it certainly got into my head. One of the things that bothered me and the people I was with was the fact that the family in question never fought back. They heard whispers of something coming, and knew that their neighbors had disappeared. Playing it safe, they decided to camp out in the hills near their home, and keep a lookout to see what unfolded. The father eventually goes back to check on the house, and upon entering the kitchen he sees  a man seated at the kitchen table grinning at him. The father leaves back to the hills, and takes his family to Jerusalem on foot, when asked what prompted his sudden departure he said “I felt like I never existed”. I asked Hannah afterwards about this, I mean we were brought up to believe that we fought back, and only when we ran out of ammo did we leave, to catch up with the Arabs, form an army and return, assuming a timescale of a month or two at most. Hannah said that that part was based on a true story. I was stunned.

This year I went back to Jordan, my first ‘proper’ visit in 9 years. I spent loads of time with my Aunts and remaining Uncle, and found them to be unusually open and chatty about their experience of the Palestinian Nakbe. I say unusually, because I have found that my relatives tend to speak about the pre-Nakbe period or they focus on politics or life in Irbid. They tend to avoid massive chunks of their experiences, namely their experience of occupation, ethnic cleansing, and their times in the refugee camps of Karami (Jordan). With Hannah’s play still playing on my mind, I pressed my Aunt for more details of our village and what happened there.

My Aunt was eight at the time and she remembers how she used to play with the European soldiers, who gave her sweets, and how one day when she skipped up to them they angrily told her to get lost “rookh!”. Confused, she returned home. Not long after, her sisters and younger brothers, along with their Mum and elders moved to the hills surrounding the village. They left behind the young men.

No shots were fired when my village was invaded, or so my Aunt says. The Iraqi army, from whom the Palestinian ‘fighters’ took orders, entered one night and told the Palestinians not to fire, as people walked into the village. Who these people were, what exactly the Iraqi army said or did and how the Palestinians reacted I may never know. My grandfather and eldest Uncle are dead, and they would have been on the front lines so to speak. My Aunt does remember that her brother in laws father remained in the village, and was never seen or heard from again and she remembers whisperings of what happened in Deir Yassin. Someone said that they saw his dead body in front of his house.

So my Aunt remembers, starting the long walk to Jerusalem. Along the way, her heavily pregnant 16 year old sister goes into labour, in the middle of a valley with planes flying over their heads. No army was formed when they arrived in Jerusalem, and thus began the refugee camp years. She remembered later meeting someone whose village had also been invaded. The villagers were locked up in the village hall. One girl caught the eyes of the soldiers and was dragged off, only to be returned later looking sullen. They came again for her, and the girl was terrified, she kicked and she screamed, her parents clung to her, but the soldiers dragged her off. She was never seen again either.

These stories are rarely told and are rarely heard. Rape is viewed as the failure of the man to protect his womenfolk. This may be why so many people left the villages, the idea was to get the women to safety. This was deemed more important than land.

This vagueness I have regarding the history of my own village pains me really. And is why the oral history project, spearheaded by www.palestineremembered.com is so important to us and future generations.

Here is commemorating the 62nd year of the Nakbe

Probing the very early universe (part IV)


Catch up with the saga: part I, part II, part III

Negative Pressure, Exotic Particles, and the Emergence of Something out of Nothing

So, lets quickly recap. We have evidence that the Universe is expanding, and that the distribution of galaxies is both homogeneous (smooth) and isotropic (the same in all directions). What’s more, our theories of universal evolution tell us that the universe appears to be made up of 50,000 regions that are causally disconnected; they are independent. But since the universe is also homogeneous, this means that for some mystic reason these 50,000 regions managed to evolve in practically the same way as each other.

Physicists do not like mysticism and so they treated these phenomena as paradoxes, mysteries that need to be solved, and a neat solution was proposed in the late 70s/early 80s dubbed inflation. This is the very rapid expansion of the universe at early times, which allowed the universe to be much smaller than we thought it could be, and expanding to the size necessary to account for the subsequent evolution, without upsetting the status quo of the standard Big Bang theory. All this was discussed in part III of this series, and we left off at the point where we asked “How does inflation solve the origin of structure puzzle”, and we shall pick up there.

To be able to answer this question, we need to understand the process and nature of inflation a bit better. The equations that `govern’ or `describe’ the expansion of the universe are known as the acceleration (or Raychaudhari) equation, and the Friedman Equation. These equations relate the rate at which the universe is expanding to the content of the universe. So, if we know that the universe is composed mainly of radiation, the Friedman equation would then tell us the rate at which the universe is expanding, and the Raychaudhari equation would tell how that rate was changing.

acc

Combined these equations tell us that if we want the expansion to accelerate, as is necessary for inflation, then we need something which has negative pressure or negative energy. Since negative energy means negative mass that makes it too weird to make sense (even for cosmologists) so focus was placed on finding something with negative pressure.

Negative pressure:

So what is negative pressure? To get an intuitive understanding of this, imagine that you are blowing air into a glass bottle which cannot expand. As you blow into the bottle you are forcing the air molecules closer together, this is known as positive pressure. Negative pressure (you guessed it) is like sucking air out of the bottle, you are forcing the air molecules away from each other.

So negative pressure forces things away from each other, it acts like anti-gravity, which means that negative pressure could have caused the original expansion of the universe! So the question is what has negative pressure?

We know that everything we have encountered in the universe (be it in the form of matter or radiation) has normal positive pressure, so we really are looking for something as yet unencountered… something exotic.

Exotic particles:

I struggled with this bit. I wonder if people are aware of what is known as the particle-wave duality? Sometime in the 1800s Thomas Young showed that light behaved as a wave, it spreads out like ripples on a pond. In the late 1800s Thomson showed that light also behaves like a particle a.k.a a photon. Both theories are correct, light behaves as both a wave and a particle.

To get the universe to expand very very rapidly the average pressure must be negative, which means that you would need to fill it with a particle that pushes everything away from it. Such a particle has never been observed in nature (hence is exotic), but is a necessary component of fundemental theory, it is known as a scalar particle (wave) and in the context of inflation we call it the inflaton.

Initially introduced to solve the paradoxes of Big Bang cosmology, it was found that the inflaton has another trick up its sleeve … the ability to create the ‘wells’ into which matter will eventually fall and form structure (like galaxies). To achieve this we need to speak a bit of quantum field theory (dont stop reading I shall try to simplify this as best I can!).

The basic idea is that on very small length scales things don’t act normally … on a tiny level everything around us is fluctuating, an electric field may have a specific amplitude (power/strength/value) to the naken eye, but look close enough (hypothetically) this amplitude is changing, it is sometimes less and sometimes greater than the average value that we measure. This happens so rapidly however that you would never notice. Does this make sense? Check out the next figure …

In the classical view (i.e. visable to the naked eye) we would see the wave change with time. But invisible to us there are tiny fluctuations and if we magnigfied this we would get a picture like the one in the next figure.

Having magnified the circled region in the previous figure we see that our first impression of the wave was not complete. To get a better idea of what is going on you have to imagine that the classical wave is frozen and the small fluctuations are wiggling rapidly.

So if the fluctuations are wiggling rapidly, and dont have an effect, how can it lead to ‘fixed’ tangible wells into which matter will eventually fall into… read on.

The Quantum to Classical Transition (the Emergence of Something out of Nothing):

Remember that the universe is expanding extremely rapidly? Ok, well since the inflaton is also a wave, it stretches out across the universe  and gets stretched out or magnified by the rapid expansion. So pretty much as soon as a little wiggle appears on the background (the average value of the wave or the classical picture above) it gets blown up to ‘proper’ proportions. These ‘proper’ proportions are what we call classical, their value becomes fixed and the wiggle stops wiggling.

Since the wiggles can be any length when they get transformed to classical size we end up with a range of different sized peaks and troughs across the universe, and because they are classical they survive through the end  of inflation, and effectively determine the pattern of galaxies we see across the sky.

Questions?

Next up: how do we test this idea we call ‘inflation’?

Jordan – 9 years on (BAJD2010)


It had been 9 years since I last paid a proper  visit to Jordan, but I recently went back for 2 weeks. I was greeted by a freak heatwave in the middle of the bitter Jordanian winter, and instead of the bone chilling cold and sobbas I got warm sunny days. It had been 6 years since I had seen most of my relatives, and during this time two of my uncles had passed away. A loss which struck me again when I arrived, and I kicked myself for not having gone back sooner, in time to see them one last time. But as is life, I dont have a money tree and I guess my priority is to visit my nuclear family at least once a year.

While in Jordan I felt ‘something’ had changed, certainly the little I saw of Amman was busier, more developed, and significantly more capitalised. In northern Jordan in general there was a boom in billboard adverts, with slogans such as “together we can build a better future”, and I remembered thinking what that was about? There were far more leisure outlets as well, such as the King Abdullah gardens and the water park, which were not there 9 years ago. The explosion of malls did not escape my attention either, there is, what, four or five of them now, and I left the day after they opened abdoun mall (the first mall in Jordan), and there are now plans for another in Irbid. I was saddened however at the high perecentage of imported goods, I would have preferred to see more home grown products in the malls. But I guess we can always go to wist-al-balad for that, which I did, and was pleased to see it was the same!

In terms of spirit, I did feel that the few young people who had remained were optimistic, and were developing plans for their futures. My engineer cousin has yet to succumb to the lure of the gulf, and enjoys a decent job with a decent salary and health care, and the option to switch jobs. This luxury of choice of companies to work for was not as available when I was there, I recall a deep pessimism in the land regarding career progression, but now, at least with the few that I spoke to, they felt they could build a life in Jordan. Having said this, I did feel the Jordan is an ageing society, with so many of its youth and middle-agers having travelled abroad, and people did complain about the broadening divide between the super-rich and super-poor.

I was impressed by the new Jordan highway, as well as the northern bus station (so much cleaner, organised and pleasanter than abdali). I was also gobsmacked at immigration, I usually get through passport control in a bad mood, due to the officer being rude, but this time things went really smoothly, and the officer smiled and was really pleasant! It turns out this was not a one off experience, my sister reported the same phenomena when she joined me a few days later. We were both impressed and pleased by this!

The mumtaz taxi service gets a mixed reaction from me, their phone service is professional and friendly, but their drivers still try to bargain and switch the counter off just before they reach their destination, but of course you can always complain.

Above all, I just loved seeing my relatives again! I loved being reminded of all the amazing qualities that Palestinians/Jordanians have, that often are absent in the people who travel west. I was reminded of how genuinley generous they were, how unassertive and how much they hated upsetting people, and how hospitable! It was great to be reminded where my little quirks come from.

“The Hijab Threat and Airport Security”


A call out from Imaan Networking, she recounts an experience she has had a few times in the UKs airports and then asks us to make the following deal:

So here is the deal I want to make with my fellow scarf wearers, when asked at the aiport to allow a headscarf check, do not refuse but insist on one of the following:

1- a private room where the check can be carried out. I do this and even offer to take it off (in front of women) if they are that worried about, but not in front of other people.

2- a FULL body check so that onlookers do not think that it is the headscarf that they are worried about.

Deal?

To which I say: DEAL!

To read the full post, and what prompted the deal, click here

A Network for Muslim Women in London


Imaan Networking was launched by a very innovative young professional a few months ago. Having just moved to London, and realising that it was difficult to meet like minded women she simply put an ad in one of the many websites for Muslims in the UK (I think it was islamic events something). Her ad requested that Muslim women professionals in London contact her should they wish to create a network. The idea took off, and several dinners in London restaurants were arranged, where the Women got to know the organiser and each other.

In Ramadan Imaan Networking organised iftars in members houses. A member would volunteer to host an Iftar, and registered guests only would receive the address. A bit risky, but since many had met each previously, the host knew at least a few of the people destined to show up at their doorstep. As a guest you were expected to bring a dish to share. The atmosphere at these events was amazing, over 15 people showed up at each, and we quickly got to chatting. The women were from various backgrounds and professions (film makers, IT managers, accountants, psychologists, teachers, lawyers, oh and a cosmologist ;) I had some explaining to do at these events :D ), and the converstaion flowed.

The Network has expanded, and now have a website (www.imaannetworking.com) and a blog (www.imaannetworking.wordpress.com). They are now organsing theatre evenings, Eid parties, and trips abroad!!! The latter I am really excited about!

I think this is a neat and innovative way of making new friends :)

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