Once Upon a Palestine: Sowing seeds in the Minnesota community
Welcome to the AMP blog, where we will be regularly posting blogs on a variety of topics - all for and around Palestine. We’ll discuss Palestine news, advocacy, culture, people, and much, much more. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, where we’ll update you when a new blog post is up!
For our first blog post, we’d like to highlight some of the work being done by one of the ten chapters of American Muslims for Palestine. AMP-Minnesota is one of the oldest - and one of the most active chapters to date - from being involved in local campaigns from the viral #BoycottPillsbury BDS initiative to mobilizing for the most progressive legislation on Palestine to date coming from their Representative Betty McCollum.
In addition to coalition projects, AMP-MN invests significantly in its Palestinian, Muslim, and Arab population to educate and mobilize for Palestine. Most recently, AMP-MN put on a weekend youth summer program entitled Once Upon a Palestine. The camp was centered around the theme of storytelling and owning the Palestine narrative. The first day kicked off with a BBQ and bonfire to bring together the youth participants and their families.
On the second day, students examined different forms of storytelling. From the social media accounts of El-Kurd siblings to watching the Oscar-nominated film "The Present'', students had the opportunity to see and discuss these different and creative ways of getting the Palestine story out to the world. Students also had a session on combating Zionist myths and how current and historical figures use their faith to fight for justice. The day ended with a field trip to a Deir Yassin memorial in Minneapolis. Students were able to see and discuss how commemoration pieces, along with the surrounding art, can be used as other forms of storytelling.
The following day, it was the students' turn to create and share their Palestine story. They put their skills to the test in a fishbowl activity in which they got to take turns debating someone role-playing a Zionist advocate. Students then showcased their stories in various forms ranging from art to poetry, to skits, to videos. The pieces were engaging, powerful, and very creative. Most importantly, this activity (and the trip overall) helped cultivate a closer sense of community. It enhanced the youth’s sense of identity and confidence in sharing the story of their family and motherland.
AMP-MN is one of the many chapters doing great work across the country - organizing for Palestine at every level. Be sure to get in touch with your local AMP chapter to learn more about how you can get involved and become a part of the movement.