The World Education Forum (WEF) will take place in Palestine between the dates of October 28th through the 31st under the umbrella of the World Social Forum (WSF) program. Established in 2001, the WSF uses social exchange and active cooperation to oppose war, colonialism, neo-liberalism and a strictly market-driven approach to economic and social policy from which only a handful of elites are able to benefit. The WSF has become the âopen spaceâ for global civil society with the basic goal of affecting positive change throughout world.
Resulting from the expansion of the WSF, the WEF is an annual thematic forum which seeks to uphold the concept of education as a fundamental human right imperative for the establishment of peace, justice, and cooperation among peoples. The WEF aims to elevate standards of education that meet the individual and shared education of all people, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, or creed.
Operating under this notion of education as a fundamental human right, the WEF is being held in Palestine this year as a gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian people, their capacity to use education and culture as a form of resistance and their right to access to education. The WEF holds that Israeli Occupation and its associated regime compromise Palestinianâs ability to receive their inalienable right to education, the foundation vital for the development of society.
Israeli occupation of Palestinians represents an extreme case of the suppression of educational freedoms, as evident by Israeli forcesâ destruction of Palestinian universities and schools, the Apartheid Wallâs prevention of administrators, teachers, and students from reaching educational facilities, and the Israeli authoritiesâ denial of travel visas for academic staff. Thus, Palestine is therefore not only an appropriate space for discussion about educational imperatives but it is in itself an affirmation of global civil societyâs collective determination to struggle for the right to education in Palestine and across the globe.
The Stop the Wall campaign, as part of the Palestinian National Organizing Committee, calls on all organizations to get involved with the WEF and its push for a global solidarity movement especially pertinent to the Palestinian cause. Registration for organizations and activities for the WEF in Palestine (October 28th â 31st) begins this coming June 25th, 2010.
The WEF activities will be carried out over 4 days, simultaneously organized in Haifa, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Gaza, and Lebanon. The program will comprise centrally organized seminars (organized by the National and International Organizing Committees), self-organized activities, expanded activities (interconnections between WEF venues and between WEF venues and the wider world), trips, cultural activities and assemblies. The activities of the WEF will shed light on pressing social and educational issues and challenges of people struggling for peace and social justice around the world and in Palestine. All activities will be guided by the following thematic axes:
1. Education, arts, culture and identity.
2. Education as a tool for emancipating the mind and protecting the environment.
3. Ideologies in education.
4. Traditional and popular education.
5. Education for peace, equality and liberation.
The WEF invites all organizations to prepare one or more self-organized activities based on the thematic axes, in a location of choice. They call on all organizations to reflect on:
1. Thematic ax(es) your organization wants to focus on.
2. A title and description for your self-organized activity.
3. The location(s) for your activity/activities: Jerusalem, Gaza, Haifa, Ramallah or Beirut.
4. The type of activity: seminar, workshop, debate, round tables, etc.
5. Leading and collaborating organizations.
6. The language of your activity/activities (Arabic and English highly recommended).
7. Wish to interlink with other venues or worldwide expanded activities through internet exchange.
More information about the event structure, fees, logistics, visa regulations and accommodation will be available very soon. Please visit the WEF website for updates and further information: www.wef-palestine.org.
Your support in making this WEF a success is a symbol for global activism as much as it an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people and the refusal to yield the fundamental human right to education to self-serving colonialist and neoliberal enterprises.