From Palestine on hope and plans, by Mazin Qumsiyeh

 "People do not find the courage to fight continually against an army as
powerful as Israel’s without some reservoir, some deep and already present
fund of bravery and revolutionary self-sacrifice." Edward Said

 Here in Palestine, life is extremely difficult to keep hope alive. Decades
of ethnic cleansing, destruction of local people's lives, segregation and
apartheid. Every single day now a Palestinian or two are killed. Yesterday
Netanyahu announced his success in forming the most extremist, fascist
government in Israeli history so things likely will get worse. An ongoing
Nakba  and a nightmare that sometimes seems without possibility of ending.
Life gives us ups and downs locally and globally. Our work in lobbying and
technical support both in the climate change conference in Egypt and in the
Biodiversity Conference in Montreal had mixed results. The latter
conference did adopt 23 targets and some of the language was due to
pressure from us and others in the global south. We in Palestine are proud
also to be the first country that will have a National Biodiversity
Strategy and Action Plan that is in line with the new (adopted 19 December)
Global Biodiversity Framework.

Thus we keep the hope alive because we act and we take leadership locally
and globally. The season of Christmas in the Holy land is always a season
of hop[e despite challenges. For our Palestine Institute for Biodiversity
and Sustainability at Bethlehem University we have many challenges. As an
example, we raised pledges for funds for renovation of the North Building
but this was a while ago and as the architects just finished the drawings
and bill of quantities, the cost has gone up (cost of material and labor
here is up some 30% since we solicited those funds) and there is
operational costs that we miraculously seem to get to grow year over year
thanks to you and many other supporters (we hope you will be generous at
end of year ( This is not merely
because of hope but because of planning and hard work from all involved. My
wife and I have donated over $250,000 to this project and we volunteer full
time seven days a week, 14-16 hours a day since its founding 8 years ago.
But this was a COLLECTIVE effort which would not have been possible without
a cadre of dedicated staff and hundreds of volunteers, donors and
supporters. Collectively, we obviously think it is important to keep that
flame going and that oasis of hope flourishing in an area of conflict and
rapid transformation. We (staff, volunteers) strongly believe we can do a
lot more with supporters like you and the track record proves that. As we
always do at the end of the year, we reflect on achievements and we plan
for the year ahead to ensure every year is even better than the year before
(see progress via annual reports at

For 2023, our plans are ambitious but can be accomplished with your
support: restructuring, introducing the new bachelor program in
biodiversity and sustainability, large projects on climate change and on
protected areas, increase applied research (especially areas of
sustainability of natural and human communities), more children reached in
marginalized areas via our mobile educational unit, more work with farmers
and creation of new farmers using eco-friendly agriculture, implementing
our just concluded national strategy on biodiversity and its 77 action
plans, new museum exhibits, more environmental justice and human rights
work, new facilities (including the new museum) a peace garden, a herbal
and medicinal garden, more workshops to build capacity, and more.

Partner with us to make a difference:

Merry Palestinian Christmas

Watch "O Little Town of Bethlehem" to see real Bethlehem:

Where to find hope

Congratulations to all who participated in the World Cup games held in
Qatar. While nation states have political differences, all played
professionally. Palestine was also a clear winner

Interview from 2015

Partner with us to make a difference:
Stay Human and keep Palestine alive

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor, Founder, and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
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