Do we all share a common problem but don’t know that yet?
As people go through their daily lives, they encounter problems that they might perceive as something that only they face. However, a community may struggle with systematic and structural problems that present themselves as something to be addressed on an individual level. When people in a community come together and talk about these problems, the structural nature of these issues are exposed and people realize that they are not alone in carrying the weight of the issue. However, many factors, intercommunal or external, may cause people to isolate their problems from the community and reserve it to the individual.
In this video, Khaled talks about the initiative which sought to bring together communities under occupation and help them visualize a more in-depth picture of the reality of their problems.
The simple idea was that Jerusalem was suffering from many problems due to the occupation, but that the city inhabitants themselves didn’t know the whole picture that summarizes their problem because of the occupation that separates them. So we decided to perform first an identification of all the neighbourhoods of Jerusalem. So we identified 38 communities. From this identification we told the story of every neighbourhood from the viewpoint of its residents: its history, the facts that they are facing today, and at the second period we identified the activities that are happening in the neighbourhood, and what is being done to tackle the problems that face Jerusalem in general.
So we identified the institutions, the activities and the mobilizations that are happening in every neighbourhood and what are their objectives, what are the problems faced, and what are the needs that they satisfy, and this way we had also an idea of the problems and the needs that no one addressed.
The stories, the maps and the image that they want to give about the neighbourhood it is them who choose it, we provide them with tools, with information for them about how to use certain techniques whether on the internet or open source like the maps that we use, and at the end all of this information is grouped on our website in which there is this possibility that the local residents and activists themselves add information or update it directly. The goal also is that they have the control themselves over this area of the website, so that they can transmit the whole picture according to their own understanding directly, and also so that anyone who doesn’t communicate with them can now contact them directly through the website, there is no need that there should be an intermediary, whether ourselves or others, for this communication to take place.
So the goal is to face these maps by showing the existence, which is practically the name of our book, of Jerusalemites, their neighbourhoods, and what they have in terms of landmarks and activities, in order for tourism to finally reach these marginalized areas, so here the idea is that every neighbourhood and every community show the places that are worth visiting and that are important to preserve, and important to preserve their Palestinian identity and heritage, which is also something that the occupation is trying to change, by changing the names of streets, neighbourhoods and areas.
After watching Khaled talk about the community’s role in establishing the problem at hand and taking lead in directing the efforts towards the solutions under the conditions of occupation and separation, reflect on your own problems with respect to the community you’re in.