Empowering Palestinian Villages, One Library at a Time
News from Seraj Library Project
Empowering Communities in Palestine,
One Library at a Time
The new Seraj Palestinian Storytelling Center
a letter from our Founders,
Estephan & Laurie Salameh
Dear Seraj Friends,
Greetings from sunny Palestine! We are thrilled to introduce to you our new initiative, The Seraj Storytelling Center, Dar Al-Hakayat (دار الحكايات).
Stories are incredibly powerful. Not only do they act as a witness to the truth, they connect us to our ancestors and our heritage. They tell us where we come from and guide us as we move forward. Stories grant humanity and dignity to entire groups of people. And most importantly, stories have the power to heal.
Since the inception of Seraj, we have focused on traditional community libraries. However, we are now evolving to a national library that preserves the oral history of Palestinian communities. Our next library will be a storytelling center that gives people the opportunity to tell, write and record their stories.
The new Storytelling Center will focus on three main areas. The first is the collection and archiving of traditional stories and personal histories. But these will not simply be archived, because our second area of focus will be producing artistic pieces and performances based on the stories, to make them interactive and available to all. And the third component of our center will be training people in how to collect and perform these stories.
We are very excited to share this journey with you. We hope the stories and productions will be available to audiences in both Palestine and America and will encourage a deeper connection between Palestinians and communities around the world.
Thanks to the generosity of those who have joined together to honor the memory and legacy of our good friend Cotton Fite - we stand at $88,000. Cotton died unexpectedly in 2017, while serving as the co-chair of Seraj Library Project. The Seraj Board enthusiastically decided to establish a Fund in his name and to use the gifts in support of our new Palestinian Storytelling Center.
You have just read (above) how our plans have developed and the cause for our enthusiasm. We are hoping to raise $12,000 by June 30, 2019 to put us over the top of our goal. June 30 is the end of our fiscal year.
Or, send a check, made out to “Seraj Library Project” to:
John Cassel, Seraj Treasurer
636 N Harvey Ave.
Oak Park, IL. 60302
For more information call John at 630.606.5671
Thanks for your loyal support!
HOLD THE DATE for our annual Benefit - Sunday, October 6, 2019 - in Niles, IL.
We are delighted to announce that Laurie Salameh will be our speaker this year. Participants will learn lots more about Seraj's activities & the new Storytelling Center.
Invite Seraj to make a presentation at your church, club, association...or, to a group of neighbors or friends in your home. We can talk about our libraries and programs, and share stories from the Occupation. We hope you will enjoy sharing our work with your friends.