Internet Centres In Palestinian Refugee Camps To Open FWD

Tom Boland (
Fri, 23 Jul 1999 20:49:40 -0700 (PDT)

FWD via Homes Not Jails list <>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 16:11:34 -0500
Subject: <no subject>
From: "Nigel Parry" <>

Dear all,

I am an Internet consultant who was invited to the UN in Geneva in 1997 to
present a paper on the development of the Palestinian Internet.

The following press release from my former workplace Birzeit University
tells of one of the most significant international developments on the
Internet for years. Since McLuhan and Gibson first started popularly
articulating how globalisation could impact the world, I can't think of a
more significant project that fully realises their visions.

This is not only the first cybercafe in a refugee camp, it is the first
stage in a project to, as Palestinian academic Edward Said once wrote, give
the "permission to narrate" to a Palestinian refugee camp. It is a symbol
that everything who is concerned about the development of the Internet in
the developing world will welcome with great interest.

The articulation of the future stages of the project can be found at

It is truly an historic day not just for Palestinians but in the context of
the whole history of the Internet. It is the fulfilment of a lot of dreams
that many people around the world have had for the Internet, its impact on
society, and global relations. The project represents the best of what the
Internet can and should be, and I find a distinct lack of words to express
the importance of this development. My hope is that people both recognise
its importance and encourage similar projects in other parts of the world.

I would highly reccommend this project to you as a very significant story
to watch. It really doesn't get much more newsworthy than this in Internet
development land.

Nigel Parry

Launch of Across Borders Project

First Internet Centre to Open in Deheishe Camp

This Saturday, 24 July, the Birzeit University Information
Technology Unit will officially launch the Across Borders Project.

This Project aims to establish Internet centres in Palestinian refugee
camps, train camp residents in the use of the internet and WWW,
and create English/Arabic websites for each camp.

Saturday will see the launch of the first phase of the project - a fully-
equipped computer lab in Deheishe camp at the Ibdaa Children's
Cultural Centre. The centre is linked to the internet with a permanent
lease-line connection. Ten young people from the camp have
completed a 36-hour course at Birzeit University on the internet and

Ibdaa will begin running courses for camp residents within the next
week. Courses offered include Basic Internet Use and Introduction
to Windows. An internet cafe will be opened every night from 6:30 -
10:30pm and Friday 12:30 to 10:30pm. Courses will also be offered
during the day for children under 16 years.

The camp websites will play an important educational role for the
international community. The ability for people to directly
correspond with the refugee population in the camps will increase
the understanding of their situation on a worldwide level. School
groups overseas for example, will be able to directly correspond with
their counterparts in a refugee camp.

The virtual travel over borders which the Across Borders Project will
create, aims to improve the visibility and confidence of the refugee
community as a whole. Many analysts of Palestinian society have
identified the increasing division of the community along regional
lines. The Across Borders Project will facilitate in re-asserting the
refugee community as a central axis of Palestinian society.

Following the launch in Deheishe, the project will extend to other
camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is planned to also link up
other refugee camps around the Middle East.

The launch will take place at 4pm, Saturday 24 July at the Ibdaa
Centre, Deheishe Camp.

The first phase of the project has been made possible through the
assistance of the Canada Fund, Palestine On-line and several
generous private donations.

For more information about the project, please contact Adam Hanieh
at or Muna Muhaisen at


To receive more news on the development of the Internet in the context of
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, send a blank e-mail to

See also "A Personal Diary of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" at and the rest of the Palestine-related
material at


**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material
is distributed without charge or profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving this type of information
for non-profit research and educational purposes only.**

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