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There is a long history of exchange and support to the Palestinian civilian population of Gaza Strip, as well as dozens of initiatives and continuous demands for participation and mutual cultural exchange among the young generations of these areas of the Mediterranean.

Projects of cooperation and solidarity, made with  civilian  population living far away and segregated as a result of political decisions and economic divisions.

Many local and italian associations, have accomplished in recent years dozens of cultural and sports projects, to integrate and connect the younger generation, most of which bear the consequences of this isolation, through programs of support and mutual exchange.

One of the projects realized on 2011,  is the “Italian and Palestinian Cultural Center for Exchange, which is financed by a consortium of associations,  and began a series of activities. The Italian Center, titled to “Vittorio Arrigoni” VIK,   has not yet been officially launched, because in his way the preparation of the place, but has already started various initiatives with youngs and  Palestinian associations.

In about 365 square kilometers of Gaza (40km x 10km) live longer than a milion and half Palestinians, who depend mostly on international food aid; infrastructure are devastated, unemployment exceeds 50%, while the siege is not released, and shakes the people in a vise.

From ‘establishment of the regime de facto  of Hamas until today, the authorities of the occupation and the  Egyptian ones, which control the borders of this piece of land, put many restrictions to the passage of goods, as well as the   limiting the possibility of movement of persons .

The harsh situation that is exposed the population of the strip, and in particular the new generation of young girls and boys, which is locked and unable to live a normal life and growth of knowledge, is urging support for the development of necessary structure for cultural  recreational  and sports activities, which are denied by all parties.

The associations  that are still in existence and capable of resisting from the closures and denials of local authorities commit themselves to undertake the work necessary to their everyday life under siege.

The sport clubs, the educational and cultural associations, the youth groups, with effort and hardly are trying to organize new activities; they are connected with the wide outside world via  internet and they wish to realize what it get nearest  to the willing of living.  In this way it’s born the proposals and the project of exchange and support between Italy and the Gaza Strip.

The initial consortium for this proposal came from the Province of Rome, who, during the attack on the flotilla on May 2010 that caused the massacre of nine passengers of the Mavi Marmara, voted for a motion / resolution condemning the Israeli military authorities for the accident. The Province assured the creation of an official delegation in conjunction with civil society organizations, to provide support to the people of Gaza, as a sign of

solidarity to break the siege. The delegation’s visit took place in April / May of 2011.

The support to  the civilian population, that pays disastrous choices, strongly asks the opportunity to live human relationships, and a normal life.

This message comes to us from those who resist and don’t want  to disappear;

it comes from the Citizens of the civil society in   Gaza Strip,  that invite people to enter in their country in order to support at least one path that can unite them to the rest of the world.

Purpose of the project:

The project aims to promote and support pathways already activated with local associations and Italian (Municipalities, local authorities, universities, cultural and sports associations) for the implementation of activities to be carried out with mutual exchange between Italy and the Gaza Strip. These pathways include activities very important, such as the ability to meet and dialogue with other cultures through exchanges, participation and implementation of culturale and sport activities for the population mainly young people, male and female, for Media Center develop research and information. This proposal intended to be a continuation and strengthening of these programs already started and conducted in previous years, expanding the co-participation in networks of associations involved in the job in these areas.

One of the projects in 2011 is the “Activity Centre for Cultural exchange Italy – Palestine, funded by a consortium of associations and municipalities, that began a series of activities. The Italian center, titled to “Vittorio Arrigoni”, has not yet been officially opened, because in the interim but has already started with the Palestinian youth activities.

– started and completed the first basic course in Italian language (40 hours) required by the students of Gaza (the inscriptions are ready for the other two sections of a basic course that will start in October);

– the preparation of the Media Center for the realization of video, photography, program and information on life in the Gaza Strip, (a group of film-makers is currently working on a video project and fiction with the youth of Gaza);

– sports exchange activities (in February / March 2012) was made the exchange with the athletes of the Gaza Parkour, (in preparation the exchange from Italy to Gaza  and another exchange in Italy for 2013) .

Italian Version