60,000 Strong Palestinian Community in Brazil Holds National Meet

The Palestinian community living in Brazil is going to have a national meeting in the city of Porto Alegre, capital of the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, at the beginning of next year.

Between January 26 and 28 the 9th Congress of Palestinian Arab Organizations and Communities in Brazil will take place. The meeting should bring together between 300 and 400 Palestinians and descendents from different states.

The Brazilian Palestinian community includes around 60,000 people, according to the Palestinian Arab Confederation of Brazil (Copal), which organizes the event.

According to the acting president at Copal, Elayyan Aladdin, the meeting will serve for the integration of immigrants living in the country, for the discussion of cultural, social and political themes and also for the elaboration of action projects for the community in coming years.

The congress takes place every three years and at the event the Copal board is also chosen. The last meeting took place in March 2004. The meeting has been taking place since the 1970s. This year the event should take place at Hotel Glória, in the city of Porto Alegre, and there will be activities all day long: mornings, afternoons and evenings.

The meeting will include various talks by authorities and leaders of the Palestinian community in Brazil and of the Arab country itself. The names have not yet been confirmed. Debates about projects are among the highlights of the meeting.

From the congress a series of actions to be executed in the following year are normally generated. In 2006, for example, project Living Palestine was put in practice. Through this project, 20 people travelled to the Arab country between April and May to update themselves about the living conditions in their homelands, and to learn a little more about the cities in the region, the culture, the work of NGOs at the site and about the camps.

Another accomplishment of the community was the Week of Palestinian Art in Rio Grande do Sul, which took place at the Mário Quintana House of Culture, in Porto Alegre, in November 2005. The initiative should be reedited. In this edition of the congress there will also be Palestinian dance workshops.

The intention of the organizers is to bring a folkloric group from the Arab country to Brazil to coordinate the activity. The workshop will be turned both to groups in Brazil that already dance and to people who are interested in learning.

The activity has been scheduled, according to Elayyan, to attract more youths to the meeting. There are in Brazil, according to the acting president of the Copal, six groups of Palestinian dance. Singer Marina Elali, daughter of a Palestinian immigrant, will play at the opening of the event.

The singer is the daughter of Sami Elali and has her songs played on some of the main radio stations in Brazil. Some of the songs written by Marina have Arab rhythms. She was born in the city of Natal, capital of the northeastern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte.

The congress is turned to organizations and communities, but any immigrant or descendent of Palestinians may participate as an observer. For this, it is necessary to enroll by e-mail up to January 5.

The meeting takes place in Porto Alegre as the state of Rio Grande do Sul has the largest community of Palestinians and their descendents in Brazil: around 25,000.

After the state comes Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás, Distrito Federal, Amazonas, Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Norte.

Service

9th Congress of Palestinian Arab Communities and Organizations in Brazil
Date: from January 26 to 28
City: Porto Alegre
Registration:
copal@globo.com
Information: (+55 51) 3065-3775

Anba – www.anba.com.br

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