1) Caabu's Emergency Fundraising Appeal
In January we launched an emergency appeal to save Caabu from closure. We need to raise £225,000 to cover our 2012 costs.
The response from members and donors has been swift and we have raised over £30,000 this month, much of this through very kind and generous donations from our members and supporters. We would like to thank everyone who has made a donation of whatever size. All donations help and make a real difference!
This is a great start, but we need to raise more substantial funds if Caabu is to reach its target and continue its high calibre work.
If it was not for Caabu:
Who would take Members of Parliament to Palestine and across the region, directly influencing policy?
Who would speak to 15,000 UK school students every year about the Arab world and its culture?
Who would arrange hundreds of media interviews, year on year, countering negative or misleading coverage of the Arab world?
We are working hard on a number of potential sources of funding, including approaching major donors, and foundations but Caabu also needs your support to keep these crucial programmes running. Please give whatever you can. Click here to donate.
Gulf News has written a substantial piece on Caabu's current funding crisis. Read it here.
We also had an article in Arabic in Al Quds Al Arabi.
2) Caabu in the Media
Caabu has had a number of letters published in national publications:
Director, Chris Doyle has expressed concerns in a letter to the Times about the possibility of a no fly zone and imposition of 'safe zones' in Syria as a path to wider conflict and bloodshed. Read it here.
In the Telegraph he has expressed Caabu's concern that a full blockade of Syria will harm its people more than the regime. Read it here.
In the Economist Chris has outlined how the creation of a 'buffer zone' in Syria will have the opposite effect to the intended.
Caabu also hosted a lively BBC Radio 4 debate on the future of Syria including one of Caabu's board members Maha Azzam.
After Caabu's highly successful partnership with the Independent Yemen group - hosting a tour for 2011's Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Tawakkul Karman, in December last year - The Independent has published an interview with Karman organised through Caabu.
Caabu also arranged the visit of Syrian opposition figures from Damascus which included numerous media interviews, meetings with politicians and FCO Minister, Alistair Burt. Louay Hussein addressed a packed Caabu/LSE lecture on Syria, transcript here.
3) Caabu Advocacy
After Caabu led a delegation of MPs to Lebanon in January, members of the delegation met with the Foreign Office Minister, Alistair Burt to discuss the visit, particularly the state of both the Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Chris Doyle also briefed members of Labour's shadow foreign affairs team.
Caabu also held a meeting with the Iraqi Foreign Affairs Committee discussing the current situation in Iraq.
In early March, Caabu will be organising a cross-party delegation of MPs to Gaza. The trip will involve:
Extensive field visits around Gaza to examine local conditions and issues surrounding access to the territory, the humanitarian situation and security environment
Briefings with United Nations staff from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) and the Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)
Meetings with numerous local and international NGOs, such as Oxfam, Al-Haq and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Caabu has also raised the issue of Palestinian prisoners and administrative detainees with the Foreign Office in particular, Khader Adnan who was on hunger strike for 66 days.
We continue to push for a zero-tolerance policy on the part of the British government and others on Israeli settlements. One example of this was that Caabu expressed concerns over the Natural History museum's links to settlement trade. Caabu expressed support for Nick Clegg's strongly worded condemnation of Israeli settlement expansion as an act of "deliberate vandalism" of prospects for peace in the region.
Caabu Board Member, Jonathan Fryer is addressing the Arab League's three day conference on how to save Jerusalem in Doha.
On the anniversary of Hosni Mubarak's resignation, 11 February, Chris Doyle addressed an Amnesty International rally at Trafalgar Square in support of the Arab Uprisings. Read Caabu's press statement here.
You can donate specifically to our advocacy programme here.
4) Caabu's Education Programme
Over the past month Caabu gave:
Four talks on Palestine to Sixth Formers at The Kings School Worcester, Wollaston School in Northamptonshire, Boswells School , Chelmsford and St Albans School in Hertfordshire
A day of workshops on 'Racism an Islamophobia' at Writhlington School in Somerset
A series of workshops on 'Arab Stereotypes and the Media' for Wollaston's School's Sixth Form Conference
A day of workshops on 'Islam and the Media' for Year 9 students at Wrotham School in Kent
We've had some great feedback from teachers and students. For example, a teacher at the Kings School Worcester reported: "Many of our students were enlightened about the Middle East for the first time ... I have even had one parent tell me that her son came home raving about the talk." Wollaston school also told us: "Students have mentioned your talk in particular as one that really did push some boundaries and stimulate some new thinking and practical debate beyond the classroom."
We believe working with young people in schools across the country is one of the most valuable contributions we can make.
You can donate specifically to our vital education work here.