Life Under Occupation in the Agricultural Town of Beit Ummar


Ahmed Oudeh, Agricultural Engineer

  •  A light snack is served at 12:30 p.m. Talk begins promptly at 1:00 p.m.

The agricultural community of Beit Ummar (population 18,892) has faced historic, frequent if not daily and nightly incursions from the Israeli Defense Forces, including destruction of vital infrastructure, limiting water supplies, searches, raids and attacks on homes, confiscation of money and jewelry, showers of sewage, and jailing of primarily young males and even children. Inspired by concepts of nonviolent strategic action, Ahmed Oudeh, along with others, launched a movement in 2007 to work directly with Israelis who believe in peace and the rights of the Palestinians.

This work laid the foundation for creating Eshraqah Youth Organization (EYO) in Beit Ummar, which focuses on grass roots nonviolent action, community empowerment, and sustainable agriculture. The EYO seeks to introduce a model of development built and run by workers’ groups in their communities. In addition to developmental programs in Beit Ummar, the EYO has been involved in local and international conferences to promote strategies of non-violent action, to bring together Israelis opposing the occupation and Palestinian communities. Some of the local work has included summer camps for Palestinian youth, with topics ranging from sports to nonviolent conflict resolution.


Biography of Speaker


Ahmed Oudeh is from the agricultural town of Beit Ummar in the southern West Bank of Palestine. A specialist in agricultural engineering, Oudeh’s work with Eshraqah Youth Organization combines grassroots peace and justice work in his community, with a dedication to the agricultural tradition that supports his family.

He is outspoken on challenging the Israeli policy of occupation and has been sought by the international press to talk about strategies of peaceful action. Oudeh and the EYO play a critical role in dispersing information regarding the daily realities of life under Israeli occupation. Many from the international community have been introduced to the nonviolent movement because of the work of the EYO.



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