Commerce festival opens in el-Bustan today with aims to build community ties
The Graduates' Assocation of Silwan opened Al-Hayya ("The Life") commerce festival today in el-Bustan neighborhood, almost the entirety of which is threatened with demolition by the Jerusalem Municipality. Festival organizers have billed the event as an opportunity to highlight the injustices wrought on not only el-Bustan but all of Silwan by Israeli authorities, and as a chance for the people of Silwan to demonstrate their solidarity with the threatened neighborhood. Secretary of the Graduates' Assocation Said Qaq state that: "this festival serves to prove that el-Bustan is the heart of Silwan, and what happens in el-Bustan affects the entire neighborhood, not just this area's 1500 residents." Ahlam Abbasi, head of the local Cultural Committee, said to Silwanic's correspondent: "We want to boost the youth factor - through involving el-Bustan's large youthful population we can intenstify the solidarity movement throughout Silwan." Palestinian folk and heritage expert Amal Sabbah stated: "This festival opens up opportunities for commerce and new lines of communication amongst Palestinian people from all areas of Jerusalem."