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MON 6/13: Rachel Corrie's Parents & Family Who Lived in Gaza Home She Died to Protect

by The Rebuilding Alliance Sunday, Jun. 12, 2005 at 12:36 PM

Local community groups and across the US are working together to help a Palestinian family rebuild their home and hundreds more -- in the name of Rachel Corrie, 23, who was killed two years ago as she faced down an Israeli bulldozer to keep it from knocking down a home in Gaza. On their first visit to U.S., Khaled and Samah Nasrallah, members of the Palestinian family who lived in that home, will join Cindy and Craig Corrie, Rachel's parents, on an unprecedented U.S. speaking tour arriving in Los Angeles Monday, June 13

The Rebuilding Alliance

Unprecedented U.S. Tour Comes to LA:

Monday, June 13 at 7PM in Venice



Rachel Corrie's Parents and

Members of the Palestinian Family

Who Lived in the Gaza Home She Died to Protect

Nasrallah's First Visit to U.S.

Gives Americans Rare Glimpse into Life Inside Gaza

Event Organizers Alerted to Protest Planned by Ultra Right-wing Zionists at Event

WHEN: Monday, June 13

7 - 9:00 PM: Public Event

WHERE: Venice Methodist Church, 1020 Victoria, Venice

(East of Lincoln, 1 block north of Venice Blvd.)

WHO: Cindy and Craig Corrie, Khaled and Samah Nasrallah, and Donna Baranski-Walker

LOS ANGELES -- Local community groups and across the US are working together to help a Palestinian family rebuild their home and hundreds more -- in the name of Rachel Corrie, 23, who was killed two years ago as she faced down an Israeli bulldozer to keep it from knocking down a home in Gaza.

On their first visit to U.S., Khaled and Samah Nasrallah, members of the Palestinian family who lived in that home, will join Cindy and Craig Corrie, Rachel's parents, on an unprecedented U.S. speaking tour arriving in Los Angeles Monday, June 13

The 7-state tour will take them through California, Oregon, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Racheland Rachel's home state of Washington, to put a spotlight on the human stories behind community efforts to rebuild the Nasrallah's home and 3400 other homes demolished in Gaza.

The emotional highlight of the tour is anticipated when the Nasrallah family are welcomed by the Corries to Rachel's hometown of Olympia, Washington, representatives of the city plan to present the family with a proclamation at a large public event on Saturday, June, 18.

''We believe it is important for the people of Gaza to see that Americans know what has happened to them, that we understand, and are taking responsibility for that,'' said Cindy Corrie, Rachel's mother. ''Rachel wrote of the importance of making commitments to places and initiated this one to Rafah and Gaza. The commitment Rachel made continues.''

''These were very dark days through the past three years as we coped with the loss of our home," said Khaled Nasrallah. ''In spite of what Rachel did and what we have done after losing her, we watched day after day as the Israeli Defense Forces demolished it. It was more than a home -- it was our family dream of coming together again, growing and playing in our homeland together with happiness and safety in the eyes of our children.''

''Through the generous donations mostly from the U.S. we helped the Nasrallah family to purchase a new plot of land to rebuild their home in Gaza,'' said Donna Baranski-Walker, Director of The Rebuilding Alliance. "Community volunteers plan to break-ground late next month, just as Israeli troops are scheduled to prepare to leave the area. We look to this tour to help raise awareness in the US and the funds to complete the project.''

''With the Gaza redeployment coming up in August, through the media we will hear the stories of their losses as settlers are forced from their homes. But there is another story in Gaza, a story of hope as Palestinian families rebuild their homes on the land they rightfully own,'' said Baranski-Walker.

AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW in Los Angeles June 13-15

Cindy and Craig Corrie

Since their daughter Rachel's death, Cindy and Craig Corrie, have become nationally known figures, and continue to seek justice and accountability for their daughters killing through diplomatic channels and direct appeals to the U.S. Congress, the Departments of State and Justice, and the Israeli Government.

In March 2005, they also initiated lawsuits against the State of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces and Caterpillar, Inc. Subsequently, they have been joined by Palestinian plaintiffs in the suit against Caterpillar, Inc.

When Rachel was killed, Cindy left her life as a musician and community activist, and Craig, his executive position in the life insurance industry, to devote their time to seeking a just peace in Palestine and Israel. They have two other grown children and one grandchild.

Khaled and Samah Nasrallah

After Rachel was killed, the Nasrallahs and their children continued to live in their home for seven months, despite the demolition of all 2200 surrounding homes in their Gaza neighborhood of Rafah.

The Nasrallahs had hoped their home would be spared because they had done nothing to harm anyone. Khaled Nasrallah is an accountant who works for the Palestine Airlines (which flies out of Egypt). His wife Samah will soon take her qualifying exams to become a teacher. They have three daughters and are traveling with their toddler, Sama.

Donna Baranski-Walker

The Executive Director of the Rebuilding Alliance holds a B.S in engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.S. from the University of Hawaii. Donna gained her insight of middle-east peacemaking in 1996 when she visited teachers and principals with her proposal to create a region-wide education development network in Palestine, Jordan, and Israel.

The Rebuilding Alliance, a grassroots, human rights action group, lends support to Palestinian families as they rebuild their homes and schools during continuing occupation and siege. Through rebuilding, we engage the local Palestinian community, sympathetic Israelis, and people around the world in a hands-on process that builds relationships and reinforces the alliances needed to sustain conscience, encouragement, legal protection, and policy change. They view this model for reconstruction and the safeguarding of fair housing rights as a cornerstone for community-driven peacemaking in conflict areas.

The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice is established to continue the work that Rachel began and hoped to accomplish, and to carry out that work with her vision, spirit, and creative energy in mind. We conduct and support programs that foster connections between people, that build understanding, respect, and appreciation for differences, and that promote cooperation within and between local and global communities. The foundation encourages and supports grassroots efforts in pursuit of human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice, which we view as pre-requisites for world peace.


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