An exhibition of 26 full-colour drawings by children in Gaza. It was brought together by Susan Johnson, a Philadelphia-area activist for Palestinian rights. Susan first became interested in Palestinian human rights after visiting the West Bank in 2004 with a group called “Women of a Certain Age.”

Following “Operation Cast Lead,” Israel’s 22-day military assault on Gaza (beginning Dec. 27, 2008), Susan traveled with an ecumenical delegation to Gaza in May 2009. The delegation’s aim was to investigate the destruction caused by the assault and its impact on the lives of children. During the trip the delegation visited hospitals, refugee camps and schools.

On seeing the heart-wrenching, beautiful artwork that children were creating in an art therapy class, the delegation realized that an exhibit of the drawings would be an ideal way to promote public awareness of Gaza’s plight. Susan spearheaded the project on returning to the US, and with the help of Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), an NGO based in San Francisco, she approached centres in Gaza with her plan.

The exhibition drew over 1000 people its first day on display in the San Francisco Bay area, in part due to publicity about attempts by Bay-area pro-Israel organizations to have the exhibition suppressed.

The tour is organized by CJPME’s, a non-partisan, secular grassroots pan-Canadian organizations that strives to enable Canadians of all backgrounds and Canadian legislators to contribute to justice, peace and development in the Middle East. Their work is oriented by three beliefs:

1. The belief that all positions should respect international law
2. The belief that all parties to any of the conflicts in the Middle East must be held to the same standard
3. The belief that violence is not a solution.

We are excited to have MuslimFest 2012 as one stop on the exhibit’s 2012 tour.