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alQaws’ Impact in 2018: Visible & Persistent

At the end of every year and the start of another, alQaws publishes its annual report highlighting the accomplishments and transformations in our work. "Ten Years of alQaws: Looking Back, Pressing Ahead" was the title of our last annual report, and indeed that was the theme for the entire year of 2017. Today we return, never running short of reasons to celebrate or milestones to chronicle. This year we embark on a new journey with you, as we wrap up our strategic plan for the last three years (2016-2018) and prepare for the next three.

We have always valued and listened to your insight and feedback on our reports and newsletters, and it has become clear that you appreciate our transparency in sharing our work as it progresses. The joy and pride you express to us solidifies our commitment to keeping you informed and up-to-date on all of our work, as your support builds the foundation of the progress and transformation we lead.

We present to you in this report our perception of the impact led by alQaws in recent years. This reflection is significant, since our deep involvement in our  work can prevent us from taking a moment to recognize our influence. In alQaws’ Impact in 2018: Visible & Persistent we highlight the major transformations we have witnessed in recent years, whether it was the growing visibility and legitimacy of sexual and gender diversity issues in public spaces, or through individuals openly living these experiences in Palestinian urban centers. We chart the milestones we have seen in alQaws’ work, like the giant leaps we are making in the education field and working with schools, as well as working with media, cultural, or humans rights and civil society organizations.

We also share with you the cornerstones of Our Next Plan for the coming three years and the process behind it. We gladly present our new strategic goals: increasing the visibility of sexual and gender diversity issues, alQaws’ work, and the experiences of our activists; providing diverse spaces for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, questioning, and queer people (LGBTQ/queer), other folks living diverse sexual and gendered experiences, as well as their families, in addition to various professional communities and society at large; and developing our discourse by expanding the lens of our political analysis in a way that links, rather than separates, the multiple axes of oppression.

The bulk of this report highlights our most significant Projects & Accomplishments of 2018. We made progress in Building Local Leadership and Public Visibility, with several public events in Ramallah, as well as a new LGBTQ/queer group in Nablus. We also managed to establish a legal coalition with human rights organizations to address sexual and gender diversity issues, in addition to making several appearances in local media.

Our Support and Counseling Projects are still going strong, with alKhat - Listening & Information Hotline closing its eighth year with growing numbers of volunteers on our team as well as people reached by these services. Following the new volunteer training, we built our team to 17 volunteers. Our TransFocus project is also making progress by reaching 7 volunteers supporting 15 individuals from different places. As for our youth groups, we conducted two in 2018 in Nazareth and Yaffa, both unique in their diversely gendered experiences. We also responded to people in crisis or facing emergencies.

alQaws Trainings also had a big year. We provided 100 hours of training to 200 people from different backgrounds. Out largest was a 10-session  high school training course in I’billin in the Galilee.

In 2018, we published our Mental Health Guidebook during a study day in Ramallah attended by over 70 mental health professionals, followed by multiple discussion events throughout the year held in Ramallah, Jerusalem, and Shefa-'Amr.

Last but not least, 2018 was a great year for alQaws’ Cultural Productions. Most notably, we relaunched our music production project Singing Sexuality with 3 brand new song releases. We also launched our new art project, “Tarwiha” comic series, tackling the experiences of teenagers; the comic release was supplemented by 2 discussion events in Haifa and Jerusalem. Finally, we cannot forget our Third Academic School for Sexual and Gender Diversity, which was a space for vibrant dialogue, contemplation, and analysis.

This report was written for our community of activists, partners, friends, and allies, as well as anyone interested in learning more about our work. We hope that you find in these pages the drive and inspiration we all need to press on. Whether you examined every line of this report, simply skimmed the headlines, or even just read these last few words, we are glad to share this celebratory moment with you as we end 2018 and start yet another year of hard work.

If these pages left you with any questions or ideas regarding our work, we urge you to reach out to us directly to learn more, and perhaps to enrich our work with your perspective.

Our kindest regards,

alQaws Leadership

Click the image below to read the report