Skip to main content

PLO kids magazine director: We say “Kafr Yasif (village in northern Israel)… Nazareth, Acre, Haifa, and Jaffa, all of them are occupied cities,” even if we lose our funding

Official PA TV program Palestine this Morning, interview with Zayzafuna non-profit organization Director Sharif Samhan about its activities to encourage reading

Zayzafuna Director Sharif Samhan: “When we write about a Palestinian author, and we say that he comes from an occupied city, the occupation and other people, and those who give funding say to you that Kafr Yasif (i.e., village in the north of Israel, northeast of Acre) is an Israeli city and not an occupied city, and according to the Oslo Accords it is an Israeli city. I, as a simple citizen who is not active in politics, and does not frequent the halls of politics or Oslo -
Official PA TV host: “But you want to publicize correct news.”
Zayzafuna Director Sharif Samhan: “My answer is that from my perspective as a simple citizen, I see Kafr Yasif as an occupied city, until Allah says differently. When there will be an all-inclusive agreement, and we will receive our rights, if the head of the [Palestinian] Authority says that Kafr Yasif is an Israeli city, we will follow him and say it is an Israeli city. But at the moment, as a simple citizen I see Kafr Yasif, like Nazareth, Acre, Haifa, and Jaffa, all of them are occupied cities. The meaning of this small matter is that the one giving funding cannot in any way give you money. Every provider of funding has an agenda, which you need to obey, and if you do not obey he will stop your funding. We decided that we do not want funding, we want to transmit our message… (picture shown of posters for the Zayzafuna projects – encouragement of reading in schools of the Jericho Director of Education)  I thank Mr. Murad Al-Sudani (i.e., head of the Palestinian Authors’ Union) for assisting us with the publication of issues of the Zayzafuna magazine, and hope that in 2016 he will give us additional support.”
Samhan continues, saying that for the last 8 years they have received no support from the PA Ministry of Culture, except for once, in the amount of 10,000 shekels.

Zayzafuna is a PLO magazine for children partially funded by the PA. The magazine, which includes material written by both the magazine’s staff and child readers, represents the values of the educators and serves as a window into the minds of the Palestinian children submitting material to the magazine. Zayzafuna's website states that the magazine's advisory board is comprised of PA officials and educators, including Jihad Zakarneh, PA Deputy Minister of Education, and Abd Al-Hakim Abu Jamous, Head of the Media Department at the PA Ministry of Education. In May 2011, the Deputy Chairman of the Zayzafuna organization Abd Al-Karim Ziyada explained on PA TV that the PA gives "a monthly payment of 10,000 shekels ($2,700) to cover the magazine's [costs]." [Official PA TV, May 9 and 13, 2011]