Taghyeer Movement began to introduce our principles to the Palestinian society in Spring 2016, when 15 community leaders met at a workshop to discuss the launch of Taghyeer as a Palestinian National Nonviolence Movement. Taghyeer promotes nonviolence as an identity for Palestinian people to unite around and evoke social and political change. The outcome of this meeting was the decision to bring together aspiring activists from eleven communities in South Hebron Hills in an initiative known as ‘Plant the Change’. We developed a grove of trees in order to make use of the land in this threatened, marginalized area as the first practical action on the ground.
In the months following the action, three leading organizers, Riyad Halees, Raed Hadar, and Ali Abu Awwad spent the summer introducing the principles of Taghyeer to over 37 different communities in meetings and workshops to lay the groundwork for the official launch of the movement. On the 2016 International Peace Day, more than 3,500 Palestinians participated in a mass action in Jericho, the Karama Event, raising awareness about the obstacles and barriers people face across the West Bank.
They shared in a common declaration of our commitment to end the Israeli occupation through a peaceful solution that guarantees a dignified and secure life for all people of this land. Limited resources for the workshops and Karama event were augmented by the early efforts of the newly established U.S. Friends of Taghyeer, to be joined in subsequent years by the Swiss-based organization B8 of Hope as international support partners.
Following the success of this event, Taghyeer received invitations from all over the West Bank to partner with activists and local organizations.
Since then, the leadership role of Taghyeer in the region has expanded and the movement has grown to include regional activist groups such as a women-led coalition of teachers, young professionals, veteran political activists, and social workers. As the next step, Taghyeer implemented the Messengers of Change program, which aims to empower trained emerging leaders. Their role has strengthened Taghyeer to serve as an umbrella organization for an independent and powerful civil society movement that is able to unify our people to take national responsibility and achieve our vision of freedom and a peaceful solution.