Category Archives: Palestinians

SDi Training for Palestinian Women

SDi Training for Palestinian Women from Jericho, Nablus, Ramallah,Bethlehem, Tulkarm, Khalil Jan 25-26, 2008

Dr. Don Beck and Elza Maalouf, CEO of the Center for Human Emergence – Middle East presented a 2-day Spiral Dynamics Integral training for Palestinian women January 25 and 26, 2008. Participant came from Jericho, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarm, Khalil and many other areas of the West Bank. They were all taking part in what is now becoming known as The Future Movement of Palestine 21.

The group was invited by Dr. Nehma Assad, a gynecologist from Bethlehem who introduced the training as a ‘true’ empowerment for women’s roles and capacities in the Palestinian society. The attendees were educators, students, directors of NGOs and mothers who are working on the development of their communities in Palestine.

After learning the colors/codes of the Spiral, the participants used the memetic language to explain how organizations like USAID, UN or EU NGOs who operate from the orange/Green value-systems try to impose unrealistic conditions on programs they fund in Palestine, that do not fit the culture or the value-systems in their communities. Butheina who is leading a local organization said, “We are tired of them pushing their women empowerment training on us without providing opportunities to create sustainable jobs and solid careers. The abstract concepts are fine, but they are not helping us create businesses, or helping our children learn computer skills. They force us to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on restaurants, hotels and seminars and refuse to give us part of the money to build a small center to train women and children on how to use the computer!”

Two young girls who hold degrees in education and computer science have been looking for a job for the last 7 months to no avail. They just want to work and make a living… Not learn about Democracy and Governance in seminars while not having a job or a place to exercise ‘Governance’. (Most seminars offered by Western organizations focus on Democracy, Governance and Empowerment of Women….) .

The First SDi Training in an Arab Country

The 3 day training Dr Beck and I offered in Ramallah to a group of highly competent professional Palestinians, was the first Spiral Dynamics integral-Level 1 training in the Arab world. The training was organized by Deema Al-Shawa who heads Palestine Integral Committee in Ramallah .

The 16 participants were asked to send in their Curriculum Vitae and were excited about the opportunity to learn the SDi methodologies and applications to the region, especially that Dr Beck used such methodologies to support the peaceful transition from Apartheid in South Africa. Palestinians consider Madiba-Nelson Mandela the role model for the Palestinian leadership, and wish that a Madiba type leader will emerge from their midst to lead Palestine and Israel out of this bloody conflict.

The participants backgrounds varied between graduate and Business administration students, a pharmacist, al Jazeera- International representative, Al Arabyia producer, Financial advisers, and Palestinians who head various local UN programs, a psychologist and engineers. They were fully engaged in intense sessions that covered the basis of the theory, interactive exercises and applications to the conflict.
Both Dr Beck and I were impressed by the level of intelligence and participation of the audience. The questions they asked showed a sincere interest in the application of the conceptual framework to support their own individual emergence, their organizations’ emergence and to the Emergence of the Palestinian in general.
May 12-13-14th were three days full of insights for all of us facilitators and trainees, as well as of Arab and Texan humour and loud laughs that created a wonderful experience for all.
The echo of the work of pioneering young Palestinians reverberated in the hearts and minds of Kuwaitis who believe in our work in Palestine and was well expressed by Fadwa Al-Homaizi, a leading Arab business woman from Kuwait, who said:
“hi Elza and Don, i want to thank you both for the incredible work you’re doing in Palestine. Your courage, passion, and efforts are recognized and admired. SDi is truly the foundation for change in the Middle East, and we are ready for it. It’s great to see such positive reactions, especially from the Palestinian Youth. Please tell them that I salute their initiative. By getting involved, Palestinian youth are role models for the whole of the Arab world.
It is truly inspiring.”