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Bassema Basalat and Riziq Abu Nasser gave an inspiring and informative talk at St Nicolas's Church Hall in Guildford on Sunday evening. Coming towards the end of a tiring 2 week tour, where they have sometimes spoken at 3 events a day, Bassema and Riziq spoke passionately about the plight of Palestinian farmers but also mentioned the importance of the Zaytoun trade. "Trade not Aid" was a mentioned a number of times. When a member of the audience asked what we in the UK can do to help they replied " Buy Zaytoun and Boycott Israeli products".

The event attracted some new faces not seen at previous events and £300 worth of Zaytoun produce was sold. Thank you also for £170 of donations that went towards the travel expenses of Riziq and Bassema, and room hire.


West Surrey PSC were leafleting in Haslemere today. It was interesting to see that 8 out of 10 people did take the leaflet and looked positive about it, many expressions of support . Also many references to the Channel 4 serial The Promise and how it has awakened them. Some also took some extra fact sheets.



























Susan Lourenco of Machsom Watch will be speaking in Guildford on July the 5th at 7.30pm.


MachsomWatch, in existence since 2001, is an organisation of peace activist Israeli women against the Israeli Occupation of the territories and the systematic repression of the Palestinian nation. They call for Palestinian freedom of movement within their own territory and for an end to the Occupation that destroys Palestinian society and inflicts grievous harm on Israeli society.


Read more about Machsom Watch here


Below is the english translation of the text of a Haaretz interview with Susan Lourenco on 13/02/2011.



Susan Lourenco, Was Huwarra Checkpoint Removed by Virtue of You (MW)?”

Jackie Khoury


Susan Lourenço has been a MachsomWatch volunteer for seven years, and is familiar with all the checkpoints across the West Bank.

Canaan Fair Trade were at Sainsburys in Brookwood this morning offering tastings of Equal Exchange Olive Oil.

Zaytoun depends on Canaan as their main Palestinian supplier supporting the wide networks of farmers and women's cooperatives our company is servicing. Zaytoun offers 100% Palestine product to the UK market under their own Brand.  Products sourced and filled by Canaan are offered through Tradecraft, Oxfam-Ireland, Whole Foods Market, and a wide distribution of community based groups, individuals volunteer distributors, and  stores. Zaytoun has a long term commitment to Palestinian farmers and thus finds a natural partnership with Canaan. Find your local volunteer Zaytoun seller here.

Equal Exchange, the most recognized fair trade brand, relies on Canaan to source and bottle their fine offering of high quality varietal (Rumi and Nabali) olive oils as well as conventional and organic olive oils. The Equal Exchange brand sells at all 1000 of The Cooperative stores across the UK, and at Sainsbury Stores,  in addition to fine food and specialty stores throughout the UK.


West Surrey PSC in conjunction with Zaytoun, Guildford and Godalming Peace and Justice Groups, and various Fair Trade groups in the area will be hosting a meeting with Palestinian farmers. The meeting is part of Fair Trade Fortnight and will take place at St. Nicolas Church Hall in Guildford on Sunday, March 13 at 7.00pm.


Below is some information about the 2 Palestinian farmers that will be speaking at the Event.



Bassema Basalat is a Palestinian mother of 4 as well as an olive and za'atar
producer. She lives in Haja village with her farmer husband and an extended
farming family. She also trained as an architect - “Women are best at multi-
  tasking” she laughs.
In 2004 she co-founded the women's development association in Haja, to Members: 25
help train women to be economically independent, and bring much-needed
income to their families. Partnering with companies like Zaytoun enables the
women to learn more about overseas markets for the their produce.