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“63 Days of Sit-in”: Shining a light on the disabilities movement that defied the odds

Jerusalem24 – When grassroots movement “For a Decent Life for Persons with Disabilities” held a 63-day-long sit-in at the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2020, demanding a fair health insurance system for people with disabilities, the protestors did not let Ramallah’s cold winter, the pandemic, and the inaccessible buildings get in the way of their demands.

Now, over two years later, the wider public can immerse themselves in this struggle and experience the sit-in through the protestors’ own eyes, via the theatrical documentary performance “63 Days of Sit-in” at the A.M. Qattan Foundation in Ramallah.

By coming to the stage, this remarkable story has been offered another chance at catching the public’s imagination and attention – attention which sadly was lacking during the protests themselves.

“At that time there was media coverage of the sit-in, but mostly independent media coverage,” Sabin Saadeh from Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center tells Jerusalem24.

Saadeh hints at political complexities and shortcomings which contributed to this lack of coverage. “Other governmental and popular platforms considered that the movement [was] against the government – which is not the case.”

Saadeh says the movement proved itself capable of withstanding even the trickiest challenges linked to the politics of the pandemic.

“The movement was able to create an alternative, transparent media platform on its Facebook page,” she explains. “During a period when all the lights were shed on the Corona pandemic, it was used as an instrument to threaten people. And it became the only concern.”

The audience will be able to learn about the various strategies implemented by the movement throughout this challenging endeavor, and how it was able to secure its demands.

Saadeh believes that more light should be shone on people that protest for their rights, every single day in Palestine.

Everyone in attendance is invited to reflect on the performance collectively, and to think of solutions for the future.


Listen to the full interview on Vibes.

Nadeen Alshaer

Alshaer is a Palestinian journalist, a Birzeit University graduate with a B.A. in TV and Radio Broadcasting Journalism. Alshaer has 6 years of experience in journalism. She currently works as a reporter, editor and presenter/producer for PBC-Palestine TV and Jerusalem24 radio. She’s a UN and Kelley School of Business alumna.

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