Palestine’s Olympic Triumph II

Here’s more pictures, following on from the story last week about the Palestinian Olympic team, below, which has gone round the world!

Members of Palestine’s Olympic team, including the two track athletes, Baha’a Al Farra (men’s 400m) and Woroud Sawalha (women’s 800m) as well as swimmer Sabine Hazboun, parade during the opening ceremony on Friday, 27 July. Photograph: Reuters

. . . And the team, coaches and officials being received at London City Hall by MP Jeremy Corbyn and supporters just prior to the opening of the Games. They were one of the few national teams to be scored such an honour.

The team being welcomed to the offices of London’s mayor and assembly, 26 July.

Coming up: The Paralympics, which start here in London on Wednesday, 29 August, where two athletes from Gaza, Khamis Zakout and Muhammad Fanouna, will be competing.

Here’s a picture of javelin thrower, Hussam Fares Azzam, who made history when he won Palestine’s first ever Olympic medal at the Paralympic Games in Sydney in 2000, and then followed this up by winning a silver medal in Athens in 2004!

Hussam Fares Azzam, training in Gaza. Photograph:

By the way, the theme picture above shows the first Gaza Marathon, held in 2011. (See Gaza Marathon, Archives, June, 2011. It was won earlier this year by runner Nader al-Masri, who carried the Palestinian flag in Athens. (See Editor’s Note, 4 July, below.)

Thanks for looking!


© Pamela Ann Smith

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Editor’s Note: The Marathon Continues

Like many readers of this site, I was engrossed in the news these past two weeks surrounding the Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood at the United Nations.  And, like many of you—regardless of your views on the wisdom of that approach—I am appalled by the prospect of a veto in the Security Council from President Obama, as well as the sharp divisions within the European Union member states.

Netanyahu’s arrogant announcement this week, of Israeli government approval for the construction of another 1,100 housing units for settlers in East Jerusalem, was the final straw.

The GOOD NEWS is that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have renewed their financial pledges to Palestine—worth a total of $300 million, although this will come through third parties like the World Bank.  Meanwhile, the prospect of yet more aid cut-offs from the US Congress remain.  So, too, on a more positive note, do new figures showing that Palestine’s economy is set to grow by more than 4 per cent this year.  While that represents a sharp fall from the 9.3 per cent rise in GDP recorded last year, it is still way above the miserable 1 to 2 per cent forecast for the US and many EU countries in 2011.

The European Parliament’s approval of new regulations allowing Palestinian agricultural produce to pass through customs to European consumers without duties or quotas is a sign of how much Brussels realises that its own populations support the Palestinian cause.

So, too, are a variety of international economic and research reports, released in September, giving tribute to the huge potential of the Palestinian economy, once Israel is persuaded to ease its continuing restrictions on trade, investment, movement and financial resources for the West Bank and Gaza.  The expanding role of the Palestinian diaspora, whether in the UK, Canada, Chile or the US, in supporting cultural and social projects in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, as well as financial investment and trade, is another positive sign that augers well for the medium- and longer-term future.  And that doesn’t count the new investment funds, aimed mainly at Palestinians and Palestine, being set up in the UAE and Jordan.

This website will continue to chart this progress, even though it is still “under construction” and seeking sponsorship.   Look out for more features in October, on investment and trade, ICT and telecoms, banking and finance, as well as construction, real estate and retail development.  Palestine’s people, wherever they are, are its greatest asset, as more and more investors are realising.

The marathon continues.

Meanwhile, here’s a bit of Taybeh….

Thanks for reading…


The Gaza Marathon


The Gaza Marathon was organised by the UN agency, UNRWA, this Spring, to support summer camps for Palestinian refugee children in Gaza.

It will take another Marathon to get the whole Palestinian Economy working, whatever happens at the UN this September.

This website seeks to look at the prospects for this Economy, for Investment, for Social Enterprises, and, above all, for ways to empower the Palestinian people, materially, wherever they are.

We’re still UNDER CONSTRUCTION. So please bear with us.

We hope to be up and running in time for:

  • (mid-September) The UN General Assembly’s 66th Session, New York
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    If you would like more immediate, i.e. exclusive, information on the international publication (print and digital), Investing in Palestine, that we are bringing out in September (with a host of prestigious sponsors), please email Pam at:


    Thanks for reading.