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SkateQilya Summer Camp 2018

Tax deductible
"When you are on a skateboard and you get speed and go faster you feel the air in yourself. It makes me feel free…it makes me fly."  - Hind | Age 16

We have reached our goal! Thanks to all our supporters, we have not only met our budget for our summer camp, but continue to receive donations. As a result, we have been able to expand our camp with at least ten additional students. These additional funds will allow us to:

1. Pay more local Palestinians for their critical help with the summer camp.

2. Begin funding our next program, our fall and winter workshops. We will be sharing more details after our camp this July.

Follow us on Facebook , Instagram  and Twitter  for continuous updates on our program this summer!


SkateQilya (Skate-Kil-ee-uh) ​​is​ ​a​ ​youth​ ​empowerment​ ​program​ ​using​ ​skateboarding​ ​and​ ​art​ ​​to​ ​teach​ ​community building​ ​and​ ​leadership​ ​skills​ ​to​ ​Palestinian​ ​girls​ ​and​ ​boys​ ​in​ ​the​ ​West​ ​Bank.​ ​Launched​ ​in​ ​the​ ​summer​ ​of 2016​ ​as​ ​a​ ​three-week​ ​summer​ ​camp in the city of Qalqilya,​ ​SkateQilya​ has expanded to other cities and villages and grown into a year-round educational program. We are a registered U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and are the first ​co-ed​ educational and ​athletic​ ​program​ ​in​ ​the​ ​northern​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​West​ ​Bank.

From July 8 - 28 SkateQilya will host its third annual summer camp in our new skatepark in the village of Jayyous. 50 Palestinian girls and boys, ages 10-18, will participate in this unique summer experience. Despite all the barriers separating Palestinians from each other, our mission is to also bring together youth from various communities. Our students come from the cities of Qalqilya and Tulkarem, and the villages of Jayyous, Hajja and Shwehkeh. For 17 days over the course of three weeks these children will skateboard, take photographs and video, learn conversational English and social media skills, and engage in outdoor community building activities.

Thanks to ongoing support from our main partner Playgrounds for Palestine much of our logistical and personnel costs have been covered. Now we need your help to cover additional expenses for equipment, programming, and remaining transportation costs.

$33 provides one day of camp for one student.
$165 provides one week of camp for one student.
$495 provides all three weeks for one student.

SkateQilya’s mission is to inspire visionary leaders for a future Palestine and a better world.  In a country where hope is a rare commodity our program provides these students the ability to:

» Release their energy and express themselves creatively.
» Feel that they are special and have a sense of place in the world.
» Set goals and see tangible results.
» Create and participate in their own community through mutual respect and understanding.
» Learn to teach these talents to their peers.
» Practice valuable community building and leadership skills.
» Become ambassadors for Palestine.

Skateboarding is new and captivating; it is the hook. It is both simple to learn and offers infinite opportunities for improvement. Skateboarding is an incredible vehicle for discovering self-expression, confidence, belonging and leadership. Like other alternative sports, it is flexible to interpretation and does not promote “winning” as a priority. Any skater around the world can explain how a skateboard changes a person’s perception of their environment. In a place like Palestine, which has been occupied for decades and surrounded by walls, this sport and art form takes on a whole new meaning.

CNN: Ramping up the West Bank’s Skateboard Scene 
NBC: Skateboarding Camp Helps Palestinians See Beyond West Bank Walls 
Haaretz: How a West Bank Skate Park Offers Palestinian Youth a Safe Haven From Occupation El País: Skateboarding as an Empowerment Tool in Palestine 
The Huffington Post: US Pro Skater Hopes To Start Summer Camp For Palestinian Children 
Vice Magazine: Inside One of Palestine’s First Skate Camps 

SkateQilya’s programming is centered around values of mutual respect, trust and shared responsibility. We emphasize peer-to-peer learning as a methodology throughout all our curriculum so that the relationship between student and teacher becomes integrated, creating a model for self-sustainable community building.

The skateboarding clinics take place at the new Jayyous Skatepark.  We will also spend a few days at our skate ramp in Qalqilya. In addition to learning how to skateboard, the daily clinics include demonstrations on how to build various obstacles that get used in the parking lot sessions.

Photo and Video
The photo and video program teaches students how to use the camera’s basic settings to make clear and simple images and video.  Much of the program focuses on how to photograph and film their peers skating. We will have a projection room next to the skatepark where we can review the student’s work and also review videos from skate communities around the world.

Conversation English
This workshop focuses on teaching the basic vocabulary associated with both skateboarding equipment and expressing oneself about the experience of skateboarding. Since our students have a wide range of English skills, this program allows us to focus on the basics and provide the more skilled students with the opportunity to help teach those with less English experience.

Community Building and Leadership Training
The community building sessions cover a wide variety of activities and workshops during the three-week camp.  This include:

Break-out discussion sessions that combine topics selected by both the SkateQilya counselors and the SkateQilya students.

Seminars on the history of the SkateQilya, it’s skate facilities and the community from Qalqilya that inspired it.

Media workshops where the students learn how to interview each other using the cameras they have learned from the Photo and Video course.

Media workshops discussing responsibility in using social media and the internet.

Agriculture workshops which will include planting trees and gardening around the new Jayyous skatepark and the village of Jayyous.

Volunteer activities which will include cleaning up graffiti around the village of Jayyous.

Field trips which will include visiting the Qalqilya Red Crescent, the Asira skatepark and our new local partner, the Tulkarem Youth Development Resource Center.

Mohammed Othman [Executive Director] is a Palestinian non-violent activist, community organizer and film producer with over a decade of experience working for and founding various NGOs across Palestine and traveling around the world speaking on behalf of Palestinian rights. As youth coordinator with the Stop the Wall campaign, Mohammed worked with students all over Palestine leading community building and leadership programs. As a tour guide, his clients have included former American President Jimmy Carter and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Since leaving his work as a community organizer, Mohammed has been working as a producer for Qalqilya and a line producer for other independent filmmakers working in the West Bank. As Executive Director, Mohammed is overseeing all aspects of SkateQilya, and at the same time, is functioning as our programs manager, directing our skate instructor in Qalqilya and working directly with the students.

Kenny Reed [Skate Director] is a 14-year veteran of professional skateboarding and known as the “Traveler” for his work performing and teaching skateboarding in far-off communities around the world that have never experienced or witnessed the art of skating. Kenny’s sojourns include Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Siberia, Palestine…the list goes on! His experience working with children includes making several trips to Afghanistan to work with Skateistan. Check out Kenny’s latest book with Skateistan, Some Time to Smile. Kenny began working with Mohammed and Adam in 2013 when he volunteered to help build the skate ramp in Qalqilya. As Skate Director, Kenny oversees all aspects of skate programming and partnerships with the skateboard industry.

Adam Abel [Development Director] is a New York based artist working with photography, video and film. His photographs, videos and installations have been exhibited throughout the U.S and internationally. Adam’s practice for the last five years has focused on exploring narratives from Palestine. He has spent significant time living and filming in the West Bank for his upcoming feature documentary, Qalqilya, as well as producing a nine-channel video installation called Palestine Interrupted. Adam taught as an adjunct instructor at Lehman College (CUNY) from 2007-2010. He completed an MFA in Photography and Related Media at Parsons, The New School For Design in 2012 and received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1998. As Development Director, Adam is overseeing all aspects of fundraising, outreach, and programming for SkateQilya.

Suha Maree [Programs Coordinator] is a Palestinian community leader and youth coordinator. She is the Director of the IREX suppored Tulkarem Youth Development Resource Center in the village of Shwekeh. Suha has worked with many organizations in Palestine as a social worker and coordinator of projects. She has a Masters in Institution Building & Human Resources and is now working with SkateQilya in helping to design and build sustainable programs.

Farag Krashy [Youth Coordinator] is a 19 year-old student from the village of Jayyous. Working side-by-side with our Executive Director, Mohammed Othman, Faraj played a very important part in the construction of our Jayyous park and managing skate activities at the park. His commitment and sensitivity to these children has been paramount in helping SkateQilya grow.

Omar Hattab [Skate Instructor] is 18 years-old and one of the first skaters from the city of Qalqilya. He has been volunteering as a skate instructor since we created SkateQilya. This year, in coordination with our partners at the Tulkarem Youth Development Resource Center, Omar has a part-time job teaching skateboarding in the nearby city of Tulkarem. This is the first paid skateboarding job for a Palestinian.

Faiza Batta [Lead Counselor] is a 17-year-old high school student and skater from the village of Hajjah, which is 10 miles outside of Qalqilya. She was one of SkateQilya’s counselors for the 2016 and 2017 summer camp and this year will be a head counselor and skate instructor. In addition to managing all the campers, Faiza was the main translator for Adam and Kenny. She has been attending the AMIDEAST Access advanced English program for several years and speaks and writes English fluently. Faiza believes that skateboarding is not just a sport but a lifestyle that promotes self expression, community building and gender equality.

Bradley Kirr [Strategic Partnerships] is an advocate of skateboarding in every sense of the word doing anything and everything to positively push the sport forward. From designing award winning skateable art like the Tashkeel ramp to producing one of the most viewed skate videos of all time “Waterpark Lockdown” for Redbull he lives and breathes a plank of wood on four wheels. His dream of planting the seed of skateboarding in every country in the world is further realized through his involvement in SkateQilya where he utilizes his network of like minded individuals to drive the program forward.

Ramsey Aburdene [Strategic Partnerships]
is a DC native of Palestinian descent who has been active in developing skate communities for several years. He has worked closely with Cuba Skate since they were founded in 2011 and has taken several trips to the island to help support the budding skate scene and community there. During SkateQilya’s summer camp, Ramsey participated in all aspects of the programming, including working with Mohammed on the community engagement curriculum. Ramsey works full time as a financial analyst and portfolio manager and currently lives in London, England. As an advisor, Ramsey’s main focus is securing strategic partnerships for SkateQilya.



Fundraising team: SkateQilya (3)

Adam Abel
Brooklyn, NY
Skateqilya Inc
Mohammad Othman
Team member
Mohammed Othman
Team member

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