Vanishing spaces, as challenges mount

As the right-wing juggernaut travels the globe, and the Trudeau Liberals continue many neoliberal policies of Harper, I feel the loss of this crucial space to gather and learn and strengthen ourselves. The space is unique, absent of bureaucracy or security procedures, like U of T. Here we have heard about the urgent threats of Global Palestine, nuclear catastrophe, and climate disruption, and the ills of poverty, exclusion and incarceration. topics mostly missing from mainstream media. I worry that as safe spaces disappear, the challenges only mount. Thanks to Robert for his determination to keep it going this long. History and truth cannot be demolished by the developers’ bulldozers.

You’ll be missed.

Beit Zatoun is a Toronto treasure, it’s one of the reasons we moved to the Annex. You’ll be sorely missed.

Thank you Beit Zatoun

As a young Jew who grew up believing that Palestine was not real, but rather an invention by “The Arabics” to tear Israel down, I had a hard time learning that my worldview was way, way off. Over the last few years, I completely changed the way I looked at things, and began to distance myself from Israel’s actions (toward the Palestinian people amongst other things). Then recently, I became deeply interested in the conflict. I began a project looking at how (if at all) religion was a factor in Israel versus Palestine. One day, I was incredibly lucky, and stumbled across Beit Zatoun. Tentatively, I stepped inside and posed a few questions. Immediately, Robert and the others their welcomed me in and began to discuss with me. I was invited to workshops, put in contact with valuable resources, and exposed to a beautiful, vibrant culture. I am so grateful to everyone at Beit Zatoun for their care and efforts to visualize and discuss Palestine. Within the community, I was exposed to so many incredible things!

Thank you all for everything!!
You will be missed, and I only wish I’d come sooner!

Zatoun an Oasis

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Beit Zatoun filled an important niche in this city in particularl overcoming the inability to find an oasis to raise and discuss the suffering of the Palestinian people too long ignored by our democartic institutions. Your influence filled a yawning void. Thank you.

Toronto will miss Beit Zatoun

Robert;
Seeing Beit Zatoun from the beginning and all you have done there over the past years has been an inspiration and a joy to see. You’ve greatly added to the culture, diversity, and support for not only Palestine, but for so many groups and movements in Toronto…. The city will be a loss when Beit Zatoun closes in November and will be very sadly missed.
Aswad

Looking forward to future collaborations with Beit Zatoun

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We are so thrilled to have worked with Beit Zatoun in their last few events, having provided them with unique items that remind us of Palestine’s rich cultural legacy.
We wish them all the best in this period of transition.
Salamat.

NAJAT greeting cards can be found using the following link:
http://www.najat.ca/stationery

Palestinian Hospitality In Toronto

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When I returned from three months of accompaniment in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Beit Zatoun provided the hospitality that my heart craved,and providing me networks to do the real work of solidarity that we are called towards. Shukran Robert for the gift of Beit Zatoun.

Meeting at Beit Zatoun

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This is a great meeting space for organizations. So many organizers have said how much they appreciated the warmth and atmosphere of Beit Zatoun to create positive meeting.

The Olive House in Toronto: Beit Zatoun UofT

March 12, 2012

This post is about the space that I have chosen to analyze as an everyday part of Toronto life. Instead of choosing an area (Chinatown, Koreatown, Little India/Italy/Portugal, Greek town, etc) I have chosen a non-profit business called Beit Zatoun House. This place is on 612 Markham Street (Annex area aka Bloor and Bathurst, one block east) and its a semi community centre but more of a space that encourages and preserves culture. Beit Zatoun is Arabic for “The Olive House” and it specifically revolves around the Palestinian Diaspora. Why the olive you ask? Well, one of Palestine’s main exports is olive oil. Palestine has olive trees that are over five thousand years old. So old, that there is a mention of the olive tree in the Quran. And to this day, the West Bank is producing “authentically Palestinian” Olive oil which is sold all over the world at about $19.99 for a litre in glass bottle. The proceeds go to charities such as the red crescent (Palestine’s Ambulance and Hospital services.) You can buy this oil at places such as 1000 villages and of course Beit Zatoun.

Read Full Article here

Gleaner Community News Your Life, Our Life; Our Lives

November 13, 2012

In the heart of the Annex lives a place with a lot of the same.

The Beit Zatoun House (612 Markham Street), is a space where the social justice and human rights community gather for performance and art. It holds multiple events per month, ranging from workshops to concerts, talks and book launches.

Robert Massoud, its founder, describes the space as, “…the intersection of art, culture, politics and society, in a very grassroots kind of way.”

Read full Article here

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