Oxford Ramallah Friendship Association (ORFA) is a charity building grassroots links between people in Oxford in the UK and Ramallah in Palestine. ORFA works in tandem with Oxford-Ramallah Twinning. ORFA raises awareness through bringing groups and individuals from Ramallah to share their stories with residents of Oxford. Through this we hope to reduce the sense of isolation that comes from life under military occupation in the West Bank.

Documentary film

If you missed the showing of the powerful documentary "Where Olive Trees Weep" you'll be pleased to learn that it will be possible to watch it online until the end of July.

Letters to Gaza

Listen to this podcast, featuring letters to Gaza written and read by members of Mandala Theatre, Oxford, in response to a global call from our friends, Ashtar Theater in Ramallah.

We were honoured that Ambassador Dr Husam Zomlot was able to  visit Oxford on 18 March to address Oxford City Council in the Town Hall. In November the City Council had passed a motion calling for a ceasefire and part of this motion committed the council to asking the mayor of Ramallah if he could send a message for full Council.  Given the current situation in Ramallah, due to the war in Gaza, the mayor was unable to send a message and Dr Zomlot kindly came and addressed the Council in person. Following his address,  there was a standing ovation from the Council chamber and the gallery.  

After he had spoken Dr Zomlot walked to Carfax and met supporters of the Palestinian struggle, and then returned to the Town Hall for an Iftar meal with councillors during their break.  ORFA/ORT ordered the food from Za'atar Bake and the purchase will be supported through the Council Twinning.

International Women's Day vigil in Oxford
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Watch this powerful video made by young people in Ramallah as part of a school project with Defence for The Child International

Demonstrations in Oxford

Hundreds have been marching through Oxford every two weeks,  calling for an immediate ceasefire, as demonstrations take place in cities throughout the UK.  On December 16, City Councillor Shaista Aziz gave a powerful speech remembering the 89 Palestinian journalists killed by Israel in the past 2 months. (More than all the journalists killed in the 2nd World War)

Alternative Carols for Palestine

Members of ORFA together with Seagreen Singers and Didcot Red Kites sang alternative Christmas songs in Cornmarket Street Oxford and raised over £400 for Medical Aid for Palestinians

Children from Ramallah Friends School sing for the children in Gaza...

"From Ramallah Friends School to the world, we share our version of the timeless “ Little Drummer Boy.” Our hearts come together in prayer for the safety of the children in Gaza. May our shared prayers echo for peace and justice, weaving a tapestry of hope that goes beyond borders, embracing the shared humanity we all hold dear."

The Gaza Monologues

On Sunday 12th November, we joined with Mandala Theatre in a special event to fundraise for Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). The event was held at Flo’s Place in the Park in Oxford.

Young actors from Mandala Theatre read from the Gaza Monologues. These were published in 2010, after traumatising attacks on Gaza.  The young Gazan authors worked with Ashtar Theatre to create their pieces.  Four current monologues from Ramallah and Gaza were also read.

London March on 11 November

Members of ORFA joined hundreds of thousands calling for a ceasefire on 11 November in London.  Organisers said that there were 800,000 people on the march.

Husam Zomlot, Palestinian Ambassador to the UK, was one of the speakers at the demonstration.  You can view the video and listen to his speech here.

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Oxford Ramallah Friendship Association stands in solidarity with our friends in Ramallah

"Life is difficult - we are suffering" The voices of two of our young friends in Ramallah

Write to your councillor or MP and ask them to take action

Palestinian History Tapestry Exhibition

The Palestinian History Tapestry uses the embroidery skills of Palestinian women to illustrate aspects of the land and peoples of Palestine – from Neolithic times to the present.  With our partner organisation, the Palestinian History Tapestry Project, ORFA hosted an exhibition of panels from this award winning tapestry in Oxford Town Hall from 24-28 September 2021. 

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Prof Mazin Qumsiyeh at Oxford Symposium

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, Director of the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University and the Palestine Museum of Natural History was an invited speaker at an international symposium celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Oxford Botanic Garden 21-22 October 2021.  

Festival Celebrates Oxford Ramallah Twinning

The Twinning of Oxford and Ramallah was officially launched and celebrated by the Mayors of Oxford and Ramallah on 1 July 2021.  The launch was part of a digital and live Artivism Theatre Festival organised by Mandala Theatre in Oxford and Ashtar Theatre in Ramallah.  Afterwards there was a party in Oxford to celebrate the cultural and friendship links between the two cities.

Read the Oxford Mail account of the event here

ORFA supporters march in Oxford 16 May 2021
Speaking up for Palestine, 16 May 2021

Oxford Ramallah Friendship Association and Oxford Amnesty Present:
Can We Speak About Palestine?
Oxford-based Palestinians introduce Akram Salhab’s film (courtesy of Channel 4) exploring the inadequately acknowledged legacy of British colonialism on Palestinians today. The film includes an interview with Israeli historian Avi Shlaim, one of our patrons.  The film is presented as part of Amnesty International UK's Festival of Social Justice.  

Six groups of dancers in Ramallah feature in this 4-minute Global Dance Film, created by Dancin' Oxford for Oxford's Christmas Light Festival 2020.

The film is the product of a collaborative digital project bringing together dancers from Oxford and its twin cities of Ramallah, Perm and Grenoble.