Nov 4, 2017

13 days away

13 days away and I am back in my beloved Palestine. England is like any other country: it has a mix of people of all interests and backgrounds and it has a history that includes good and bad deeds. Its contribution to human knowledge has been exceptionally rich and I got to visit and give talks at centers of knowledge like Oxford and the British Museum of Natural History. I always reflection how the genius of Shakespeare and Darwin and Wallace contrast with the deeds of Balfour (anniversary of the infamous "promise" this past week), Weizman, and Blair. On this trip I met hundreds of people that actually matter because they are working hard to change reality around them. I spoke at universities like Leeds, Warwick and Oxford and at museums and networked with so many hundreds of good people. Many became interested in partnering with us at the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability (palestinenature.org). Many donate, plan to volunteer, and plan to cooperate with us. I arrived in Palestine tired but more hopeful than ever. I see our garden doing well, volunteers working away. On the flight back and in Jordan overnights I read two books edied by Norma Hashim ("The Prisoners Diaries" and "Dreaming of Freedom: Palestinian Child Prisoners Speak". I was moved to tears and especially upon seeing the land of Palestine. 

Below is an excerpt from my book “Sharing the Land of Canaan” on the other side of the good British people. In my latter book “Popular Resistance in Palestine” I discuss how the British Empire employed the services of Lieutenant Colonel George Gawler (1796-1869). Gawler was a colonization expert after whom a city in Australia is named (Gawler City). In 1845, Gawler published how this might be accomplished in "Tranquilization of Syria and the East: Observations and Practical Suggestions, in Furtherance of the Establishment of Jewish Colonies in Palestine, the Most Sober and Sensible Remedy for the Miseries of Asiatic Turkey."  In 1852, the Association for Promoting Jewish Settlement in Palestine was founded by Gawler and other British officials and later evolved it into the Palestine Fund.

George Gawler
Excerpt from “Sharing the Land of Canaan” Chapter 11 posted at http://qumsiyeh.org/chapter11/ 
The events leading up to the support of Britain and France for Zionist aspirations have received little historical discussion.  In examining historical documents of powerful nations like France and Britain, we find these nations issuing declarations to support the Zionist aspirations.   This came in France first with a letter sent from Jules Cambon, Secretary General of the French Foreign Ministry to Nahum Sokolow (at the time head of the political wing of the World Zionist Organization based in London) dated June 4, 1917:

You were kind enough to inform me of your project regarding the expansion of the Jewish colonization of Palestine.  You expressed to me that, if the circumstances were allowing for that, and if on another hand, the independency of the holy sites was guaranteed, it would then be a work of justice and retribution for the allied forces to help the renaissance of the Jewish nationality on the land from which the Jewish people was exiled so many centuries ago. The French Government, which entered this present war to defend a people wrongly attacked, and which continues the struggle to assure victory of right over might, cannot but feel sympathy for your cause, the triumph of which is bound up with that of the Allies. I am happy to give you herewith such assurance (7).
Some five months later, on November 2, 1917, the British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour conveyed to Lord Rothschild a similar declaration of sympathy with Zionist aspirations.  It stated that: 

















Palestinians and others in the Arab world were immediately alarmed.  This declaration was issued when Britain had no jurisdiction over the area, and was done without consultation of the inhabitants of the land that was to become a "national home for the Jewish people."  The declaration also wanted to protect "rights and political status" of Jews who choose not to immigrate to Palestine.   However, the native Palestinians are simply referred to as non-Jews and their political rights are not mentioned but only their "civic and religious rights".  Lord Balfour wrote in a private memorandum sent to Lord Curzon, his successor at the Foreign Office (Curzon initially opposed Zionism) on 11 August 1919:

For in Palestine we do not propose to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants ... The four great powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land (8)

The Jules and Balfour declarations are two documents that demonstrate the support made to the Zionist supranational entity that facilitated giving them control over a land that neither of the two governments had control of at the time Some British authors have provided explanations of this support based on a quid pro quo for Weizman's contribution to the British war efforts through such efforts as the development of better chemicals for explosives.  Some argued that it was related to Britain's simple domestic situation with many Zionists both in the government and among the electorate.  It could also be argued that Britain and France now had more reason had to benefit from a revival of their early 1840s desires to settle European Jews in Palestine as a way of a structural remodeling of Middle East geopolitics. Undermining the Ottoman Empire, which was now allied with Germany, provides only partial explanation and a poor one at best. 

Jewish population in Palestine at the time was miniscule and most and was hardly in any position to engage in resistance against the Ottoman Empire.  By contrast, nationalistic Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula were willing to oppose the Ottoman Empire and eager to liberate their native lands from the grip of the Turks.  England in fact promised to support their independence as a result of their convergent interests as supported by documents such as the British correspondence with Sharif Hussain of Arabia and in the memoirs of T. E. Lawrence "of Arabia".  As historians do, there is much argument about the factors and their relative importance that led to the decisions made by the governments in question.  Much is now written about how the US entered the war and the possible role of influential corporate interests and US Zionists in bringing the US media and government to support the war efforts.

The British had also made a promise of independence to the Arabs if they aided them in opposing the Ottoman Empire.  This was one of many "promises" but it was the one that was to over-ride all others as concrete actions were to reveal in just a short period of time.  It important to note that these governments declared their public support for Zionism, even while simultaneously making private assurances to Arabs.  The British and French public support was later joined by the Americans.

With acquiescence by the ailing President Wilson and an American administration slowly sinking into isolationism, the British had a free hand to implement their plans in Palestine.  Palestinians, both Christians and Muslims, rioted against the British forces on February 27, 1920 in Jerusalem.  The British command in Palestine recommended that the Balfour Declaration be revoked.  However, the British leadership in London did not share the views of their soldiers and commanders in Palestine.  As soon as Britain managed to secure the League of Nations mandate, it replaced its military governor there with a Zionist Jew: Sir Herbert Samuel as the first High Commissioner of Palestine (1920-25).  It was Samuel who so effectively coached Weizmann during the Balfour negotiations.  After Samuel became high commissioner, Jewish immigration greatly increased, and with it Palestinian resistance.  Herbert Samuel and the Zionist leaning colonial offices in Palestine proceeded to set up the political, legal, and the economic underpinning for transforming the area to a Jewish country.  Britain, with the acquiescence of other great powers, acquired the powers needed for its colonial venture.  At the World Zionist Organization meeting held in London in July 1920, a new financial arm was established named the Keren Hayesod.  The British-drafted Palestine mandate referred to this economic imperial structure:

An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognised as a public body for the purpose of advising and co-operating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration to assist and take part in the development of the country.  The Zionist organization, so long as its organization and constitution are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate, shall be recognised as such agency.  It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic Majesty's Government to secure the co-operation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home. (9)

The fund was registered on March 23, 1921, as a British limited company.  The executive of the Zionist Organization chose the chairman of the board and its members Funds that were collected helped finance the two largest projects to industrialize Palestine in the late 1920s; the Electric Company and the Palestine Potash Company (PPC) (10).  Moshe Novemiesky, a leading Zionist, founded the PPC.  In 1929, the British Colonial Office gave a concession to develop mineral resources in the Dead Sea to the PPC.  The PPC was instrumental in generating large amounts of money funneled to the Zionist program.  In 1952, after the state of Israel was established, the company became an Israeli State nationalized agency called the Dead Sea Works (11).

Arthur Rogers described the contribution of this British Concession to financing the Zionist movement after 1929 in his 1948 book (12). In the book there is  a description of the report by the colonial office in 1925 on the fabulous wealth to be derived from the Dead Sea minerals.  There is also a report of a Zionist Conference in Australia in 1929 in which Zionists were ecstatic about the fact that Britain gave this concession to a committed Zionist by the name of Novomiesky.

As early as October 25, 1919 Winston Churchill predicted that Zionism implied the clearing of the indigenous population, he wrote: "there are the Jews, whom we are pledged to introduce into Palestine, and who take it for granted the local population will be cleared out to suit their convenience" 13.  In public, Churchill sought to assure the Arabs that Britain was pursuing a humane policy of limited Jewish immigration, that there is space without displacing native Arabs, and there is no need for Jewish State. But British private cabinet meeting minutes of October 1941 speak differently:

I may say at once that if Britain and the United States emerged victorious from the war, the creation of a great Jewish state in Palestine inhabited by millions of Jews will be one of the leading features of the peace conference discussions (14). 

This of course was contrary to the conclusion reached two years earlier by the British commission of inquiry at the end of the Palestinian uprising of 1936-1939.  This Paper stated:

The Royal Commission and previous commissions of Enquiry have drawn attention to the ambiguity of certain expressions in the Mandate, such as the expression `a national home for the Jewish people', and they have found in this ambiguity and the resulting uncertainty as to the objectives of policy a fundamental cause of unrest and hostility between Arabs and Jews.
... That Palestine was not to be converted into a Jewish State might be held to be implied in the passage from the Command Paper of 1922 which reads as follows  "Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine.  Phrases have been used such as that `Palestine is to become as Jewish as England is English.'  His Majesty's Government regard any such expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view.  Nor have they at any time contemplated ... The disappearance or the subordination of the Arabic population, language or culture in Palestine.  They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the (Balfour) Declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded IN PALESTINE.  (highlight in original)

But this statement has not removed doubts, and His Majesty's Government therefore now declares unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State.  They would indeed regard it as contrary to their obligations to the Arabs under the Mandate, as well as to the assurances which have been given to the Arab people in the past, that the Arab population of Palestine should be made the subjects of a Jewish State against their will (15).

It is clear from this candid paper that the British undertook obligations under vague (I would argue intentionally vague) wordings likely to give them flexibility in implementation.  The events between 1918 and 1938 had caused them up to reconsider their position.  However, by this point forces were in motion that made a change virtually impossible The Yishuv were already strong and well armed in Palestine, Britain entered World War II, and Hitler's attacks on Jews made it less likely for the British to begin to enforce their curbs on Jewish immigration to Palestine proposed in the White Paper.  One of the first acts of the nascent state of Israel in addition to instituting laws to prevent native Palestinians from returning to their homes and lands, was to repeal the White paper

Oct 11, 2017

School

This is a school in Beit Taamar that has been demolished by the Israeli occupation the day before it opened. Students went to a demolished school but volunteers quickly rebuilt the school. The Palestine Museum of Natural History donated some school supplies.
هذه هي مدرسة التحدي 5 في بيت تعمر التي هدمها الاحتلال الإسرائيلي قبل يوم من افتتاحها.  
ولكن المتطوعين أعادوا بناء المدرسة بسرعة وقام وزير التربية بافتتاحها. وقد تبرع متحف فلسطين للتاريخ الطبيعي ببعض اللوازم المدرسية









Sep 3, 2017

Qavi 1936-2017

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Mohammed Abdul Qavi who died peacefully on Sunday 27th August 2017 in his beloved Palestine.

Qavi was born in Delhi, India, on 6 February 1936, and moved with his family to Karachi, Pakistan following the partition in 1948 (he noted it as a nakba/catastrophe for the people). His second 12 years were spent in Karachi and Sind followed by 14 years in Chittagong and Dhaka (then East Pakistan) where he married and had his first child. In the early 1970’s, Qavi established his interior fitting business in Sharjah, UAE, in 1974 which resulted in a career highlight, winning the contract for the interior of the Dubai World Trade Tower in 1979. During his time in the UAE, Qavi also won numerous bridge trophies and also regularly enjoyed the international cricket scene.

Qavi and family, by now including his two daughters, moved to the UK in 1983, settling first in Kew where Qavi would spend the weekends walking in the gardens with his children and then moved to Blackheath, London. Here, Qavi bought both his first home, and the pine furniture business that he ran until he retired. He relished the cultural opportunities that London offered and indulged his love of books and literature, which he inherited from his parents. Qavi delighted in attending the theatre, and concerts of both Indian and Western classical music, for many years, holding a season ticket for the Proms.


Qavi loved poetry, reading and reciting in Urdu, Persian and English, and had a keen interest in world history and current affairs. He enjoyed cooking Indian food for friends and engaging in deep discussions of subjects ranging from human rights to philosophy to poetry. Qavi attended local chapter meetings of the United Nations Association, Quaker meetings for worship, the winter gathering of the Muslim Institute, and many other political gatherings, developing a wide network of friends and fellow activists.

Qavi strongly believed in being the change that he wanted to see, and would act wherever he saw injustice. He began staging regular peaceful protests, starting initially in the late 1990’s in Blackheath village with a placard that read ‘Repair the World, Do Not Destroy It’, and outside the Pakistan High Commission in London against the complicity of the Pakistani government in the US attacks on Afghanistan in 2001, with a banner that read in Urdu ‘You Have Sold The Blood of Our Martyrs’. From then on, Qavi would regularly attend peaceful protests and demonstrations, including those against the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, and in support of the Occupy movement. Qavi continued his own regular vigils, and also joined the campaigner Brian Haw in his protests against the US and its coalition partners in the bombing of the Iraqi people and killing of thousand children due to sanctions on Iraq.

Qavi had a lifelong passion for education believing in the power of knowledge to transform societies. When he was a teenager, on passing his Matriculation exams, he collected old textbooks and arranged distribution of these to needy students. This was the beginning of the Students Welfare Organisation (SWO), one of the oldest student social organisations in Pakistan, that continues to be active today, helping the children of disadvantages parents in Karachi. Indeed, when Qavi visited Karachi in 2012, the SWO held a reception to honor one of it’s founders at which Qavi delivered a speech recounting the genesis of the organisation.

Continuing his support for education in Pakistan, Qavi funded the schooling of many children and students, both personally and through welfare organisations. He arranged the distribution of hundreds of books to the libraries of schools and institutions in Karachi and beyond. In 2004, Qavi founded the Roshni Welfare Trust, in memory of his parents, which as well as continuing to support education, distributed ration bags during the holy month of Ramadan to needy families. He also funded the building of a school through The Citizen Foundation in his home district of Shah Faisal Colony, Karachi, that has been serving underprivileged families since 2005.

In the UK, Qavi funded scholarships in Maths and Physics at the school his daughters attended in Blackheath, in their name.

Qavi first visited Palestine in 2002 and then devoted most of his time either in Palestine or working for it. His activism and philanthropy in this regard included establishing a scholarship fund that covered tuitions for over 100 students in four Palestinian Universities, passing out books and literature especially to young people, and attending regular peace vigils.  

Qavi admired poems and life of the late Tawfiq Ziyad (previous mayor of Nazareth and member of the Israeli Knesset) and met with his widow and daughter. This part of one poem is now found around the occupied Palestinian areas courtesy of Qavi:
Here we will stay (Huna Baqun)
In Lidda, in Ramle, in the Galilee
Here we will stay
Like a wall on your chest
And in your throat
Like a shard of glass, a cactus thorn
And in your eyes
A sandstorm

The defiant message of persistence of native people resonated with all. But Qavi was such a gentle spirit and every week he held a sign that had in Hebrew ‘Tikkun Olam’ (repair the world) and in English ‘Keep The Hope Alive’ which he held silently even in the most harrowing of circumstances. The last poem he had translated to Arabic and distributed was “Mourn Not the Dead” by Ralph Chaplin

Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie
Dust unto dust
The calm sweet earth that mothers all who die
As all men must;
Mourn not your captured comrades who must dwell
Too strong to strive
Each in his steel-bound coffin of a cell,
Buried alive;
But rather mourn the apathetic throng
The cowed and the meek
Who see the world's great anguish and its wrong
And dare not speak!

Qavi was one who not only spoke but worked and donated in ways that created an amazing ripple effect for peace and justice.

He is survived by his wife Zarina, children Saad, Tara, and Mohini and grandchildren Aisha, Yasmin, and Cosimo, his brothers, Salaam and Ghani, and hundreds of his friends who will remember his sage advice.

Memorials will be held in Bethlehem and London on the following dates and locations:

6th October 2017 at 5 PM TBC October 2017
Palestine Museum of Natural History      Quaker Meeting House
Bethlehem University Lawn Terrance, Blackheath
Bethlehem, Palestine London SE3 9LL, UK
http://Palestinenature.org/visit http://www.blackheathquakers.org.uk/

Aug 30, 2017

Qavi RIP


Many many v sincere condolences to all from Robert B & family... Qavi will be v.sorely missed by us all♪♫ Robert.Bunzl

I am sorry to hear of Qavi's death.  He was a true friend of Palestine, and I owe much to him myself.  I met him through the Quakers that he attended in Blackheath and he was for a time my my mentor about Palestine, showing me things to read and organisations to visit, and assisting me during my second visit in early 2016. I am glad that he was able to die in a place he loved so much.
I am not planning on traveling to Bethlehem, but would like to know if any commemorative event is planned in the UK.
Best
Jonathan Coulter
Bromley, UK
­­­­­­­­
Am so sorry
Elizabeth Oritsejolomi Dudley 

Ibrahim and I send our condolences. At least he was able to be in his beloved Palestine.
Love,
Dana and Ibrahim

Thank you for sending this.. He was a wonderful man. We would be glad to know if there are any celebrations of his life in London.
Jean Hale


I offer my best wishes and sympathies to your circle in the loss of Mohammed Abdul Qavi.  Have a good day tomorrow and thereafter.
While writing, I must tell you that I am in correspondence with my friend Monica Spooner of the Balfour movement.  She and her husband were in our congregation in Edinburgh 1993-2004. She tells me that she has visited you in Bethlehem.
I meet our Interfaith Forum this week, which may be enriched by a convert to Judaism!
Shalom, salaam, Pax.
Paul King.

So sorry to hear of the passing of a great Peace Activist, Educator and Advocate for Human Rights, Mohammad Abdul Qavi. May he rest in eternal peace and may his bravery, commitment and love for equality and justice, inspire many to continue the battle for a safer, peaceful and equally prosperous and caring world.
Liam

I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Mr Qavi. May his soul rest in peace.
I have copied some of our common friends.
Regards
Nader Cheema

My sympathy and condolences.  May he rest in peace.  Ruth Moynihan

Thank you for your message. I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Mohammad Qavi - he was a neighbor of mine when we lived at Blackheath in London and so I knew him reasonably well. He was a true humanitarian and right now this world is desperately in need of people like him.  I am grateful that you communicated this news because it is unlikely that I would have known otherwise so thank you and I will say a prayer for hi.
Eamonn

Heartbreaking news of my friend Qavi .  Is there any contact in London you would like me to inform?  Helen

Is there anyone in Seattle I could get together with to commemorate his life? I believe we met Qavi at the Women's Union in 2016, when we were there on a CADFA women's visit. We were very glad to meet him and so sorry about this news. I would like to send my condolences.
Nandita CADFA

Thank you so much for giving me the sad news of Mr Qavi's death. May he rest in peace. He was good enough to introduce me to the Fridayvigil. He was and is an example of how one can bear witness, something we all of us ( esp I ) can look to for inspiration. I intend to return to Bethleham, as I outlined to you, I'm still working on my finances! With love to Jessie and yourself,
Valerie Braganza Morton


What sad news, when I met Qavi in 2015 he had such an important on me. Recently he has helped me get funds to Wi'am and when with friends to look at women's training needs around plumbing. He was  so erudite, compassionate, politically wise, someone who  understood people and see beyond narrow boundaries. I will be wroth you in thought from Scotland as you mourn his loss and celebrate his life. Kind regards
Laura smith

With great sadness we have read your message bearing the sad news of Qavi's  death. It is a  great loss for  yours as well as  our community in  Blackeath/Greenwich. We have known Qavi since with my family we moved into the neighbourhood  where he  owned the Pine Furniture shop in the Blackheath village,  40 years ago. Having previously served some years in Pakistan we had a lot in common, and whenever in London from foreign postings we would see Qavi,  sometimes as customers visiting his shop, but more often for an exchange of views on current political opinions.  But it was when Qavi retired that he impressed most when he turned into a diligent political activist always ready to put his brave man's  voice in the service of different  good causes, Palestine to start with. It was in our local OUN organisation that he was prominent and engaged. Most Saturdays  when here he would be an important resistence voice in the village,  protesting against current injustices and  holding his manifesto, sitting or standing in the most prominent place in the village. We all respected his important decision that  he voiced when learning to be unwell. It was then that he sold his house here in order to move to Palestine for good. We shall miss him but also  cherish the memory of the  man who should be a shining model to many.
Peace be with him.
Vesna and Malcolm Hardy

He was a great man. May is soul rest in peace. 
Sahar Qumsiyeh 

It is really very sad to learn about the death of Qavi and I will miss him much during my next visit to  Palestine. I remember when Jessie took care of his bed cover when he felt  too much the cool night in the guest house. He was part of our nice and warm Beit Sahour  family. Now I am longing for the time when I will see you all again hopefully this December 2017.
Love Frigga Karl

So sorry for the loss of your friend! That is a cruel loss to bear! Still praying and spreading the word!
Blessings,
Joanie Connors

May God Bless his Soul.
Emile George Khoury

I am so sorry to hear this devastating news. Qavi has a special place in my heart and I will miss him dearly.  I am in the US and sorry to be missing the memorial. Qavi visited my office several years ago with his cane and simple clothing. I didn’t know much about him except that he was a peace lover and was visiting from London where he moved as a young man from India.    Qavi and I had a wonderful relationship and I saw him often especially at the Ramallah Monthly Meeting.  Qavi endowed a scholarship at RFS (the SA’DAT BARI SCHOLARSHIP FUND) and the returns from his endowment are benefitting one of our students every year.   Teary eyed, Qavi shared with me about his tough childhood and how his family circumstances made it difficult for him to attend a good school in India.  He wanted to provide a disadvantaged Palestinian student an opportunity that would otherwise not be possible.  This scholarship will be available as long as the Friends Schools are in existence.
As you reminded us below, Qavi became a passionate advocate for the Palestinian cause. Bethlehem became his new home.  At 81 years, Qavi became a fixture in the non-violent solidarity movement and was spotted at many demonstrations and sit-ins.  Qavi hardly ever missed a Meeting for Worship in Ramallah.  He will be truly missed.
Qavi is an inspiration and an example of a true light of peace and tranquility.
Holding him and his family in the light. May his soul rest in peace.
Joyce Ajlouny


I AM so sad 
Hadeer Sweaty (one of the >100 students he helped with tuitions)

Thank you Professor Mazin for your kind words and making arrangements for his burial today. 
I am his youngest brother working for ICI and living in Pakistan. He spent his life on its own way.  He is a role model for me.   I am grateful to almighty Allah for his blessings to him that he made a lots of good friends like you in his life who are taking care of towards his last destiny. 
Thank you so much. 
Regards. 
Abdul Ghani

Heartfelt condolences on the demise of Qavi, a champion of the cause of the Palestinians.  May his soul rest in peace.
Gnana Robinson

Thank you so much for letting me know. I have known this great man since 1976 in Sharjah, UAE.
Hannah Mallon

My deepest condolences for our friend Qavi and may God rest him in the heavens. Yours Taleb - LA now after 24 hrs in the ways from Malaysia to LA
Taleb Alharethi

My condolences to all is friends in Palestine...Subhi Ali, M.D. 

Thanks Nadir for letting me know. I am shocked to hear this news. Qavi Sahib was such a fine gentleman. I stayed with him as a guest for a few weeks in 2013 and he was an amazingly nice host. Since then I used to correspond with him after every few months. He never mentioned being sick. Wonder what happened to him and how did he die so suddenly? He had once mentioned that some doctor told him he might have Parkinson's disease. But Qavi Sahib never believed that diagnosis. And he never talked about it again. Even if he did have Parkinson's disease, it must have been in early stages. He was on medication for some other health-related stuff but he never discussed his health issues and never mentioned being seriously sick. However, very shocked by his sudden death. 
He was such a fine gentleman. He read literature and politics. He was an activist and promoted the rights of Palestinians and other underprivileged and under-dogs. When I lived in his apartment as a guest, he used to volunteer once a week in a soup kitchen. He used to protest against the MQM for a longtime in front of Pakistan High Commission. He also told me that he was fond of going to the theatre.
He came to Pakistan a few years ago and visited Islamabad for a short trip along with his brother from Karachi. Isa and I spent a day with him. That was when I saw him last.
I am feeling extremely sad and shocked to hear the loss of this fine gentleman.
Best regards,
Foqia Khan

THAT MAKES ME SAD TOO! I SEND MY CONDOLENCES TO ALL OF YOU! TERESINKA PEREIRA


Didi joins me in conveying our heartfelt sorrow for the sad news. May Qavi's soul rest in peace. We feel privileged to have met this true friend of the Palestinian people and benefactor of its science institutions. We hope to attend the planned memorial service when the time and venue are decided.
May we be blessed with knowing more people like this honorable friend,
Hatim and Didi Kanaanah

Ohhhhh so sorry to hear that, I knew Qavi back in London I did not know he was in PM with Sahrour, he was always présent at events to do with Palestine, I am sure he was where he wanted to be at the end of his life. My heart is with you all.
Andree

we are deeply saddened by the loss of Mr Qavi  we were honored and blessed to have known him he was truly one of Alquds university supporters and was an amazing guides and mentor to our students through out the past years with his generosity many students who lack the financial ability was able to over come there situations and continue their education, we will never forget his kindness and he will always be remembered  Please accept our most sincere condolences.
Dana & Dr Ziad Abu Hilal 

I read with shock and sorrow of the death of one of life's true noble men.  I have known Qavi for many years.  We first met many years ago when both of us stood bail for men under control orders. We shared a passion for human rights and dignity.  We worked on the issue of the men under control orders but mostly we met each other at meetings on Palestine, Qavi with his peace button hole and me as a Jewish supporter of Palestinian human rights. He was a great supporter of Jews for Justice for Palestine and he valued our commitment to the cause.  It was always a joy to see meet up and share our thoughts. He was a man of special qualities and his passing leaves a void hard to fill.  May he rest in peace in Bethlehem, in a place he loved and whose freedom was his constant quest. And may his memory be a blessing.
Diana Neslen


we are sad at this news . may allah sbwt grant maghfarat .
i had known him for many years . he was a good man , an honourable man .
inna lillah wa inna alehai raje’oon .
we pary for his maghfarat.
ateed riaz.

I'm really sorry for the loss of a great man like Qavi. May his soul rest in peace.
Shahinda Nassar

My sincere condolence to you and the family of your friend Qavi, as well as your colleagues at the Museum and to the people of Palestine. May his soul rest in peace.
Palestine will be free!!!!
Mokesh Morar

Inna Lillahi wa inallahi rajioon.
Thank you for informing. We at The Citizens Foundation are equally sadden to hear the sudden news and are in touch with his family here. May Allah grant 'maghfirat' to our respected Qavi Sahib Aameen.
Neelam Habib

My heartfelt condolences. Elena Campari
( from Parma, Italy, currently Volunteer English language advisor in Tanzania)

My friend Salma Kasmani from Refugee rights Data Project tells me she's coming to Palestine with Camden Abu Dis friendship; I gave her your name (I expect they'll visit hope ok. It's good news that Cadfa are going. Thankyou lots for the bag, I use it all the time. 
Love and good luck,
Luke Hodgken

Bonjour Mazin. Condoléances sincères pour le décès de votre ami Qavi. Ma prière vous accompagnera aujourd'hui pour son enterrement : que le Seigneur accueille tout ce qu'il a fait de grand et de beau dans sa vie... Amicalement, Jean-Claude

Sorry for your loss , may his soul rest in peace !
Elina Musleh

RIP Qavi! I knew the much appreciated (and now much lamented) man when I was serving at Birzeit University. Is there an email address to which I could send condolences to his family? Please advise.
Kind regards,
Khalil Hindi

Thank you for informing me of the passing of dear Qavi,  I shall be thinking of him and his good work

Kenneth Parry

        Thank you for letting us know. We are very sorry to hear of Qavi's death. He was a regular attender at Blackheath Quaker Meeting here in SE London where we were strengthened by his steadfast purpose. I expect we will also mark his death and would be glad of some accounts of his work in Palestine to include. With best wishes,
Lee Coppack

Thank you for notifying us of this sad news. Mr Qavi was a long-time friend of Deir Yassin Remembered, a regular donor and attender of our commemorations. He was an activist of the finest sort and someone I came to hold in the highest regard.  We shall be posting about this later in the day.
 Please register our condolences
Paul Eisen

It is a big loss for the World, Palestine, Humanity, Education and Science.  May his Soul be blessed and rest in Peace. My heartfelt condolences to his Family and Friends.  George Kouchakji

I also knew the late Mr. Qavi. I would also appreciate it if anyone can provide me with his family email address. May his soul rest in peace. I also sent to the Advancement Office at Birzeit University to let them know of his passing away. I requested that the office published the condolences of BZU. Furthermore, I asked them to inform the beneficiary students of his scholarships about his passing away.
Sincerely
Adel Zaga

I am so sorry to hear of Qavi's death.
He was always so lucid not only on Palestine but on imperialism, Pakistan, and the global politics of Wahhabism. May he rest in peace and his legacy flourish.
Martha Mundy

Appreciate your conveying the news , sad as it was. Qavi was a very dear friend for over forty years and I cannot but acknowledge how dear his person and his work for the cause he truly believed meant to me.
Condolences to his friends and family
May he rest in eternal peace and may the memory of his work and efforts be with us as long as we live.
I shall miss him.
Feroze. Ahmed


Thank you for letting me know Mr. Qumsiyeh. We will all miss him tremendously. 
Najma Kazi

Inna llilah e wa inna ilahe rajaoon.
Thank you for informing us of the passing away of a dear friend. Qavi Saheb was a man of great humanitarian qualities and strength of character. He will be greatly missed.
May he Rest In Peace.
Best regards
Nermeen and Ahmed Al Midfa.

Thanks Nadir for sharing this very sad news with us. I am deeply saddened and shocked to hear about Mr. Qavi's demise. He was an extremely nice human being- an activist, friend of the oppressed and a well read man. A very generous host, he delighted in inviting his friends to his home and serving them delicious home cooked food that he used to prepare himself; haleem being his signature dish.
I felt privileged to be part of his circle of friends whom he regularly invited to his place. He once proudly told me that he had inherited his housekeeping and culinary skills from his mother- who was from Delhi.  After partition, he moved to Pakistan but then settled in the 1960s in East Pakistan. After 1971, he came back to Pakistan for a short while but moved to Sharjah where he took up furniture retailing and distribution business. In 1980s, he moved to London; he was again into  furniture retail business in London for nearly two  decades and took up activism after retirement. His main areas of interest were Palestine, Muslim World and the Muslim community in UK.
I met him for the first time during anti-MQM protest when we were part of May 12 group in London. Apart from meeting him at his place, I have watched theatre plays and attended talks with him many times.  He had a very impressive library, reflecting his deep interest in politics and literature, but he decided to dispose it off in 2012 when he moved to Palestine. 
I had moved out of London to the Middle East in 2011 but was visiting London in 2012 when he told me about his plans to spend more time in Palestine. He offered me his Urdu section of the library and was very keen to give me his excellent collection of Urdu books- numbering perhaps over 100 and containing some very rare books and periodicals including copies of  the famous Shama magazine, which was published from Delhi in pre-partition days. I was extremely tempted to accept this kind and exceptional offer but had no proper place to keep this vast collection in London. Unfortunately, and to my eternal regret, I had to say no to him. 
 I last met him during my 2014 visit to London. He was suffering from severe arthritis in those days; both of us participated together in anti-Israel protest regarding atrocities in Gaza and I noticed he  was carrying a folding chair with him which he needed quite often during the long protest walk upto Israeli Embassy.
My last meeting with him was during that trip when he invited me to a musical performance by his friend in St Martin-Lane church very close to Trafalgar Square. After the performance we had lunch together and he gifted me
a very interesting book on Iran during that last meeting.
I was in touch with him through email over the years; our last email correspondence was in May this year when I had shared my published  article "Corruption and its discontents" with him and he responded to my email.
He was an old-school gentleman and his most impressive characteristic was his humane nature which shone through his thoughts and deeds. May Allah bless his soul and  grant him a high station in Jannah.
 Rest in Peace, Qavi Sahib- you were a wonderful person and this world is a poorer place without you; feel privileged to have known you since my London days- you are definitely someone worth remembering many years down the road. 
Ammar Qureshi 

Very sorry to hear this news. May he rest in peace. 
Asim Siddiqui 

My heartfelt condolences on the departure of your friend and comrade, Mohammad Abdul Qavi. May his path be clear and smooth.  Thank you for sharing. Though I didn't know him, I am so grateful for his devotion to Palestine and all those struggling to be free in your country. Namaste,
Linda Novenski

Thank you for passing this very sad news.  Qavi was an inspirational character, who I knew through the United Nations Association here in Blackheath, London.  He was in every sense a good man, and a good friend.  My sincere condolences to his family and many friends. Kind regards
Peter Greaves

Khuda oon ko janat nasib kerayn.
Agree with what you've all said.They don't make gentlemen like Qavi Sahib any more.
Nadir: Thank you for letting us know.
All: Salaam aur duaon ke saat,
Anita mir


Thanks for the email and I'm really sorry to hear about Qavi. He was a great man. Like Qavi, I hope one day we all will return to our home in Palestine - Jerusalem will always call for me.
Would you happen to have a current email address or phone number for his daughter Tara? I used to work with Tara (who introduced me to her father) but I've since lost her contact details and would like to get in touch to give her my condolences.
And as always, thank you for keeping up the fight for Palestine and the great work overall!
Subhi Barakat

Very sorry to hear this.  May Allah grant him a place in heaven and may his soul rest in peace.
Regards to all, Ayesha Ijaz Khan

Thank you for sending the information about our dear friend Qavi.  I am deeply moved to hear of his death and I shall miss him so much.  Though seeing him rarely, we kept in touch sharing his beliefs but lacking his courage.  He has made a great impression on our lives.  We were always aware of his presence here in the UK and in Palestine gently calling and working for Peace and Human Rights.
We share in your prayers today as we mourn and give thanks for his life.
In Peace
mavis Iredale

I share with you a deep sorrow at the loss of Qavi, our dear friend. In so many subtle ways he took giant steps to advance human rights. His trust and ability to connect and understand people, his abiding spirituality and, I believe among his finest gifts, his ability to meet and understand people, to listen and befriend strangers and encourage others by example.
So many memories - seemingly small yet profound fill my heart and celebrate his life. He is missed but never forgotten.
In peace,
Doris Dorrito

RIP, Qavi Bhai. A very special person he was and the world today is poorer without him. He used to send me special articles and papers on the subjects of our mutual interests such as Muslims in South Asia, Pakistani 'satrap' generals, violence in Palestine and other intellectual outpourings gleamed from a wide variety of journals and magazines that I would have otherwise missed. We used to meet in London at the seminars and such other literary gatherings and then every year since 2009, we would meet at the Winter gathering in Salisbury. This last weekend in November at Sarum College has been happening quite regularly and involves scholars, activists and people of all kinds of interests including arts and letters. I would always sit with Qavi Bhai and would often detect his frustration with the way things had been happening among Muslims. His beautiful Urdu, his unique sense of humour and biting criticism of communities and polities I will never forget. Nicely dressed, always alert and with a kind smile spreading underneath those observant eyes, Qavi had no time for idiots and self-inflicted illiterates. I know his work in Palestine was more than sheer wordsmithery and he devoted his energy and resources to help Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. He felt and shared their pain and demonstrated against the Zionists by taking all kinds of risks. He kindled hope, resistance and courage amongst the struggling masses and thus was not a typical detached intellectual but a devoted philanthropist. These few words can never offer a proper and sufficient enough tribute to this noble soul. We miss you, Qavi Bhai but do hope that your prayers and blessings will encourage some of us to carry on with your deeds.
Iftikhar Malik

I am saddened to hear the passing of my dear friend Qavi whom I know through Blackheath Quaker Meeting House in London. I also know him in person how wonderful he had been. I have also informed our Quaker Meeting House in Blackheath,  London today.
I offer my sincere condolences to his family and his group.
In friendship with love and peace
Raden Topo Wresniwiro

So sad.  So sorry not to have been able to say goodbye. So sorry not to be there with you as you said goodbye and put his body to rest.
Remember that I met Qavi in 2002 when we both, and his 18 year old daughter, were with ISM in Nablus.  We re-united in Beit Sahour, probably through you, several years ago. I am sure Qavi arranged to die in Palestine, where his heart was.  I hope arranging burial for a "foreigner" isn't too complicated.
Love and peace, Sherrill Hogan

Thank you for your email, which I opened earlier today. I had understood that  time was indeed running out for Qavi -   nevertheless  -   it was still a great  shock to learn from family last night, -  that his end had come. I last saw Qavi in 2016 .   I am pleased to have known him. He was a very special person and I know that he will be greatly missed by you all, as well as family. It is good that he was where he wished to be.  Indeed Qavi, may you rest in peace.
I took a look at your Facebook page - that photograph - was just, so, Qavi.
Thank you.
Di Land


I am so sorry to hear about Qavi sahab. I met him during our May 12 protest against MQM in London. After my return to Pakistan we kept in contact exchanging news and views on issues that were very dear to him. I lost touch with him around 2013 that was perhaps around the time he was shifting to Palestine. A great loss. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
And thank you Nadir for the message
Ayesha Khan

This is a saddening loss. Wish I could be there to pay my respect to Mr. Qavi. I will remember him as a gentleman, always polite and kind in giving his advice. Hard to find one like Mr. Qavi at these times.
He obliges the lucky many who met him to follow his example.
Gabriele Mombelli

Wow so sorry to hear of Qavi's death. I saw his picture on facebook, however didn't read around it. I am sure you will all miss him very much. He really did appreciate the Museum and the staff there. Obviously especially you Mazin. Such a sad loss. Thinking of you all at this very sad time. Love and God Bless,
Dorothy Pearson

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of Qavi, and send all my sympathy and condolences to his family, you both, and all his loved ones. I saw him last at the Muslim Institute's Winter Gathering, where we shared a laugh and some memories of Palestine. He looked well and happy, in the thick of things as he loved to be. Thanks to him I met Mordechai Vanunu, and have fond memories of Qavi holding court at a cafe table outside the Educational Bookshop that evening, clearly beloved by a young female student of English literature he was mentoring. How sad that he is no longer with us, bringing his delightful energy to all the busy intersections of progressive politics and warm social congress. I join you in giving thanks for his inspirational life, and with gratitude to you for introducing us, I hope I can live to as ripe an age, and share of myself as generously all the years that I am given. 
If it would bring them any comfort, please feel free to share these memories with his family; alternatively I will await the obituary and a possible online condolences book. 
With love,
Naomi Foyle

To Mazin Qumsiyeh With thanks for your message.
We do not grudge your friend his rest, he has at last become free, safe and immortal, Qavi has not lost the light of day but has obtained a more enduring light.
"he has not left us, but has gone before us" - Seneca
Our Aborigines tell us: "we are all visitors to this time, this place - we are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love & then we return home"
We join you in celebrating an extraordinary life which is making our souls blossom.
With love from Monika Smith - Quakers in Wahroonga, Australia.

I am very sorry to hear of the passing away of Qavi.He was a great friend and a wonderful example of caring of understanding of entegrity. Ramallah Friends Meeting(Quakers)enjoyed so much his attendance,his participation and ministry.We will miss his physical presence but his example and spirit will always be remembered.God Have mercy for you are compassionate and merciful.Jean Zaru
Dear Marisa and Mazin,
I am in the USA. I came for some rest, check ups and attending my grand-daughter Mai graduation. I wrote some comments on your face book and the Ramallah Friends Meeting Face book soon. Qavi attended our Meeting for worship regularly and he was very interested in our spirituality and inclusiveness. When he shared a message it was from Faith and practice of Britain Yearly Meeting , Advices and queries, and he was close to Blackheath Meeting .Qavi also contributed to the  Meeting financially.I know him well. He told me before I traveled that
his health will not allow him to travel to Ramallah Friends Meeting for he is suffering from a terminal illness. I called him again before I left and he with effort admitted that he is suffering from Lung Cancer and his life is short . He wished to die and be buried in Palestine. Have mercy God and comfort his friends and family. Please Mazin notice my email's new address. The other one was disabled in July.  
jeanzaru1@gmail.com with loving best wishes to you both. I will be back for Sunday worship 3rd September to welcome the new group of EAPPI for worship and to
share reflections with them after refreshments. With Loving Greetings and in Peace ,
Jean Zaru, Ramallah Friends Meeting (Quakers)

My sincerest condolences. I feel honoured that i got to know him briefly in february, as he truly was one of the most inspiring people i have met. May he rest in peace. Sarah Parnreiter 
Condolences for his family but Gavi still alive his soil found around us for ever he is doing allot for palestine , he is in our mind . in our heart for ever forever. Shadi Adawi
I am very sorry to hear this. Qavi had a kind spirit and keen sense of justice. He loved Palestine. My gratitude goes out to everyone who became his family during these past few year. Marla Schrader 
So sorry! I'm glad I had the chance to meet him at El Beit! May his work live on! Virginia Sheppard Lapham 
Aww such sad news. What a sweet and true gentleman he was. Rest in peace Qavi Daniel Attenborough 
I met Qavi several times when I was in Beit Sahour in 2014. I know he was loved and will be missed. What a great spirit. I found this beautiful piece by him, on Al-Khalil, after doing a quick google search:  http://www.musliminstitute.org/blogs/travel/pilgrimage-masjid-ibrahimi
Peace, Matt Bewley

ما كتبت رنا بشارة
رحل هذا الانسان العظيم والصديق الوفي لي وللشعب الفلسطيني كله 
رحمك الله السيد محمد عبد القوي (كافي) واسكنك فسيح جناته 
فعلا انها لخساره كبيره وانه ليوم حزين ومفجع ...وقاسي، وكم هو حزين الفراق ، كم هو صعب الفراغ الذي يتركه الانسان من بعد رحيله ...
المرحوم السيد كافي شاركنا افراحنا واترحنا ...ندواتنا ومظاهراتنا.... وقفاتنا الاحتجاحيه ومعارضنا الفنيه، مثقف وعميق وملم بالكثير، ثاقب الرؤيه... متامل وايجابي وكريم الاخلاق والعطاء بلا حدود!
كل هذه الصفات ولن تنصفه وكم بالاحرى عندما يكون هذا الانسان عظيم حنون وصادق بكل ما تعنيه الكلمه من معنى
اعتقد انكم تشوقتم لتعرفوا من هو وبما تكمن عظمته وما سبب وجوده في فلسطين ، كونه ليس فلسطينيا !!!
الصديق والكاتب اسامه العيسه Osama Alaysa وهو صديق مشترك كتب الاتي 
https://www.facebook.com/osama.alaysa/posts/10155409162961066
تعرفت عليه من خلال الدكتور مازن قمصيه Mazin Qumsiyeh ومدامته جيسي في متحف البيئه الطبيعيه في فلسطين فنعاه كانسان عظيم بقول التالي (نصير المضطهدين في العالم وخاصة في فلسطين) من خلال تطوعي هناك 
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?
story_fbid=1968232263455303&id=1454309858180882
كم هو حزين ان تفقد قامه بهذا القدر من المحبه الغير مشروطه والانتماء لاعدل قضيه في التاريخ الحديث ، كلمتك قبل اسبوع ورغم مرضك ومعاناتك لن تشعرني بالضعف لا بل احسست بالطمانينه انك في احسن حال لتعطنا الامل بالاستمرار في هذه المسيره الطويله علي درب الحريه والكرامه التي شعت من قامتك العاليه 
نم قرير العين ايها الاب والصديق والمناضل الاممي الحبيب السيد محمد عبد القوي (كافي)
كم شاستاق لطلتك وحكمتك وتفاؤلك ، رحمل الله ومنحنا الصبر والسلوان وعائلتك الصغيره وكل فلسطين واخص يالذكر الدكتور مازن قمضيه ومدامته جيسي والاستاذ اسامه العيسه 
ثرى فلسطين تعطر بك ولن نخذلك ونحن على العهد حتى الحريه !

ما كنب أسامة العيسة:
وجد إنسان كهذا..!
في عام 1948م، اختبر محمد عبد القوي (كافي) نكبته الخاصة، ولد في دلهي لأبوين مسلمين، وكان جزءا من أكبر عملية تبادل/تطهير سكاني بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية، على أسس دينية بين الباكستان والهند، ففقد وطنه. يتناسى الكثيرون ان إسرائيل والباكستان أسستا على أسس دينية في نفس العام.
لاحقا حدد كافي، الذي أصبح مواطنا بريطانيا وتنقل في أكثر من مكان، فلسطين كوطن أوّل، قدم الدعم لطلبة الجامعات الفلسطينية، عاش حياة بسيطة ولم يكن استهلاكيا، أحب الشعر بلغات كثيرة، وسحرته قصيدة توفيق زياد (هنا باقون) ولن أنسى أبدا الحماسة في عينيه، وهو يردد:
هنا .. على صدوركم، باقون كالجدار
وفي حلوقكم
كقطعة الزجاج، كالصبار
وفي عيونكم
زوبعة من نار
قرأ القصيدة بالانجليزية، ونشط بنقشها على ألواح السيراميك وتوزيعها على الجامعات ومؤسسات الشباب.
أراد أن يموت في فلسطين، وكان يذهب كل ثلاثة أشهر إلى لندن، لتجديد الفيزا ويعود بسرعة حتى لا يموت الا في فلسطين.
سأقول بان كافي فائق الثقافة، دعم مشروعي الكتابي بنبل نادر، وموّل ثمن نسخ من كتبي كان يوزعها بنفسه على طلبة الجامعات.
سأذكر دائما حنوه، وشجاعة قلبه، وإخلاصه، ودعواته على العشاء كمضياف في مكان إقامته أو في منازل الأصدقاء، حيث يتولى الطبخ مستعينا بوصفته السرية الخاصة من البهارات.
كان كافي مؤمنا بالقدير، ولكنه لم يؤمن بالطقوس، اعتنى به في أيامه الأخيرة، بحب نادر مسيحي وبوذية بشكل أساسي.
نادرون من سيعيشون معي حتى نهاية العمر، وكافي من بينهم.
سابكيك كثيرا يا صديقي..!
للاطلاع: في حب توفيق زيّاد وفلسطينhttp://bit.ly/2xuB3CI