About US

About Us

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Playgrounds for Palestine
P.O. Box 559
Yardley, PA 19067
contact@playgroundsforpalestine.org


The Nuts and Bolts

A great deal of work and effort goes into building these playgrounds. Playgrounds that are purchased abroad are shipped and assembled using local labor. We transfer "ownership" of the equipment to a local Palestinian NGO or municipality that takes over the responsibility of maintaining the playground and providing access to all children. The land is always donated. In nearly every aspect of operations in Palestine, we rely on the generosity and dedication of ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) to help us ship the equipment, transport it on the ground, liaise with local organizations and local communities to install the playgrounds.


The Playgrounds for Palestine Team

Susan Abulhawa
wears many hats in life; she is a writer, a mom, an activist, and a biologist. Her first novel, Mornings in Jenin, was recently published and critically acclaimed by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist. Abulhawa has written reviews and commentaries on the internet of various books, films, and news plus a couple of anthology contributions. She is a lover of life, music, art, her daughter and her dog and follows the news quite closely. And amidst her cynicism and wittiness, she secretly dreams and imagines a more gentle world.

Jacqueline Berry
grew up in Cornwall in the UK. Before graduating from Lancaster University with a degree in Geography (Development Studies) she was fortunate enough to call Cairo, Egypt her home for 3 years. She continued her informal education as she traveled around Europe, Asia and Latin America and moved to Philadelphia shortly after with her husband. For the last 10 years she has made a career out of fair trade, but currently can be found recruiting volunteers for a non-profit organization in Philadelphia.

Betsey Piette
was born in New York and attended the State University of New York in Buffalo where she became an activist against the US war in Vietnam with anti-racist solidarity work. Betsey spent nearly 15 years as a business manager at a childcare center in Philadelphia while furthering her studies in pursuit of a certification in accounting, her current career. She is an organizer for the International Action Center in Philadelphia and a contributing writer for Workers World Paper. She has participated in international delegations to Cuba, Colombia, and Venezuela.

Sonia Rosen
is a Moroccan-American who was born and raised in the United States. She graduated from New York University with a degree in English Education and African Studies. She taught in New York public schools until coming back to Philadelphia to pursue her graduate studies in education while continuing to teach in a number of different contexts. She obtained a masters degree and is currently completing her doctorate in education at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, she is a singer in Tribe 1, a Philadelphia-based music ensemble. Sonia enjoys a busy life as an educator, musician, and activist with her husband, who is also a strong supporter of Playgrounds for Palestine.

Karen Kovalcik
enjoys a life that is full of connections through her four childrens' schools and sports activities while enjoying activities in various church and civic groups. She is an active board-member of the Bucks County Performing Arts Center. Her involvement with Playgrounds for Palestine stems from her awareness of the plight of the children living in Palestine. Her heart has been moved to provide whatever assistance and support she and her family can secure. As a believer that change comes from the most innocent among us, children, she fully supports this charity's mission to provide a basic human right to play shown through an act of love.

Nathan Dannison
currently serves as the Director for Outreach Ministries at First (Park) Congregational Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is also a graduate student at the Chicago Theological Seminary. Nathan first became interested in Middle East issues during his undergraduate work in International Relations at Western Michigan University. After receiving a Fund for Theological Education ministry grant, he toured the Midwestern United States, preaching at various churches to raise money for a playground. He recently returned from Bethlehem, West Bank, were he was able to assist with the completion of a playground and begin work on a model for sustainable future playground development in conjunction with the Beit Suhour Municipality. Nathan is currently engaged in bringing more churches into relationship with their Palestinian brothers and sisters of all faiths. During his time in Palestine, Nathan also worked as an Emergency Medical Technician with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.

Hanan Urick
is a first generation Palestinian-American. She is a mom, pharmacist, school volunteer and childrens' rights advocate. She grew up in North Jersey and holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and a PharmD from Shenandoah University. She currently resides in West Chester, Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter and son. Her involvement in Playgrounds for Palestine stems from her love of children and her strong beliefs in the merits of play.

Abeer Karzoun
is a dedicated board member of Playgrounds for Palestine through her hard work during our fundraisers and beyond. She is a Palestinian-American, originally from Gaza, and in her own time she runs her own design and interior design business. She helps each year with the design and layout of PfP's annual fundraiser and brings in volunteers to assist PfP which results in consistently flawless events. Her husband, Khamis Karzoun, also helps PfP greatly with their catering services and obtaining lodging for special guests.

Bareeq Barqawi
is a Palestinian-American, first generation growing up in the US. She is originally from the town of Burqa outside of Nablus and was born in Kuwait before coming to America shortly after the Gulf War. Bareeq is a human rights activist, especially for the Palestinian cause which is close to her heart. She has worked with the American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights (AAPER), Network of Arab-American Professionals (NAAP), and Playgrounds for Palestine as a volunteer before becoming a member of the staff. She has organized a Palestinian Film Festival in Philadelphia, networkers and a gala for the Arab-American community, and has supported the arts for which she planned and organized a "Poetry, Music, Comedy Celebration" with over 100 people in attendance. She is currently completing her Masters Degree in Communication Management, specifically in Strategic and Organizational Communication. She is now the Nonprofit Administrator for PfP and helps with website management, social media outlets, event planning, and promoting the PfP mission. Her future plans are to work with NGOs and nonprofits to advocate for human rights and get her law degree in humanitarian law.