Photographs by Jay Finneburgh (view more event photos!)
On March 4, 2018, MECA was thrilled to host NOAM CHOMSKY to usher in our 30th Anniversary! In the sold-out event (900 seats) at Oakland Tech Auditorium, Noam addressed the question, “Whither Palestine?”: “The good news is that MECA is alive and well and is continuing to do marvelous work it’s been doing for thirty years, under Barbara’s remarkable leadership. And there are real prospects for progress [in Palestine], though they’re often obscured by prevailing and understandable gloom.”
Three months later on June 4, MECA supporters and friends honored co-founder Barbara Lubin, and celebrated 30 years of MECA’s work for Palestinian children, at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley! Including a delicious reception catered by Zaytoon, and an art display by Jos Sances, this event sold out as well (500 seats) and featured both moving and hilarious tributes to Barbara (by MC Ali Abunimah, Michel Shehadeh, Marc Van der Haut, Hilton Obenzinger, Ahmad Jabr and Alex Lubin) – plus glorious music from Melanie DeMore and Holly Near with Tammy Hall.
Berkeley City Council member Cheryl Davila gave Barbara a Proclamation from the City of Berkeley, and former Berkeley Mayor Gus Newport read a Proclamation to Barbara from Representative Barbara Lee. Angela Davis and Alice Walker offered rousing and celebratory talks; and Barbara and Zeiad presented our 2018 “Hellraiser Awards” to Lara Kiswani and Reem Assil, and to Rabab Abdulhadi in absentia.
Huge thanks again to our supporters for being there for MECA, for making this such an inspiring and community-building event. Special thanks to our hard-working volunteers, and to Smith Patrick, Jay Finneburgh and Cecilie Surasky who documented it all so beautifully. See a 13-minute video of event highlights.