What other people say
Paula Sherriff MP
"As a new Member of Parliament, Caabu's delegation to Palestine was a fantastic eye-opener into the situation facing Palestinians under occupation. It was a superbly run visit which fulled by interest in the issue and made me determined to sick up for legitimate Palestinian rights."
Richard Burden MP
"Caabu's role is invaluable. The organisation works tirelessly to explain the causes of the Israel/Palestine issue and to promote a just peace. In parliament it provides a regular news digest about the Arab world and supports All Party Groups which expand MPs' knowledge of a range of Arab countries. Caabu's public meetings and seminars are well attended and they are of high quality. I am particularly impressed, though, by the priority Caabu gives to work within schools. Establishing a dialogue with young people now is vital to building lasting understanding between the peoples of the UK and the Arab world."
Gerard Horton, Defence for Children International (DCI)
"The issue of the treatment of Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons has been frequently raised in the UK parliament over the course of the past 14 months largely thanks to the work of Caabu in bringing parliamentary delegations to the region. Thanks to Caabu, these delegations have seen the situation for themselves and reported back to Parliament. DCI is indebted to Caabu for making these delegations possible, which in turn, is playing an important role in protecting children in detention."
Steve James, then Chief Executive, Medical Aid for Palestinians
"Caabu has been a fantastic partner for MAP and has played a key role in raising the plight facing Palestinians with politicians as well as the broader public. We have always admired their professionalism and expertise."
Lord Phillips of Sudbury
“Part of the deadly mix of factors which makes the Middle East so extremely difficult and dangerous is the uneven and inadequate presentation to the Western media and political establishment of the points of view of decent, thoughtful Arabs. Caabu, with a relatively small staff, makes a disproportionately valuable contribution to rectifying that imbalance.”
Afif Safieh, Former Palestinian General Delegate to the UK:
"In the last 30 years, within British society, those who are favorably inclined towards the Arab World and supportive of Palestinian natural aspirations have moved from being a marginal minority into becoming the mainstream.
The one single institution in Britain which was instrumental in orchestrating this monumental shift in public opinion was undeniably the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding. Their lobbying of Government and Parliament, their monitoring of the media and cultivating relations with journalists, their campaigns to raise awareness around the country is most deserving of recognition and appreciation."
Andy Slaughter MP (upon returning from a Caabu delegation to Palestine)
"Thank you again for a fantastically well-planned and executed trip. It is difficult to imagine how you could have fitted more into our five days - all of it relevant and to say the least, eye-opening"
Ahdaf Soueif, Author:
"Caabu performs a vital function as a bridge between the Arab and British communities. The diverse range of high profile speakers that Caabu attracts to its public events, on an array of topics (democratization, the Maghreb, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to name a few), provides a unique opportunity for members of the British public to learn more about the Arab World.
Caabu’s educational role goes much further than this. Sadly, many British schools do not cover the Middle East in their regular curriculum, and they are only starting to face up to the problem of ‘Islamophobia’. Caabu is at the forefront of tackling this worrying tendency, and its visiting speaker service provides students with an insight into some of the most important issues of the day that they would otherwise be sorely lacking."
Rt. Hon Lord Steel of Aikwood
"It has in my mind for many years been the main agency in Britain to foster knowledge and understanding of the Arab world, particularly among British politicians, and it has done so with great flair on a limited budget. The importance of the organisation cannot be stressed too highly in today's climate."
Baronness Symons, former Foreign Office Minister:
"I very quickly realised that here was an organisation where one could really speak one's mind. Where there was a free flow of ideas and I do think that it is the great strength of the organisation. I think that it is enormously important for all of us, actually, at all stages in our diplomacy to have that opportunity to speak freely, but never more so than now with so many issues around the Middle East which are engaging everybody."
Sarah Teather MP (upon returning from a Caabu delegation to Palestine)
“I would recommend to any colleague that they go and see the situation in Israel and Palestine with Caabu. Caabu’s excellent contacts meant that we were able to meet Israelis and Palestinians, and gained access to Gaza with the UN.
“The trip had a huge impact on me. I could not have understood the impact of settlements on the peace process without seeing the situation for myself, and no amount of reading reports could have done the conditions in Gaza justice.”
Pippa Spencer Nairn, Former Caabu Intern:
"As a volunteer at Caabu, I have had a unique insight into the frenzy of daily activities that takes place in their one small office. I have been incredibly impressed by the wide range of issues that Caabu deals with; from monitoring the UK coverage of the Arab World to organising parliamentary lobby days, in addition to visiting schools to talk about such topical issues as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Islamaphobia and the war in Iraq. At the current time, when (mainly bad) news from the Arab World hits the headlines on a daily basis, Caabu has a huge task ahead and, I believe should be encouraged and supported in all ways possible. It seems that Caabu relies on willing volunteers to complete its work and it is an indication of both their high reputation and the great value of their work that so many young people are eager to contribute. Caabu has given me a great opportunity to learn new skills as well as allowing me to further my own knowledge of politics in the Arab world and in the UK and I feel privileged to have played some small part in its work."
Some Responses from Schools to CAABU’s
Visiting Speaker Service
“Chris spoke to 150 of my lower sixth pupils about current issues across the Middle East. He is an expert in the culture and politics of the region, and his talk was both informative and highly engaging for the boys. In a short space of time he was able to bring them ‘up to speed’ with the key issues throughout the region, in a way which has informed their understanding of history, culture and global politics both since the post-war era and right up to the present day.”
“I really do appreciate your extremely knowledgeable and interesting approach to the subject and your words certainly provided plenty of food for thought. The staff were very complimentary and even those who profess to know everything (at least, that's the impression given!) appreciated the wide variety of issues covered. I'm always amazed how little students know about the origins of the Conflict and in the present climate, along with Yasser Arafat's death, your words have even more significance.
“I hope that we may be able to tempt you back here again in the future.”
Clough Hall Technology School
“[The students] are still talking about the talk and have mentioned many things I thought they did not hear. They especially keep bringing up the point that racism against Arabs is just as wrong as any other form of racism.”
“It has led to a lively debate!”
“Your talk sparked considerable controversy… While some disagreed very strongly with what you said there were many others who were grateful to hear presented a viewpoint they had not been aware of before.”
Gwyn Williams, Kings Worcester School
“Super talk today. From early feedback, the students got plenty out of it (as I did!). Thank you very much indeed.”
Caron Beary, Parmiters School
“The talk was very good and struck just the right note. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to follow it up with a few students that I know were very engaged.”