Sabastiya Guesthouse

kayed_palace_bedroomHAFSA was pleased to be one of the international groups that supported the development of the Al Kayed Palace Guesthouse in Sabastiya. This guest house opened for business in November 2013 and subsequently hosted the Zaytoun Harvest Tour.

How we helped

We bought beds, bedding and heaters for the winter, but as importantly we encouraged the village to go ahead, which they did with gusto!

We are committed to continuing to supporting them and to helping increase tourism in Sabastiya. HAFSA and the Twinning Network tour will be staying there for three nights in May 2014 and the Zaytoun Harvest Tour will again stay in November 2014.

About the guesthouse

The Al-Kayed Palace Guesthouse is an Ottoman-era palace that was built for the Al-Kayed family in around 1855. Palestinian cultural NGO Riwaqin helped to renovate the palace so it could serve as a community hub for the Union of Women’s Committees for Social Work in Palestine and, later, as a guesthouse.

The guesthouse has beds for 17 people, and can accommodate singles, twins or multiple occupancy at a variety of very reasonable prices. All the rooms are en-suite. There is a communal dining/meeting room and wonderful views. Traditional home cooked Palestinian food is offered at breakfast and also evening meal if required.

Members of the women’s group also work in the guesthouse, and goods such as soap, embroidery and jam made by local women are sold there.

Check out their website for booking and more information.


Hanwell Friends of Sabastiya – Bulletin 8 Autumn 2013


Summer is festival season and we had our usual two stalls at the Hanwell Carnival and the Brentford Festival. Sale of cupcakes and olive oil was brisk!
Our Abu Santa Grotto on the 1st of December was very well attended. A jolly time was had by all, there were cakes galore, lots of bargains to be had, and it raised £345.
We have developed links with our neighbours, Hounslow Ramallah Twinning Association, who shared the Brentford stall with us and whom we supported in their successful event “Football and Falafels”. Mark Devlin, CEO of Brentford FC attended briefly and assured us of his support for any future projects we may develop with our twin towns.
News from Sabastiya
We are delighted to report that our man in Sabastiya, Abu Yasser, was invited to give a talk via Skype to students and professors at Harvard University College of Theology about his organisation of and participation in the village successful non-violent protest against the neighbouring Israeli settlement. His talk was very well received and the College intends to remain in contact and support Sabastiya.
Projects Update
Abu Yasser and the guest house goodies
500 Olive Trees project
We are pleased to report that after a very long and hot summer in the West Bank, the vast majority of our saplings are thriving. Water is very scarce and costly there, so we had to finance the hiring of a water tank to go round all the orchards and water the trees in order to ensure their survival.
Al Kayed Palace Guest House
This community-owned guest house is now up and running and had its first group of guests this autumn – the annual Zaytoun Harvest Tour, guided by our current Chair (Andree). Feedback was excellent and we look forward to staying there during our forthcoming HAFSA spring tour. HAFSA has supported the development of the guest house from its inception and recently helped finance additional equipment (see photo).
Twinning conference
Several HAFSA members attended the Britain Palestine Twinning and Friendship Network conference in Northampton in November. Both Andree and Jean were re-elected to the committee. It was decided at the conference to launch a visa campaign in the UK to draw attention to the discrimination that Palestinians experience when applying to enter the UK, whereas Israelis come and go as they please without the need for a visa. We will keep you informed regarding any action required.
volunteers packing ramadan parcels july 13
Ramadan parcels
We were asked to help the poorest families in Sabastiya during Ramadan. Your response has been most generous and we were able to provide enough basic foodstuffs eg: oil,  sugar, flour… for 60 families at £25 each for the entire month of Ramadan.  Young volunteers from the village were involved in making up and delivering the parcels. Abu Yasser (our rep in Sabastiya) said: “This has been a good community initiative and has taught us a lot about our village.” So many thanks to all who made this possible (see photo).
Visit Palestine
We hope to run another spring tour in 2014, dates have yet to be confirmed. If you are interested in going, please email Andree:moc.o1586219511ohay@1586219511eltru1586219511ttrop1586219511yat1586219511
HAFSA is online!
We now have a Facebook group – you can join at:
Visit our website:
Future events
Saturday 18th January 3pm-6pm
St Thomas’s Church Hall, 182 Boston Road W7(next to Elthorne Park)
We will show a short film about Sabastiya’s successful non-violent campaign against the local illegal Israeli Jewish settlement that was discharging sewage onto Sabastiya’s farmlands.
The AGM will be followed by entertainment and refreshments, more details will be advised nearer the date. Please make every effort to attend; it will be an interesting afternoon.
Film Night: We are planning a film night in March 2014
The Cooperative Bank, Ealing Branch
Sort code: 08 92 99
Account number: 65449004



The committee wishes you all a peaceful 2014
sabastiya mosque
Sabastiya Crusader’s Church and Mosque

The Hanwell Friends of Sabastiya Annual General Meeting

Dear HAFSA members,
You are invited to attend the Hanwell Friends of Sabastiya Annual General Meeting. This will take place on:
 18th January 2014 from 3pm until 6pm
 At St Thomas Church: 182 Boston Rd, Hanwell W7 2AD
please bring friends and family
1)    We will start with the formal business (30min)
·         Welcome
·         Apologies
·         Minute of previous AGM (attached)
·         Matters arising (will be included in  the chair report)
·         Chair report (illustrated), questions and adoption of report (will be sent to you)
·         Treasurer report, questions and adoption of report (will be sent to you)
·         Nominating a new committee (minimum 6). The new committee will chose from its members a chair, vice chair, treasurer and secretary at their first meeting.
o   If you want to be nominated for the new committee or would like to nominate anyone please e mail me. Nominations will also be taken verbally from the floor.
·         Motions to AGM, If you would like to put a motion to the AGM please send it to me by 10thJanuary
·         Any Other Business and general discussion
2)    A Short film about Sabastiya successful struggle against the neighboring settlement (12min)
3)    We are anticipating a speaker or two from our local politicians, TBC
Buffet and drinks, Arabic dancing and Ceiligh, raffle
We hope you can attend
Please bring friends and family 
Remember your subs will be due for 2014; it would be helpful if you would pay your £5 on the day