As the Jerusalem Post reports today, UNRWA has decided to modify its website to placate protesters who felt that the apparent disappearance of the much-beloved Rwa (Reliefs and Works Agency) from the Agency’s online logo were part of a broader conspiracy to liquidate the refugee issue:
UNRWA restores Web name following Palestinian outcry
By Khalid Abu Toameh 07/12/2011 01:57
Following strong protests, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency on Monday restored its original name and logo to its official website.
The protests erupted after the agency recently dropped the words “relief” and “works” from its website, describing itself only as the “UN agency for Palestinian refugees.”
The change in the name and logo sparked fears among Palestinians that the agency has decided to cut its services to Palestinian refugees.
Representatives of the refugees and Hamas leaders accused UNRWA of being part of a “conspiracy” to liquidate the problem of the refugees and deny them the “right of return” to their homes inside Israel.
Last week Palestinians staged a demonstration in front of the UNRWA headquarters in the Gaza Strip in protest against the change of the name and logo.
Attempts by UNRWA officials and spokesmen to assure the Palestinians that the agency has not changed its policy or mandate fell upon deaf ears.
The agency tried unsuccessfully to explain to the protesters and the Hamas government that the changes were done as part of an effort to redesign and upgrade the website on the 60th anniversary of UNRWA.
In face of the growing protests, the agency decided to restore the old logo and name so they would include the omitted words.
The Jerusalem Post continues to incorrectly report that UNRWA had changed its name, which of course it hadn’t.
The offending UNRWA webpage header, modernized in order to help with the “branding” and fund-raising activities of the Agency, looked like this:
As you can see, poor Rwa is missing! Where could he have gone? Well, surprise! He’s back, and the website now looks like this:
So, you see, it’s a bit like one of those “Where’s Waldo?” puzzles, isn’t—or in this case “Where’s the Relief and Works Agency?”
Poor Rwa first went missing during the 60th anniversary of the organization in 2009-10, when this header was introduced:
When the anniversary came to an end, the “60 Years” part was replaced with “Peace Starts Here.” Rwa, however, must have missed out on the triumph of Middle East peace (as, indeed, did most of us), because he was still missing!
For a while in 2008, the website featured this somewhat funereal version of the logo, in keeping perhaps with the 60th anniversary of al-Nakba. However Rwa was fine, because there he was, right there on top!
Before that, in 2007, Rwa was wearing the more familiar UN-y blue:
In July 2006, you would have seen this logo on the website:
No Rwa there! However, if you looked carefully, you could find him hiding in the blurb on the right side of the home page. Clever Rwa!
UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) is a relief and human development agency, providing education, healthcare, social services and emergency aid to over 4.3 million refugees living in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab republic.
Back still further, in June 2002, the webpage logo looked like this:
..together with a similar blurb—except that there were only 3.9 million registered refugees back then, and Rwa was cunningly lurking in the blurb was on the bottom. What a cunning fellow!
In August 2000, the website had the same logo and blurb as in 2002, but with a different design that emphasized the 50th anniversary of the organization. Rwa was in the blurb then too.
In the interests of gender balance, the PRRN blog also feels that it should note that Rwa has a younger sister, Hcr. Hcr gets around rather a lot, and she has lots more friends.
What’s more, she’s missing from her website header too!
But she’s hiding somewhere on her home page! Can you find her?
* * *
The old versions of the UNRWA website are courtesy of the historical caches on the very useful Wayback Machine internet archive.
Damn, we spoke too soon. The Great UNRWA Logo Conspiracy continues…