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Home Press Releases 2008 Nakba Commemoration - 11 May, 2008

Nakba Commemoration - 11 May, 2008

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Prominent authors and poets from around the world present their work in the Palestine Literary Festival.

The campaign to educate Palestinians on the Nakba and their collective Right of Return continues today in the West Bank.

"/There are very few scholarships [available to Palestinians], because most of them are conditioned to military service, which we don't do, and will not also [...] the whole process of accepting Palestinians into universities is discriminatory, if that be in explicit or implicit form."/ A female Palestinian graduate from Nazareth describes her experiences in the Israeli university system. From the publication /Education Under Occupation/. For the full report see:

*Events in Palestine*

* *Continuing education campaign: *Educational campaign continues at al-'Awda Camp in Ramallah and in 'Aqbat Jabr Youth Center in Jericho. Contact: Wajih Atallah, Union of Youth Activities Centers in the Refugee Camps, tel.: 0599-255584, mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
* *Silent March in the Western Neighborhoods of Jerusalem to Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Nakba. *A march from Talbiyeh to the Lower Baq'a (German Colony) wearing black garments. No flags or posters. 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Meeting in front of the Jerusalem Theater in Talbiyeh on David Marcus St. near Salameh Square (Wingate Square). Organized by Nakba Survivors: Tel: 050-543-3678, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
* *Al-'Awda Camp, Ramallah Activities. *The May 11^th 'Awda Camp activities will include: Art activities for children, photo and heritage exhibits (all day); Eyewitness accounts of the ethnic cleansing of Lifta (Jerusalem District) by Taha Hammoudah and Dawud Salameh (3:30pm); Forum on UNRWA, its role and its history (5:30pm); Dabka performances (7pm); and a film screening (8pm). Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
* *Palestine Festival of Literature.* Writers from around the world visit Palestine.
11 May: 7:00pm, Palestinian National Theatre, Jerusalem -
Featuring: the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. All Events are free. Featuring: Mourid Barghouti, Victoria Brittain, William Dalrymple, Roddy Doyle, Esther Freud, Suheir Hammad, Nathalie Handal, David Hare, Ian Jack, Brigid Keenan, Jamal Mahjoub, Claire Messud, Andrew O'Hagan, Hanan Al-Shaykh, Ahdaf Soueif. More at: _

*Events internationally*

* *Film Screening of /1948/ by Mohammad Bakri *in Toronto, Canada. A profound and deeply moving record of the /Nakba/ by Palestinian filmmaker Mohammad Bakri. 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit

*Report on previous events*

* *The Al-Awda Camp: *The camp opened on the 8 of May. Modelled after a 1948 refugee camp, the space functions as a place of cultural events, discussion and commemoration. Live video feed is set up to provide a direct link between the camp and international audiences in France, Cairo and Damascus as well as Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon. For more information on the opening see:
* *Return March. *Over 20,000 people gathered in Nazareth and marched west to the destroyed and depopulated town of Saffuriyya. Residents of Saffuriyya who were forcibly transferred from their town in the 1948 Nakba, as well as their descendants gathered in the town to welcome the mass demonstration, and held a festival of speeches, poetry, dance and music under the banner "Israel's Day of Independence is our Day of Nakba." As participants walked back to their cars buses and homes, Israeli police on foot and on horseback attacked them, firing teargas into the crowds, assaulting them with their rifles and batons as police helicopters hovered overhead, injuring tens of people and arresting six. Several reporters were also targeted in the Israeli provocation. Three more participants were later arrested while in their homes.
* *Toronto Press Conference.* On May 8th, Palestine House
held a press conference in Toronto to commemorate 60 years of Nakba and celebrate the continued struggle of Palestinian refugees in exile around the world to return to their homes and homeland. The speakers were: Dr. Farid Ayad, president of the Board of Directors of Palestine House; Rafeef Ziadah, third generation Palestinian refugee; Naji Farah, Nakba survivor. Moderated by Adam Haniah.

/An Audio recording of the press conference can be found at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it /2964-1-20080508-Toronto-Nakba-Press-Conference-050808.mp3 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it /2964-1-20080508-Toronto-Nakba-Press-Conference-050808.mp3
/Photos of the Press Conference can be seen at:

*The Palestinian Nakba on the ground*

*On this day, 1948*

* Today Safad fell to Zionist militias leading to the expulsion of a majority of its 10,000 Palestinian residents. Al-Buwayziyya, al-Khalisa, al-Zuq, and al-Tahtani were other villages in the Safad district that were depopulated on this day in the ethnic cleansing of the Galilee.

* In another part of historic Palestine, the 1948 /Palestine Post/ reported that Beit Mahsir was shelled and occupied by Zionist forces. The village's 2,500 inhabitants fled. Today, only a few old homes remain.

Nakba Today

* Since 1948, Palestinian Bedouin have been facing ongoing demolitions, land theft and expulsion from their homes. In particular, the Bedouin living around Jerusalem are in a dire situation, being on the frontline against Israeli expansion, based on ongoing land appropriation and settlement for the realization of the Greater Jerusalem Scheme.

* /"When the bulldozers burst in on us to demolish our houses, I was along with children and women inside. My son came in to help us but the soldiers stopped him in the way and started to beat him brutally. When I tried to protect him from their arms and legs, they started to beat me on my chest with the gun in front of my children. It still hurts..."/ Um Ahmad, 45 year old from the Bedouin community on Nabi Samuel lands. For the complete report see:

*Background Resources:*

* For resources on the history of the Nakba, information about Palestinian refugees, and their right of return under international law, see the Nakba-60 Resources Info-Packet at:
* For information about selected cases of ongoing diaplacement, please visit:
* For information, resources and links to organizations working on the growing campaign for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions on Israel until it dismantles its military occupation's colonialapartheid system in the West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights; endssystematic discrimination against its Palestinian citizens; andimplements the Palestinian refugees' right to return to theirhomes and properties, please visit *the website of the BoycottDivestment Sanctions Campaign National Committee (BNC)*:


For more information, please contact:

Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Tel.: +972-2-297-1505

Badil Centre for Palestinian Refugee & Residency Rights:
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Tel.: +972-2-277-7086

*The week’s events coordinated by the National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba. The National Committee represents national movements and networks, including the Council of National and Islamic forces, the Global Palestine Right-of-Return Coalition, the Popular Committees and youth centers of the refugee camps all over Palestine, the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, Badil Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), the Civic Coalition for the Defense of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem and the PLO Department for Refugee Affairs (DORA).