Egypt's sugar plant, the biggest in the world, to produce 900,000 tons    Egypt's unemployment rate drops to 7.2%    Egypt's exports of food industries increase 5% in Q1    Egypt-first to have new climate targets ahead of UN summit    Egypt uncovers official logo for COP27    Ukrainian people say goodbye to Leonid Kravchuk – first elected president    Noura Al-Mutair – first Gulf female boxer in World Championships    Egypt unveils 50 pound coin minted to mark Avenue of Sphinxes grand reopening    Canada's Robert Oliphant starts Egypt, Morocco visit today    Liverpool fans: "You'll Never Walk Alone" to Cristiano Ronaldo    Hot, rainy weather hits Egypt this week    COVID-19 in Egypt: infections fall to 124 cases last week    Realme announces Global Photography Contest 2022    Egypt to play key role in integrating water, climate issues globally – World Bank official    AstraZeneca to boost Egypt investment 50% in three years    Egypt's telecoms regulator announces working hours for holy month of Ramadan    Maha karara joins AAIB as Head of Corporate Communications, Sustainability    Egypt works on charting cooperation strategies with international institutions for 5 years: Al-Mashat    Over 2.4 million newborns examined for hearing impairment: Health Ministry    Netflix releases trailer of Arab adaption of 'Perfect Strangers' film    Balqees to headline concert celebrating launch of streaming giant LIVENow in MENA    Sawsan Badr to be honoured at Aswan Women Film Festival    MP Abdel Hady Al-Qasby calls government to facilitate and support NGOs    Al-Sisi follows up on 'Great Transfiguration Project' in St. Catherine    Cairo, London stress need to strengthen cooperation to face climate change    Foreigners account for 22.6% of Egypt's T-bills issuances in 1H 2021: CBE    Egypt's ambassador to Italy passes away    Egypt confirms readiness to help African countries face terrorism and extremism    An estimated 235 million people needed humanitarian assistance and protection in 2021, an increase of 40% compared to 2020: IOM Egypt    Egypt, DRC discuss water cooperation during WYF    Egypt, DR Congo discuss boosting bilateral cooperation during WYF    Cameroonian police probe assault on three Algerian journalists covering AFCON    Pharaohs start AFCON 2021 campaign with fierce clash against Nigeria    Foreign Ministry opens capacity building course for French-speaking African diplomats    Egypt's trade with Nile basin countries climbs 26% y-o-y in 9 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Because it is our right
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 15 - 05 - 2008

Anayat Durrani outlines plans to mourn 60 years of tragedy
Sixty years on
against the occupiers wishes
We Exist
sons and daughters
of Ramleh, Haifa, Nasira
Jimzu, Imwas, Deir Yassin
We Remember
the villages destroyed
towns stripped of Arab names
manufactured, renamed, disguised
our homes filled with Palestinian memories
painted over with foreign colors
a bridal shop in Ramleh
selling strangers their happy dreams
in my house on our land
the house great grandfather Ali built
We Continue
We will always continue
Because the land longs for us
Because we long for the land
Because home is a Right
Because it is our Right
Because
We Exist
Because We
Remember
We will not stop
Until Return.
-- Aida Hasan
Nearly 30 organisations will host the Sixth Annual International Al-Awda Convention to Mark 60 Years of Palestinian Exile and Occupation. "The 60th Year of Nakba [catastrophe] and Struggle to Return" is set to take place 16-18 May in Anaheim, California. The convention will culminate with a mass rally and march in solidarity with Palestinians in the homeland and around the world.
"It's an important weekend of commemoration, education, discussion and organising in this 60th year of our Palestinian Arab Nakba and struggle to return," said Zahi Damuni, a founder of Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC) and organiser of the convention.
The highly anticipated convention is scheduled to have several prominent speakers from Palestine and notable guests from England and the United States. Speakers from Palestine include Sheikh Tayseer Al-Tamimi, the supreme judge of the Sharia courts in Palestine, head of the highest council of Sharia jurisdiction, and vocal advocate of the Palestinian Right to Return. Also scheduled to appear is Archbishop Theodosios "Atallah" Hanna, Archbishop of Sevastia, from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, who is an outspoken activist for peace and justice in the Middle East and the Palestinian Right to Return.
The focus of this year's convention, organisers said, would be on "education that leads to strategies and mechanisms for expanding the effectiveness of our advocacy for the return." The convention will have discussions, workshops, exhibits, book signings, film showings, presentations, and activist networking, among other scheduled activities.
"This is the most important Al-Awda convention to date," said Damuni. "It's coming at an especially critical time when Palestinians and their right to return are under severe attack."
Salman Abu Sitta will be a keynote speaker at the convention and will present "Recollections of the Nakba". Abu Sitta serves as general coordinator of the Right of Return Congress, and is founder and president of the Palestine Land Society, London. He is a foremost expert on the plight of the Palestinian refugees and their right of return.
The convention also will hold a special book signing featuring Abu Sitta, author of The Return Journey. Other guest speakers include Saree Makdisi, author of the upcoming Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation, Ramzy Baroud, author of The Second Intifada, Ghada Karmi, author of Married to Another Man: Israel's Dilemma in Palestine and In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story, and Ilan Pappe, author of Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.
Invited guests will give detailed accounts of Palestinian history from the perspective of those who have lived through and continue to suffer from the Nakba. The three-day convention will highlight the importance of implementing the unconditional right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland.
In 1948 Zionist gangs and Israeli military destroyed villages and towns in Palestine killing hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children in their path. Some 750,000 Palestinians dispersed to neighbouring Arab countries and live as refugees. New Israeli towns were built atop the ruins of Palestinian towns. Palestinians continue to live in forced exile worldwide and as displaced refugees in camps in occupied Palestine.
During the opening of the Al-Awda Convention, organisers plan to show a documentary film The Sons of Eilaboun by Hisham Zreik. The film details the atrocities carried out in the small village of northern Galilee in Palestine in 1948 where Zionists executed their notorious Plan Dalet on the Palestinians. Through the words of the actual survivors the film documents the massacre committed by the Zionists at Eilaboun.
"He choked and his eyes were full of tears, and with a trembling voice he said 'I remember it as if it has just happened' -- this is the way he ended the story, the story of a nine-year-old boy from a small village called Eilaboun, in Palestine 1948, the story of my father, when he was a refugee," explains filmmaker Hisham Zreik.
The film will be followed by a discussion of Zionist policies that have been in place since 1948. The Sons of Eilaboun has been screened in Nazareth, Eilaboun, Akka and Haifa, and will be screened in Ramallah in the Awda Festival where it is expected to receive an award, according to organisers.
On the 60th year of the Nakba, Al-Awda PRRC will be debuting the first ever Video Quilt. The Video Quilt stitches together voices of Palestinians dispersed throughout the world expressing their unending commitment to return to their homeland: "I am a Palestinian. We still hold the key and deed to our home in Lyd. We will return!" The Video Quilt also has submissions from those who sympathise with the plight of the Palestinians, "I am a supporter of human rights and I want to see the Palestinian refugees return home." The Video Quilt will be shown online and at various exhibits and venues following the convention.
Through the years there has been much effort to muffle the voice of Palestinians and their supporters, explained Alia Hasan, who initiated the Video Quilt project. Hasan said the Video Quilt was a way to draw attention to all the support around the world and to the refugees scattered around the world who have remained committed to one day returning home. Palestinian refugees are the largest refugee population in the world today.
"We wanted to do something that anybody could contribute to -- a more collective project -- that was simply about gathering all the voices that are fighting for the return," said Hasan. "When you see just a sample of the variety of people that support this cause from all over the world, the return to Palestine seems near."
The convention will also feature many other events such as a Gallery of Art by Ismail Shammout and Tamam Al-Akhal. There will be the "Waiting to Return Exhibit" from Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon by Naim Farhat and organised by Fayeq Oweis. It is a photographic exhibit of 60 years of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. The convention will also feature a cultural presentation on "Palestinian Embroidery" by Nisreen Malhis and several film showings.


Clic here to read the story from its source.