Palestinians of America: The young never forget their homeland

2011-05-18 | Stories | Alresalah News |

Gaza, (–63 years of displacement and Nakba could never get them forget their memories. The Palestinians annually commemorate their catastrophe, in which they were expelled of their beloved homes and lands. Every year, they gather holding Palestinian flags and kufis, unified with slogans that inveigh their disaster by Israel; they keep holding the dream of return in their hearts although they have the American nationality that most of the Arabs are seeking to get.

Amid the electronic revolution that has turned the world into a small village, being in touch with some Palestinian Americans is not difficult. Tens of Palestinian youths on Facebook and Twitter from all States of America have expressed their admiration of commemorating Nakba media campaigns.

            Yusuf Haron, a 25-year-old Palestinian youth born in Chicago, says in broken Arabic:” Although I have never seen Palestine, and all what I heard or saw about it is just little information, I feel that I am strongly attached to it and I dream of returning to its lands to see the city where most of my family were born”.

            Haron expresses his admiration of many electronic pages that talk about various Palestinian issues, noting that he feels happy for the reconciliation and likes what is happening through the photos published via those pages.

He also hopes that more about Palestine and its cities and villages will be published in other languages in order to enable the refugees all over the world to know more about their homeland.

            Lial Al-tabba’, a 20-year-old Palestinian girl born in Ramallah and migrated to USA more than 20 years ago, says, “when we migrated to America, we took with us  all what is Palestinian, we have never forget the Nakba and the suffering we were living during the Intifada years. My homeland is entrenched in my memory as the damaged villages are deep-rooted in my parents’ memories, who don’t miss any opportunity without telling us about our homeland, villages, and the occupation.”

            She adds that she keeps in touch with all the events done by the Palestinian community from time to time, stressing that she intends to participate in the 15th May demonstration that the community organizes in front of the united nations building in New York to demand applying the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their lands. The demonstration will call on the international community to rise to the level of its responsibilities towards the Zionist crimes, and stop the policy of collusion and silence towards what is happening to the Palestinians.  

            That march is organized by institutions of Al-Awda New York, Coalition of The Palestine Right to Return, the Palestinian Community, and many other Arab and Islamic institutions. It aims at a real implementation of both the right of return and the right of self-determination. It also demands stopping the procrastination of United Nations resolutions, specially 194 resolution which stipulates the right of the refugees to return to their homes and restoring their properties.

             Zahi Jobara , a 44-year-old  Palestinian New Yorker working in the commercial field , says “commemorating the Nakba events vary from a year to the other in the US  according to the  political situations, what makes those events distinguishable is that they include all the Palestinian, Arabian, and American groups, adding that many politicians, professors, authors, journalists, artists, intellectuals, and recently bloggers who support the Palestinian cause and defend the human rights are invited to attend the Nakba events.

            Jobara, who has participated in the first people’s conference to commemorate the Nakba in 2008 and the second one in 2010 in Chicago, clarifies that most of the American states organize such events as California, New York, Michigan, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Maryland, Minnesota, Colorado, and Washington.

            Those events are different depending on the size and the activity of Arab and Palestinian community existed in the states. They vary from organizing a seminar or a lecture to holding artistic, cultural, and political festivals, or organizing a demonstration for solidarity. They also vary from public events to academic events that are organized in seminars, lecture halls, or theaters. The Nakba events usually show the situations in Palestine since the first day of the Israeli occupation of its lands and the dispersal of its people by force.

            Munadel Herzallah, a Palestinian activist and a member in the coordinating organization of the Palestinian community, says that the aim of organizing those events is to enhance the community role in the political work, solidify the coordination and discussion, strengthen the Palestinian community activity and the patriotism of the new generation in order to defend what Israelis say, “when the old pass away , the young forget”.

            He adds, “We organize many seminars annually , in which many professors, authors, researchers  participate , some of whom are from inside the occupied Palestinian territories, some are residents of the USA, and some are Arab and American supporters of the Palestinian rights.” 

            It is worth mentioning that the youth efforts are not restricted to those events, but many of them tend to support the Palestinian struggle through the creation of online sites talking about the Palestinian situation. After Facebook has closed the page of the third Palestinian Intifada in May 15, 2011, a Palestinian US resident group has established a website called “Jerusalem Moon” to support the Palestinians struggle in order to restore their legitimate rights that are provided in the resolutions of the United Nations in full.

            The website administration highlights that it is not a substitute for the multiple Facebook pages launched to support the third Palestinian Intifada, but it comes as a complement to those efforts, and it is considered as an alternative in case Facebook administration closes those pages.

            Finally, Palestinians of  America live exceptional conditions if compared with the Palestinians all over the world, specifically, in Arab countries. They have managed to be a part of theeconomic, political, and governmental system that granted them rights, citizenship, and equality with others.

However, they still hold their homeland in their minds and hearts and dream to return or visit it at least.  They still commemorating the Nakba memory the same manner as homeland Palestinians do, as if it has just happened, and supporting its events by their efforts, time, and money in all international forums.



In Pictures | The Nakba

In Pictures | Palestinians Commemorate Al Nakba | 2011

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