“We hope 4th generation returns to free country”


Al-Qassam Website | 21-05-2012,08:37

Al Qassam website (PressTV) – Palestinian refugees want their next generation to go back home to a free “Palestinian state” and to build their country themselves, a young Palestinian refugee tells Press TV.

The comment comes as Palestinians commemorated the 64th anniversary of Nakba Day on May 15; when over 750,000 Palestinians were killed and 400 Palestinian villages destroyed to form the Zionist entity.
Palestinian refugees are still barred from their homeland and many are forced from their land to make way for Israeli settlements, and the Israeli administration have even stated that they do not want Palestinians to exceed 30% of the population of al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Press TV has conducted an interview with Palestinian refugee and activist, Yasmeen Rabah, to further discuss the issue. What follows is a rough transcript of the interview.

Q: Your experience as a young refugee what’s been the effect on your parents and grandparents of never returning to their original land in Palestine despite your only living, I think, 15 miles from it?

Rabah: Well, the effect on me, I’m only one of five million refugees that are still away from their homes and are wishing and waiting for more than 64 years to go back to their homes. The effects, well we don’t have the right to have an identity, particularly in Syria and Lebanon, because they are the hosting countries.

We don’t have the full right for traveling, full identified travel passport; we are always identified as a low level people in the world. We are still depending upon other countries; we are still depending mainly on others to offer us the services of education, of health, even of finance, of social services. Living for more than 60 years depending on someone else- I don’t think it’s a good experience.

Q: The Palestinians are legendary for their steadfastness and surviving under this occupation but what’s the new generation creating that’s different do you think from what has been going on before?

Rabah: Well, my generation, I think we are holding the title that we are actually the third generation of Nakba but we don’t want to have the fourth generation of Nakba. We want the fourth generation to be the first generation of a Palestinian state where people go back to their homes and start their own businesses and build our own economy, our own educational system and our own country with our own hands.

What we are doing actually, still we have to be given the space to achieve our goals, to achieve our aspirations, and once we are given this space we are going to make a change and even if we are not given this space, I think the Arab Spring has inspired so many people to go and fight for the space and I think this is what we are going to do if we are not given the space again.

Q: Do you think as a young Palestinian refugee that there is some break with the leadership, maybe you’re frustrated at the people running Gaza or the people in the West Bank who are running the government? Is the youth trying to do something different, wanting more action faster?

Rabah: They have tried to do so many things but unfortunately when you lack the power you only speak and you only raise your voice and through the media we are trying to raise our voice and raise our issues and our rights to the world but still when you live in a place that you cannot do anything this is so much frustrating but anyway we keep talking, we keep saying what we want hoping that we could be supported by someone else to make a change and to try to prick all the priors that face us towards making the change we want.

Q: And education in Gaza, as a refugee, just very quickly how important is education and are young people still getting a good education in Gaza?

Rabah: Education not only in Gaza [but also] among the whole Palestinian refugees is fortunately something important because Palestinian refugees are Palestinian people and they have the highest literacy rates in the world which is something good but even getting a full education through the honorable schools and the government schools for the non-refugees, we are still in the middle of the way, in the middle of our way to implement what we learned, implement our skills, our knowledge because we are not able to go for the employment and the labor market, unfortunately.





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