IPS joins Pan-African Community Action, Free Palestine Movement, and al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition in inviting you to the DC stop of the “North America Nakba Tour,” an intimate sit down with “Stateless Palestinians from the Camps in Lebanon,” an event to contribute to building the movement for Black-Palestinian Solidarity.
On May 14, 1948, as Zionist leader David Ben Gurion was proclaiming a Jewish state in Palestine, his troops drove out the inhabitants of the ancient Palestinian town of al-Zeeb. 18-year-old Mariam Fathalla was one of them. She and her young husband fled to Lebanon. By year’s end the 4,000-year-old community had been leveled. More than half of all Palestinians were killed or expelled and more than half the cities, towns and villages disappeared, a crime that Palestinians call al-Nakba (the Catastrophe).
Now 86 years old, Mariam has spent the last 68 years in crowded, makeshift refugee camps in Lebanon. She has raised three generations, all waiting to return to Palestine. She has seen five Israeli invasions of Lebanon, as well as the 1976 Tel al-Zaatar camp massacre that killed more than 2000 refugees there.
Most recently, as the rebellions and the crackdown in Ferguson Missouri hit headlines, the people of Gaza responded swiftly, offering lessons from living under siege and occupation. The people of Palestine are familiar with the tactics needed during rebellions and instances of police brutality.
Direct from the refugee camps Mariam wants to meet and make connections with the African/Black community in DC to break barriers and build bridges of common struggle. So does Amena Ashkar, the great granddaughter of other Nakba survivors. They have a different message. They do not live in Palestine. They have no citizenship anywhere. They do not live under Israeli occupation. Israel does not allow them to visit their homes, much less live there. Amena has never met an Israeli, and Mariam not since 1948. They have a different perspective.
Pan-African Community Action calls on the African/Black community in the DC, Maryland, Virginia metro area to join this event for building greater understanding about the varied plight of Palestinian people among African/Black people, lifting up the interrelated nature of our respective struggles, and fortifying internationalism.
From DC to Palestine racist displacement is a crime!
“These Israeli Zionists religiously believe their Jewish God has chosen them to replace the outdated European colonialism with a new form of colonialism, so well disguised that it will enable them to deceive the African masses into submitting willingly to their ‘divine’ authority and guidance, without the African masses being aware that they are still colonized.”
-Excerpt from “Zionist Logic” by Malcolm X (Omowale Malcolm X Shabazz), in The Egyptian Gazette — Sept. 17, 1964