What is life like for a Palestinian refugee today? In a live Skype panel session organized by Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP), Yusef Aljamal (left, Gaza), Lubnah Shomali (r. West Bank), and Mahmoud Zeidan (not pictured, Lebanon) will talk about their lives and hopes. Attend our public meeting on September 10th. Read more.
“Voices from Palestinian refugee camps”
Public Event organized by “Canada Talks Israel Palestine” (CTIP)
Saturday, September 10th, 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Hintonburg Community Centre
1024 Wellington Street, Ottawa
ADMISSION FREE – DONATIONS GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED
10:00 welcome and introductions
10:15 Presentations by guest panelists (by internet hookup):
- From Lebanon – Mahmoud Zeidan, a Palestinian born in El Halweih, the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. He is a human rights specialist working on peace building and conflict prevention in Lebanon.
- From Gaza, Yousef Aljamel, A writer living in Alnusierat refugee camp and a contributor to several books including, “Gaza Writes Back“, “The Prisoners’ Diaries” and the recently published book “Dreaming of Freedom: Palestinian Child Prisoners Speak“.
- From Bethlehem, West Bank – Lubnah Shomali, staff member, BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights
- Moderated by Peter Larson, Chair, Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP)
11:00 Audience discussion/ questions and answers
Many Canadians are well aware of the challenges facing Palestinians who live in the West Bank. Settlers. The wall. Checkpoints, etc. But very few Canadians even know that 5 million Palestinians – over half of the Palestinian people – live as refugees. They were pushed out of the new state of Israel in 1948, and now live in areas just outside Israel’s recognized borders. Many live in UN refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, & Jordan. Others live in refugee camps in the West Bank and in Gaza.
The General Assembly of the United Nations declared in 1949 (UN resolution 194) that the Palestinian refugees have the right to return to their homeland and be compensated for their losses. But Israel has continuously denied their exercise of this right and the international community has not intervened to protect them.
So they remain stuck in place, stateless, unable to leave, in overcrowded and insalubrious conditions. What are they to do? How do they live? What is it like to live in a refugee camp? What does it do to family relations? What kinds of education possibilities are there? How easy/difficult is it to travel or move to another country? How do refugees see the future?
Canadians know that Canada accepts many refugees from many countries. In time, they get over it, and become productive Canadian citizens. Are the Palestinians wasting their time dreaming an impossible dream of return? Why can’t they just “get over” the injustice of losing their land and start to go about living normal lives?
Come to this two hour session and ask your questions. Everyone welcome. Donations appreciated.
REMINDER: THERE IS STILL TIME TO WIN $1000 IN OUR ESSAY CONTEST!! A $1000 prize is available for the best essay by a Canadian under 30 on whether Canada should support BDS. Get more info by clicking on this link. Contest ends September 30th.
Do you want to support the educational work of Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP)? Why not join? Or make a donation? Or learn more about what we do? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.