Voices from the Palestinian refugee camps: Report from a CTIP event


School children in a UN refugee camp in Jordan. This “temporary” camp has been an uncomfortable “home” to over 20,000 Palestinians for nearly 70 years. The voices of the over 5 million Palestinian refugees are rarely heard. Last September Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) organized a special interactive session to allow Canadians to hear directly from, and interact with, 3 Palestinian refugees. We are happy to share copies of their excellent presentations and moving testimonials. Read more

The over 5 million Palestinian refugees seem to be almost forgotten by the Western world which focuses instead on the fiction of the never ending peace process. Even the current PLO leadership of Mr. Mahmoud Abbas seems prepared to turn a blind eye to the fate of the refugees while it pursues the elusive goal of a “two state solution”.

On September 10th, Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) organized a live interactive session in Ottawa (using a Skype connection) to allow  interested Canadians to hear directly from, and interact with, 3 different Palestinian refugees. They were:

Each of the 3 speakers started with a short powerpoint presentation describing their lives and challenges. After the presentations a lively question and answer session continued, with Canadian participants posing questions directly through Skype to the Palestinian respondents.

We asked for copies of their presentations.

Lubnah’s powerpoint presentation can be found at: https://goo.gl/wV91WN

Mahmoud’s powerpoint presentation can be found at: https://goo.gl/mXVyfZ

yousef aljamal

Yousef Aljamel is one of 1.2 million Palestinian refugees trapped in Gaza. Watch his powerpoint and listen to his narration of it.

Yousef’s presentation is in 2 files. The first file is the powerpoint presentation. The second is his audio narration. It is possible to open both the powerpoint and the audio file at the same time. That way you can watch the ppt and listen to his narration of it.

All they are saying… 

All three presenters, from different parts of the Palestinian refugee diaspora (Lebanon, West Bank and Gaza) share a daily reality of pain, humiliation and frustration.

They all agree that that they want the outside world, including Canada, to recognize Palestinian refugees as victims of the creation of the State of Israel. They were expelled from their homeland in 1947/48 because the Zionist militias wanted to have a Jewish majority in Israel and they were not Jewish. They want this wrong to be corrected.

In addition to supporting their right to return to live in peace where they came from, there are also some short term things that Canada could do. One minimal way would be for Canada to resume its funding for UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for providing education and health services to Palestinian refugees. Mr. Harper’s government cut off funding to UNRWA. Mr. Trudeau’s government is still dithering over whether to resume this humanitarian assistance.


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 membership.ctip@gmail.com.





  1. As if to demonstrate my point about the Syrian refugee crisis “overshadowing” the long standing Palestinian issue, Canada’s Governor General David Johnston today published an article in the Toronto Star (with a photo) from a Jordanian refugee camp full of Syrian refugees.


    The fact that there are still 2 MILLION OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED PALESTINIAN REFUGEES in Jordan, seems to have escaped the GG’s attention.

  2. In the early 1950s Canada was an advocate for permanently resettling the Palestinians in other countries much like it is currently doing for the Syrians. The Arab governments at the time considered this part of a Zionist plot to move the population away and ancestral lands and objected. The Palestinian refugees were permanently resettled in all but name by the early 1950s. Most of them died of old age. Their descendants aren’t refugees at all. Being a refugee is not an inherited trait.

    UNRWA demands a policy of permanent racial land entitlement. Canada rejects this approach in all other crisis including the Syrian one and mostly through its history has rejected it with respect to Palestine. Why should Canada fund an agency promoting policies it disagrees with?

    The Syrian refugees are an current and ongoing issue. They incidentally are refugees from a state which was governed by a militarily powerful religious minority that has violently resisted its proposed enslavement to the majority religious group. Something BDSers should meditate on when they keep thinking these issues are so easy to solve.

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