The North America Nakba Tour

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The Free Palestine Movement, International Solidarity Movement-Northern California and al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition announce the

North America Nakba Tour, April 3 – June 5, 2016

The Exiled Palestinians

Stateless Palestinians from the Camps in Lebanon

nakba with soldier cropped

On May 14, 1948, as Zionist leader David Ben Gurion was proclaiming a Jewish state in Palestine, his heavily armed troops seized the ancient Palestinian Arab town of al-Zeeb and drove out most of the inhabitants. 18-year-old Mariam Fathallah was one of them. She and her young husband Mohammed Atayah and their families were forced to flee to Lebanon, along with most of the town. By the end of the year, the 4,000 year old community had been leveled to the ground. More than half the Arab Palestinians in Palestine were killed or expelled and more than half of the cities, towns and villages of Palestine were made to disappear, a crime that Palestinians call al-Nakba (the Catastrophe).

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Mariam Fathalla short
(2-minute version)
Mariam Fathalla Interview
(9-minute version)

 

Mariam, now 86 years old and respectfully known as Umm Akram (mother of Akram), has spent the last 68 years in crowded, makeshift refugee camps in Lebanon. She has raised three generations in the same camps, all waiting to return to their home in Palestine. She has lived through five Israeli invasions of Lebanon, as well as the 1976 Tel al-Zaatar camp massacre that killed more than 2000 of the refugees there. Please listen to what she has to say.

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Umm Akram wants meet you and tell her story in person.  So does Amena Ashkar, the granddaughter and great granddaughter of other Nakba survivors, who has known no other home than refugee camps.  Umm Akram and Amena have a different message from other Palestinians.  They are among six million Palestinians not living in Palestine – more than those who are.  They are citizens of no government at all, not even the Palestinian Authority.  They are not living under Israeli occupation. Israel does not allow them to visit their homes, much less live there.  Amena has never met an Israeli, and Umm Akram not since 1948. As exiles, they have a different perspective from Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and the part of Palestine that became Israel.

Invite Umm Akram and Amena to speak in your community

The Free Palestine Movement, ISM – Northern California and the al-Awda Palestine right to Return Coalition are bringing these two Palestinian women to North America for two months starting in the first week of April, 2016.  They will fly to San Francisco and then travel around the US and Canada by car, proceeding south, east, north, west and then south again to San Francisco before returning to Lebanon.

If you want to host an event in your university, house of worship, support group or other community organization, get in touch with us at 510-232-2500 or info@freepalestinemovement.org. We request $200 in advance to reserve your event and we ask that you raise another $300 or more at the event to support our costs. We also ask you to provide lodging and meals (homestays and shared rooms are most acceptable) for 3-4 persons, including volunteer drivers. Universities are asked to provide a $500 honorarium and make similar housing and meal arrangements.

Here is the planned itinerary.  Some dates and places are confirmed, but some are approximate and may be modified according to requests that we are continuing to receive.  We want to be careful about the pace and number of events so as not to tire our visitors.  Please call for further information.

Apr 3    Arrive in San Francisco
Apr 4    Hayward, California
Apr 5    San Jose State University
Apr 6    Stanford University
Apr 8    Pitzer College, CA
Apr 10  Phoenix, AZ
Apr 12  Albuquerque, NM
Apr 14-15  Dallas, TX
Apr 17  Houston, TX
Apr 19  Jackson, MS
Apr 21-22  Atlanta, GA
Apr 24  Richmond, VA
Apr 25  Washington, DC
Apr 29 Philadelphia, PA
Apr 30 Clifton, NJ
May 2  New York
May 3  Rhode Island
May 4  Massachusetts
May 6  Montreal
May 8  Ottawa
May 10 Toronto
May 11 Waterloo
May 12 London
May 13 Chicago
May 14 Cincinnati, OH
May 16 St. Louis, MO
May 17 Columbia, MO
May 19 Boulder, CO
May 20 Denver, CO
May 22 Salt Lake City, UT
May 25 Seattle/Tacoma, WA
May 29 Portland, OR
May 31 Sacramento, CA
June 2 Rossmoor, CA
June 3 Berkeley, CA
June 5 depart for Beirut

The Free Palestine, NorCal ISM and al-Awda Team

2 Comments On “The North America Nakba Tour”

  1. I am interested in attending the Portland, Oregon tour. Where is it and what time?

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We require urgent help creating events on April 10th in Arizona, 12th in Albuquerque and 14-18th in Texas as well as Dallas. We also have dates in May for KC, SLC, Boise and Eugene. Anyone who can assist with this should contact us right away.

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