Nakba (catastrophe) Day is observed by Palestinians around the world as a day of grief in remembrance of the forced displacement of 750,000 Palestinians as the Jewish state of Israel was created on Palestinian land. In Des Moines, AFSC organized an event on May 15 providing a forum for Palestinian-Americans to share their history and hopes for the future.
The protests and revolutions that have swept through the Middle East, have not left Palestine untouched. Youth in Palestine began their own movement, calling for an end to the internal divisions between Palestinian political factions. In their eyes, the power struggle between Hamas, which runs Gaza, and Fatah, which runs the West Bank, has worsened their hopes for a peaceful, prosperous future.
Palestinian children stand near the Separation Wall built by Israel.
Samar Sarhan and Fayiz Ahmed Abusharkh
Today, 63 years after the Nakba – the “catastrophe” – wherein 750,000 Palestinians were forced to leave their homes to make way for the newly proclaimed state of Israel, new hope emerges. The United Nations is planning to vote on Palestinian statehood in September 2011.
Samar Sarhan and Fayiz Ahmed Abusharkh will share personal stories of the Nakba – what it meant to them and their families, and what it would mean today to have Palestine declared a state.
When I first heard about the Campus Organizing Conference, I must admit I was a bit skeptical. I have attended numerous conferences related to working for peace and justice in Palestine/Israel, and, while enjoyable, I never felt that I learned anything from the conferences that could be applied in a practical manner. Happily, this was not the case at the Campus Organizing Conference held by the American Friends Service Committee on March 5th in Washington, DC.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.