Educating Americans About the Palestinian Nakba

February 22, 2016 in News by RBN Staff

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Our friends at the Free Palestine Movement are organizing a North America Nakba Tour to raise the awareness of the Nakba, the Catastrophe of 1948, where over 700,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes by the Zionists founders of Israel and their affiliated terrorist operations, like the Irgun and the Stern Gang. For background on the Nakba watch the historic, 36 minute, 1950 documentary, Sands of Sorrow. If the tour is coming to your city, be sure to find out more about the specific dates of the events, or volunteer to organize or help fund an event in your area. [Ed.-TEC]
 The Free Palestine Movement, International Solidarity Movement-Northern California and
al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition announce the

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

The Exiled Palestinians
Palestinians from the Camps in Lebanon

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.  17-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).
Mariam, now 85 years old and respectfully known as Umm 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.
Umm Akram wants to talk to you.  So do Amena Ashkar and Hiba Abu Khreibeh, the granddaughters and great granddaughters of Nakba survivors, who also have known no other home than refugee camps.
Umm Akram, Amena and Hiba have a different message from other Palestinians.  They are not living under Israeli occupation. Israel does not allow them to visit their homes, much less live there.  Amena and Hiba have 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, Amena and Hiba to speak in your community
The Free Palestine Movement, ISM – Northern California and the al-Awda Palestine right to Return Coalition are bringing these three 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 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 up to five persons, including volunteer drivers. Universities are asked to provide a $500 honorarium and make similar housing and meal arrangements.
Here is the planned itinerary.  The dates and places are approximate and may be modified according to requests received.  The number following the place name is the maximum number of events that can be accommodated at or near that location. (We don’t want to tire our guests.)

Apr 3 San Francisco 2
Apr 7 Southern California 1
Apr 9 Arizona 1
Apr 11 New Mexico 1
Apr 13 Oklahoma City 1
Apr 15 Texas 2
Apr 19 Mississippi 1
Apr 21 Atlanta 1
Apr 23 Charlotte 1
Apr 25 Washington, DC 1
Apr 29 New York 2
May 2 Massachusetts 2
May 5 Montreal 1
May 7 Ottawa 1
May 9 Toronto 2
May 12 Michigan 1
May 14 Chicago 2
May 17 Kansas City 1
May 19 Denver 1
May 21 Salt Lake City 1
May 23 Boise 1
May 25 Seattle/Tacoma 2
May 28 Portland 1
May 30 Medford/Ashland 1
June 1 Sacramento 1

June 3 San Francisco 1

June 5 depart for Beirut
Would you like to be a volunteer driver?
We are seeking volunteer drivers to take our guests in the rental vehicle for portions of the journey.  You must be willing to be on the road for at least one and preferably two or more weeks at a time.  In addition to our three guests, the vehicle can accommodate two persons who want to share the duties.  Preference will be given to persons who are familiar with the issues and can possibly participate in the presentations.  We can cover some airfare costs for the drivers, but we prefer those who need a minimum of reimbursement.  Alternatively, we are considering reimbursement for a driver willing to do the entire trip.
Please be patient
We are gradually building the resources and information on this tour at our website.  We know that you will have many more questions, and we welcome your inquiries