The Exiled Palestinians: Stateless Palestinian Women from Refugee Camps in Lebanon On a North America Nakba Tour Speak in Northampton MA
Tuesday, September 19,
6:30 pm light fare” (Middle Eastern food)
7:30 pm Speaking program begins
First Churches (Lyman Hall) side door on Center Street
129 Main Street –
Khawla Hammad, 84 years old, has spent the last 69 years as a stateless refugee in crowded, makeshift refugee camps in Lebanon after being forced to flee Palestine in 1948. Today her camp is exploding with new refugees from Syria, and since they are in Lebanon, the Palestine Authority cannot help them.
At the age of sixteen, Khawla was among those expelled from her village of Kabri, in Palestine. Now at 84 years old she is still a refugee in Lebanon, with no citizenship in any country at all. Israel expelled most of the population in 1948, and has prevented them from returning to their homes. Kabri and hundreds of other surrounding towns and villages were leveled to the ground, a crime that Palestinians call al-Nakba (the Catastrophe).
Israel continued to repeatedly attack Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, killing three of Khawla’s children among many others. Before the Nakba, Khawla’s father died as a Palestinian freedom fighter.
Amena Elashkar, the great-granddaughter of other Nakba survivors, a 23-year-old Palestinian refugee, journalist and translator, will translate for Khawla Hammad and tell her own story as well. She and her parents were born as stateless refugees in Lebanon and have never lived in their own country.
The stories of these two women are different from other Palestinians who live in Palestine, under Israeli occupation. Israel does not allow refugees in Lebanon to visit their homes, much less live there. Amena met her first Israeli during last year’s tour. These women have a different perspective from Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and the part of Palestine that became Israel.
This event is free, and free will donations are welcome.
Come hear Khawla and Amena speak!