FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 12, 2016
MAY 15: WINNIPEG COMMEMORATION OF PALESTINIAN CATASTROPHE OF 1948
WINNIPEG—The Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (WCAIA) is holding a commemoration of Al Nakba in Memorial Park on Sunday, May 15, from 1-4 pm.
WCAIA and partner organizations representing Palestinian and Jewish communities and peace activists will host an afternoon of speakers, workshops, and culture.
“When you mention 1948, most people are not aware of the plight of Palestinians,” said Bassam Hozaima, spokesperson for WCAIA. “For Palestinians, 1948 was Al Nakba, the catastrophe.”
Added Hozaima: “We are gathering on May 15 to recognize and remember the forced exodus of over 800,000 Palestinians 68 years ago, by the nascent Israeli government and settler militias, backed by world super-powers.”
Those refugees now number 5 million. Bassam Hozaima’s story is similar to those of many Palestinians. His grandparents were forced out of their home in al-Ramla, Palestine in 1948. Hozaima was raised as a child in Gaza, and moved to Canada with his father at the age of 11. He has not been able to return to Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories since then, but he works locally to raise awareness about Palestine. He, along with survivors of the Nakba, will be speaking at Sunday’s event.
“It is important for us to link the Nakba to current political discussions. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supported a motion earlier this year to condemn the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement,” added Hozaima. “But this will not stop us. Our non-violent movement has been effective in exposing Israeli exploitation of Palestinians and opposing the apartheid system put in place by the Israeli government.”
Concluded Hozaima: “May 15 is an opportunity to mourn the loss of Palestinian homes, lands and lives, and to affirm that no one can take away our dignity, our memory, or our continued resistance.”
The organizers acknowledge that this event takes place on unceded Indigenous land, part of Treaty 1 Territory and the heart of the Métis nation. We support the land rights and human rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada and worldwide.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
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