Participants from occupied Palestine: *Bishop Atallah Hanna, Jerusalem, *Supreme Justice Dr. Sheikh Taiseer Al Tamimi, Jerusalem * Haneen Zoabi, Nazareth and others traveling from abroad
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In 1948 villages and towns in Palestine were destroyed by the Israeli military and its Zionist gangs. Hundreds of Palestinian women, men and children were killed. New towns – exclusively for Israelis – were built atop the ruins. Seven hundred fifty thousand Palestinians fled to neighboring Arab countries living their lives in refugee camps. They continue to live in forced exile (shatat) all over the world and as internally displaced in refugee camps in Palestine. In the three generations of raising their children, their numbers have grown to millions, and their struggle to return home has never faltered.
Twenty seven national and local organizations have come together to host the Sixth Annual International Al-Awda Convention. Speakers will tell Palestinian history from the point of view of those who endured and continue to suffer from the events that have come to be known as the Nakba (catastrophe), and demonstrate the necessity of implementing the unconditional right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands. The focus of the convention will be on education that leads to strategies and mechanisms for expanding the effectiveness of advocacy for the Return.
Featured speakers from Palestine
*His Eminence Dr. Sheikh Tayseer Al-Tamimi, the supreme judge of the Sharia’ courts in Palestine, head of the highest council of Shari jurisdiction – and an outspoken voice regarding the Palestinian Right to Return. <http://www.kudah.gov.ps/seerae.asp>
*His Eminence the Most Reverend Metropolitan Theodosios Atallah Hanna is the Archbishop of Sebastia of the Church of Jerusalem and member of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre who has acted as the spokesman of the Greek Orthodox patriarchate in Palestine. He has also been put forward by Arabic laymen as a potential candidate for the position of Patriarch of Jerusalem. He was elected to the post of Archbishop of Sebastia on December 1, 2005. He is an outspoken Christian religious supporter and activist for the Palestinian Right to Return.
* Haneen Zoabi -Ms. Zoabi from Nazareth, is a member of the political bureau of the Arab National Al-Tajamu’ party in Zionist occupied Palestine.
In addition, confirmed speakers include: Dr. Salman Abu Sitta (London, writer/researcher, founder of Palestine Land Society, London), Dr. Ghada Karmi (London, academic, researcher/writer), Dr. As’ad Abu Khalil (California, professor, Politics and Public Administration, CSU Stanislaus), Dr. Saree Makdisi (Los Angeles,professor, English and Comparative Literature, UCLA), Ramzy Baroud (Seattle, journalist, former Al-Jazeera producer and editor of PalestineChronicle.com), and Dr. Ilan Pappe (England,History Professor at Exeter University).
Convention Host Committee: Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Palestinian American Women Association, Free Palestine Alliance, National Council of Arab-Americans, Middle East Cultural and Information Center – San Diego, The Arab Community Center of the Inland Empire, Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid – Southern California, Palestine Aid Society, Palestinian American Congress, Bethlehem Association, Al-Mubadara – Southern California, Union of Palestinian American Women, Birzeit Society, El-Bireh Society, Arab American Friends of Nazareth, Ramallah Club, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, International Action Center, Students for Justice in Palestine at CSUSB, UCLA and UCR, Students for International Knowledge at CSUSB, Muslim Students Association at Palomar College, UCSD, and Mira Costa, Muslim Students Union at UCI, and The Arab American Council.