Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition commemorated Land Day on April 3, 2021, with an online event. The event was opened by Nerdeen Kiswani, of Al-Awda’s youth arm and Within Our Lifetime – United for Palestine, who discussed Land Day, Al-Awda’s youth work, and the continuing struggle reflected in the Great Return March in Gaza. She introduced Khalid Hijazi, also a member of Al-Awda’s national board, who discussed the history and legacy of Land Day, the martyrs of 1976, and Palestinian struggle in occupied Palestine ’48, throughout occupied Palestine, and in exile and diaspora.
Khalid also discussed recent legal victories – including achievements of Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi and the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights – in a discussion with Suhair Nafal, who herself recently defeated a “lawfare” suit targeting her for her social media posts on Palestine. Suhair encouraged all to get even more active and express themselves publicly about Palestine without fear.
Noura Erekat delivered the keynote speech at the event, discussing the centrality of land to the Palestinian liberation struggle and the necessity of continuing and affirming that connection to land as part of the fight against settler-colonialism. Mohammed el-Kurd, Palestinian writer and student, from Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, discussed the ongoing struggle in Sheikh Jarrah and the necessity to take action to support Palestinians struggling to remain on their land despite incessant Noura and Mohammed then joined in an engaging conversation about the history, present and future of the Palestinian struggle for land and liberation.
They announced Al-Awda’s petition campaign to save Sheikh Jarrah. Write a letter to your member of Congress here: https://al-awdapalestine.org/savesheikhjarrah
This discussion was followed by a screening of “Hummus: A Story of Appropriation,” a new documentary film by Palestinian director Lafi Abood. Using the cultural appropriation of the popular chickpea dip hummus as a frame, the film chronicles the lives of some ordinary Palestinians in Jerusalem. Conditions in the city affect their lives such that they cannot mourn the past, live the present, or contemplate a future. While the full film screening was part of the event, it is not part of the recording above. Al-Awda PRRC will share the full version when it becomes available to North American viewers: Watch the trailer:
Following the film, Charlotte Kates of Al-Awda’s national board and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network discussed the film, the process of creating it, and its important messages with director Lafi Abood before concluding the event by encouraging attendees to take action, join the petition campaign and get involved with Al-Awda.
To donate to support Al-Awda’s refugee support campaign, please visit: https://al-awdapalestine.org/support