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Uniting for the Return - Fifth Al-Awda Convention


The following is the tentative program for the Fifth Annual International Al-Awda Convention.

FRIDAY MAY 25, 2007

6:00 pm - 10:00 pm - Registration

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm - Meet and Greet - Mazza courtesy of PAWA

7:30 pm - 7:40 pm - Host Committee Welcome - Alia Hasan

7:45 pm - 7:55 pm - Student Welcome - Rana Sharif

8:00 pm - 8:15 pm - National Coordinating Committee Welcome - Dr. Jess Ghannam

8:20 pm - 10:00 pm - Nakba Commemoration - A community-based event at which survivors of the 1948 Palestinian catastrophe from Nazareth, Haifa, Ramle, Lyd, Akka, Deir Yassin and elsewhere in Palestine share their recollections of the events they witnessed first-hand. Join us for a moving, unique and important event!


8:00 am - 8:00 pm - Registration

9:00 am - 9:08 am - Introduction by Nidal Rafeedie

9:10 am - 11:00 am - Opening Lectures

Speakers: Leila Al-Arian, Elias Rashmawi, Nadia Keilani

11:00 am - 1:00 pm - Workshop Session I

Refugee Support - Facilitated by Ruba Malley
Panelists: Mahmoud Zubaidi, Dr. Jess Ghannam, Muna Coobtee

11:00 am - 6:00 pm - Documentary Screenings

  • 9:45 am - 10:45 am "One Year of Peaceful Resistance Against the Wall in Billin" by Emad Bornat
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm "My Land" by Tone Andersen
  • 1:10 pm - 2.40 pm "US vs Al-Arian" by Line Halvorsen
  • 2:45 pm - 3:15 pm "Nowhere to Flee" by Adam Shapiro, Perla Issa
  • 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm "Occupation 101" by Sufian and Abdallah Omeish. This film will be introduced by its makers.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm - Lunch Break - (Lunch Available at Atrium)

2:00 pm - 3:55 pm - Workshops Session II

Students for the Return - Facilitated by Alia Hasan, Rana Sharif (UCLA), and Tarek Hussein (SJP UCR) - to involve participation of all represented campuses. This session brings students from campuses across the country to discuss continuing the development of a student network for the Right to Return, and a one-year action plan.

Institutional Organizing for the Return - Dr. Zahi Damuni, Bianca Shanaa, Rhoda Shapiro - the purpose of this workshop is to develop plans to further professionalise our work.

Artists and Writers for the Return - John Halaka, Nader Abuljebain - the goal of this workshop is to develop ways to incorporate the right to return through various forms of writing and art expression.

3:55 pm - 4:05 pm - Break

4:05 pm - 6:00 pm - Workshop Session III

Media for the Return - Dr. Ahlam Muhtaseb, Ed Sweed, Mona Kadah - Help Al-Awda launch its first weekly TV show! Learn how to be a video producer and broadcaster.

Receive hands-on experience in:

· Planning & Writing for Television Production
· Camera-Microphone Techniques
· Interview Techniques
· On-location Shooting
· Editing
· Broadcasting on Cable & Satellite
· DVD Production and Distribution (Libraries & Schools)
· Uploading Shows to the Web (Google, Myspace, Youtube, & Blip)

Our objective is to build a network of producer groups worldwide.

Coalitions for the Return - Mahmud Ahmad, John Parker, and Richard Becker will discuss and develop plans to keep the Palestinian Right to Return front and center in the anti-war and other progressive movements.

Boycotts and Divestments for the Return - Yousef Abudayyeh, Charlotte Kates and Dr. Yael Korin

7:00 pm - midnight - Palestinian Cultural Event

MC's Samera Sood and Nader Abuljebain

Delicious Three-Course Dinner Served at 7:30 PM

Keynote address by Dr. Naseer Aruri - "The Palestinian Refugees and their Detractors: From Pawns to Actors"

Keynote address by Dr. Jamal Zahalka, new leader of The National Democratic Assembly (al-Tajamu' al-Watani al-Dimuqrati) - "The Case of Azmi Bishara "

Cultural Performances - Music by World-Renowned Maestro Dr. Nabil Azzam, Poetry Reading by Dr. Manal Swairjo and Mona Kadah, and more.

Naji el-Ali Exhibition - In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Naji el-Ali's assassination. The cartoons have been generously provided by his son, Khalid el-Ali.

Fundraising with Muna Coobtie and Dr. Zahi Damuni


SUNDAY May 27, 2007

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

What happened with UCR - Dr. Zahi Damuni

Beirut Conference Report - Yousef Abuddayeh and Dr. Jess Ghannam

Workshops report back
Events Discussion

Lunch meeting of chapter and action committee representatives


Additional information

Travel Directions
For Media
Convention Flyer
Palestinian Cultural Event Flyer
Exhibitor Tables
Host Committee
Points of Unity

For further information, please contact



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