The Apartheid of Displacement: Women’s Voices From the Palestinian Diaspora
Friday March 8 (Noon – 1:30 pm)
Henry Marshall Tory Building (Tory) Room 1-129
North end of HUB Mall on Saskatchewan Drive, University of Alberta Campus
(Click here for map)
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Since the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) of 1947-1948, in which some 500 Palestinian villages were destroyed and at least 700,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes or lands in what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has called “the ethnic cleansing of Palestine,” Palestinians have become one of the largest refugee populations in the world.
The majority of these Palestinian refugees and their descendents — now numbering over 5.5 million — have since been forced to live in exile, prevented despite multiple UN resolutions and international law to return to their homes, and unable to call any other place home. To mark International Women’s Day, come hear from three Palestinian women living in the diaspora, and their families’ stories of exile from refugee camps in neighboring Arab countries to life in western society.
About the speakers:
Dalal Awwad is a third generation Palestinian refugee. She is originally from Lifta – a village near Jerusalem. In 1948, her father’s family was expelled from Lifta, which caused the majority of the second and third generations to live as refugees in the West Bank. She moved with her parents between two different villages in areas near Ramallah. This consequently resulted in her changing schools several times. As a child, she lived through the intifada, formation of settlements around her village, and many other unfortunate events. At the beginning of this school year, she left Palestine to begin with her undergraduate studies in Canada.
Reem Skeik is a Palestinian immigrant. Her father’s family is from Gaza, while her mother’s family are Palestinian refugees from Jaffa. After their expulsion in 1948, the family lived in Lebanon for a few years, and eventually settled in Kuwait, where Reem was born. After the Gulf War, like many other Palestinian refugees, Reem’s family endured another expulsion. Reem and her family settled in Gaza, where she started her elementary education for the next four years, until immigrating to Canada. In Edmonton, Reem continued her education, completing a BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Alberta. She is currently at the University of Alberta completing her Master’s degree in the same field.
Nada Awwad is a third generation Palestinian refugee. Her father’s family is originally from Lifta, a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and her mother’s family is from Beitin, a village northeast of Ramallah. In 1948 her father’s family was expelled from their village and into refugee camps in the West Bank where the family was raised, during the 1967 war her father’s family was once again forced to run, eventually returning to the same refugee camp. Her mother’s family immigrated to Canada in 1949 where they currently live. Nada was born in the United States in 1992, and in 1998 her family moved to Palestine where they lived until 2004 when they returned to Edmonton.
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