Today marks 70 years since al-Nakba was executed against an unsuspecting people.
Known in english as “the Catastrophe,” 1948 was the year in which hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes by the hands of what is currently a colonial, ethnocratic apartheid state. Countless were slaughtered, raped, and wounded in the process, and the ensuing Palestinian diaspora & refugee crises were born. On this day each year, we, the children of the Palestinian diaspora, unite in our visceral and ancestral grief; our visceral and ancestral resilience. The following is a collection of poems recited by several unique voices from across the Palestinian diaspora, primarily in America. These poets weave through space and time, navigating ancestral memory and lived experience; these poets reconcile nostalgia and love for the land of Palestine simultaneous to the physical and emotional distances displacement has forced onto their existence. These poets grieve and grow, both collectively and as distinct members of the diaspora with varying experiences. Some poets even write in voices outside their own; Al-Naji’s piece, for instance, is in the persona of diaspora itself. In accessing these voices, both internal and external, these poets write the unwritten histories, and tell the stories that only they can tell. This is what healing and restoration looks like; this is what it looks like to exist in the face of all that seeks to erase us.
For those interested in offering tangible support to Palestine-based organizations offering vital services to Palestinians, we have provided the following list of resources below.
ADDAMEER: Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association is a Palestinian non-governmental, civil institution that works to support Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian prisons. Established in 1992 by a group of activists interested in human rights, the center offers free legal aid to political prisoners, advocates their rights at the national and international level, and works to end torture and other violations of prisoners’ rights through monitoring, legal procedures, and solidarity campaigns. http://www.addameer.org/about/Support-Addameer
Al Mezan: Mezan Center for Human Rights is an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental human rights organization based in the Gaza Strip. Since its establishment in 1999, Al Mezan has been dedicated to protecting and advancing the respect of human rights — especially economic, social and cultural rights — supporting victims of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and enhancing democracy, community and citizen participation in the Gaza Strip. http://www.mezan.org/en/page/5/Donate
al-Qaws: alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, a civil society organization founded in grassroots activism, is at the forefront of vibrant Palestinian cultural and social change, building LGBTQ communities and promoting new ideas about the role of gender and sexual diversity in political activism, civil society institutions, media, and everyday life. http://alqaws.org/support-us
Build Palestine: BuildPalestine aims to empower grassroots problem-solving, where each person is able to take action and tackle problems faced in their local community. We take a bottom-up approach to development, where those closest to the problem are empowered to find an innovative, impactful solution for their community. https://buildpalestine.com/donate-to-buildpalestine/
BADIL: BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights is an independent, human rights non-profit organization committed to protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons. Their vision, mission, programs, and relationships are defined by our Palestinian identity and the principles of international humanitarian and human rights law. They seek to advance the individual and collective rights of the Palestinian people on this basis. http://www.badil.org/en/
Grassroots Jerusalem: Grassroots Jerusalem is a platform for Palestinian community-based mobilization, leadership, and advocacy that helps Palestinian communities in Jerusalem strategically address the humanitarian, developmental and political issues which systematically disempower and dispossess Palestinians across the city. http://www.grassrootsalquds.net/grassroots-jerusalem/supporters