During the events of May, 2021, Palestinians who remained in their homeland, those defined as Palestinians of ‘48, spoke out against the state’s debilitation and ongoing uprooting, demanding that we openly discuss “The Keys to Return”.
On Saturday October 30th, Café Palestine returned to our series entitled “Testimonies from Palestine: Between debilitation and liveability”, chaired by Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian. Participants were invited to join us in learning from thinking and acting together with those who could share their reflections and experiences of the events of May 2021. In this way, Café Palestine continued to expose the structures of power that produce racialized exclusivity through the voices of amazing young activists, professionals, and scholars from Palestinian land dispossessed in 1948.
The testimonies of our speakers shed light on the ordeals of Palestinians in 48, with a focus on the 200 individuals that were arrested in May 2021, and those that are still awaiting their release. They shared stories of state brutality, and also narrations of power opening up new alternatives of liveability and hope.
Adam Haj Yahia is a Palestinian independent researcher, curator, and culture producer. His work seeks to challenge modern taxonomies and hegemonic historical and social narratives, by intersectional and interdisciplinary framings with regard to colonization, gender, sexuality, economy, art & culture, as well as the ontologies of “authority” and “hierarchy”.
Zeina Amro is a part-time lecturer at Birzeit University and a researcher interested in exploring the mental health of societies experiencing political conflict and displacement. Her PhD dissertation, awarded by King’s College London, was entitled “Wellbeing in Displacement: Exploring the experience of young adult refugees from Syria in Jordan”. She is interested in exploring how the psychological dimensions of our lives are intertwined with the lived experiences of political conflict. She formerly worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University, where she did research related to the mental health of the Palestinian community including the families of political detainees, as well as youth and their participation in their communities.
Hala Marshood is a researcher in political economy and a feminist political organizer. At the moment, she is also a member of the advisory committee for the “Dignity and Hope” detainees fund, in support of the families of Palestinians arrested during the events of May.
Soheir Asaad is a political and feminist Palestinian organizer and a human rights advocate. Soheir received a Masters degree in international human rights law from the University of Notre Dame (US). She is the advocacy and communications team member of Rawa, the Creative Palestinian Communities Fund. She is also the coordinator of the Palestine Feminist Anti-Violence Movement (part of the Global Fund for Women). Previously, she worked in international advocacy for Palestinians human rights.
Ali Mawassi is a poet and Editor-in-Chief of Fus’ha, a Palestinian cultural magazine. He is currently studying for his PhD in cultural studies at Tel Aviv University.
The Cafe started with music from Gaza with Mohammed Shoman playing guitar and Faruq Abu Ramada playing Qanun.