Nakba: Then and Now

May 15, 2016 - 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM


Presented by Justice For Palestine, a committee of the Syracuse Peace Council
Speakers:  Kawthar A Shomar, Pat Carmeli, Ava Carmeli

A community commemoration of the Nakba. Nakba means “Catastrophe” in Arabic. It refers to the destruction of Palestinian society in 1948 when approximately 750,000 Palestinians fled or were forced into exile by Israeli troops. Today, there are more than 4 million registered Palestinian refugees worldwide. Israel refuded to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and to pay them compensation, as required by UN Resolution 194 of 1948.

The speakers will share their family’s stories; Kawthar as a Palestinian living in Palestine during the Nakba and Ava Carmeli as the granddaughter of Jewish Israelis who came to Israel to escape the Nazis.

Born in Nazareth, Palestine before the Nakba, known to Jewish Israelis as the War of Independence,  Kawthar moved with her family to Haifa at the age of 4. As a teen, she witnessed the incoming European Jews settling in large numbers in what had been a peaceful city of Palestinian coexistence with Muslims, Christians and Jews.

In 1947 and 1948, her world was turned upside as she, her parents, and four siblings struggled to find their sense of home in a land in which they had become outsiders. Kawthar and her new husband were compelled to leave the land of their birth and travel afar to build a future.

As Kawthar’s family was preparing to leave their cherished home in Haifa, Ava’s grandparents had recently arrived from Nazi-occupied Poland and Romania.  Pat and Ava participated in a November 2015 Olive Harvest delegation to Occupied Palestine and will speak about the continuing Nakba, which if left unchecked, the land grabs by Israel and violence against the Palestinian people which  to fulfill the goal of many early and present-day Zionists of an exclusively Jewish homeland.

Free to the Public