The Exiled Palestinians speak in Asheville, Oct. 28

Press release from The North America Nakba Tour:

Asheville, NC. — The North America Nakba Tour and The Asheville Committee for Palestinian Human Rights invite you to “The Exiled Palestinians: Stateless Palestinians from the Camps in Lebanon.” Khawla Hammad has been a stateless refugee in Lebanon for 69 years. At the age of sixteen, she was expelled from her village of Kabri, in Palestine. Now she is 84 years old and still a refugee in Lebanon, with no citizenship in any country at all. Israel expelled most of the population in 1948, and has prevented these refugees from returning to their homes. Kabri and hundreds of other towns and villages were leveled to the ground, a crime that Palestinians call al-Nakba (the Catastrophe). But Israel did not stop there. It repeatedly attacked Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, killing three of Khawla’s children among many others. Before the Nakba, Khawla’s father died as a Palestinian freedom fighter. Khawla has a message that she wants to bring to North America.

So does 23-year-old Palestinian refugee, journalist and translator Amena Elashkar, the great granddaughter of other Nakba survivors. She and her parents were born as stateless refugees in Lebanon and have never lived in their own country. Khawla and Amena have a different message from other Palestinians. They do not live in Palestine, under Israeli occupation. Israel does not allow them to visit their homes, much less live there. Amena first met an Israeli during last year’s tour, and Khawla not since 1948. They have a different perspective from Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and the part of Palestine that became Israel.

When: Saturday, Oct 28, from 3-5 pm.
Where: Block Off Biltmore at 39 South Market Street in downtown Asheville.

This local event is supported by Asheville Veterans for Peace Chapter 099 and the Peace & Earth Committee of the Asheville Friends Meeting. The North America Nakba Tour is operated under the fiscal sponsorship of the Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation. The project is administered by a committee of Al-Awda Right to Return Coalition, Free Palestine Movement, Black 4 Palestine and the International Solidarity Movement – Northern California. Free admission to event, donations gratefully accepted.

More information at nakbatour.com.

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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