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Qatar tribune

Tribune News Network

Doha

Qatar National Library (QNL) has commemorated the Palestinian Nakba (Disaster), hosting discussions to examine how the mass expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 marked a foundational historical event leading to today’s ongoing slaughter in Gaza.

Titled ‘Commemorating the Palestinian Nakba: Ongoing Displacement from 1948 to the Systematic Genocide in Gaza’, the seminar also aimed to reexamine the aftermath of the Nakba and its role in understanding the Palestinian experience, spotlighting the colonial lens through which it’s often viewed.

The seminar is the latest in a series of events organised by the library to express solidarity with the Palestinian cause amid Israel’s ongoing assault.

The discussions brought together Dr Amal Ghazal, dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Dr Abaher El-Sakka, associate professor at Birzeit University in Occupied Palestine, and Dr Ismail Nashif, associate professor at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies.

Dr Ghazal touched on the global significance of the Nakba rather than the local and regional dimensions through which the Palestinian cause has been viewed historically.

“It is important to touch on the Nakba from a sociohistorical perspective to understand the successive catastrophes that have befallen the Palestinian people,” Dr Ghazal said. “Reacting to today’s events is a human and moral duty. This seminar is not only part of today’s global reaction to the attack on Gaza, but also serves as a platform to examine and understand all dimensions of the Palestinian cause and the people’s ongoing quest for freedom.”

Dr El-Sakka explained how the ongoing genocide in Gaza represents an extension of the Nakba and the colonial practices against the Palestinian people since 1948.

“The difference today is that the displacement, expulsion and massacres being committed against Palestinians are being observed and documented by people worldwide,” he said.

Dr El-Sakka added that the seminar aims to highlight the suffering of Palestinians since 1948 and counter the dominant colonial narrative that distorts historical facts and conceals the nature of the colonial state and its practices against Palestinians.

Dr Ismail Nashif, an associate professor in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, touched on the Palestinians’ narration of their history, starting with the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and progressing through pivotal events to the ongoing Gaza genocide.

Dr Nashif explained how these events established the historical Palestinian narrative and led to profound transformations in their daily lives.

Since the launch of the assault on Gaza, the library has organised numerous events to express solidarity with the Palestinian cause and raise awareness about Palestine and its deep-rooted Arab identity, which Israel is attempting to undermine.

These included a poetry evening held on February 25 as part of the Cultural Salon series. Titled ‘If they ask you about Gaza…’, the evening marked the second event dedicated to the Palestinian cause as part the Cultural Salon series, which also featured an exhibition of the most prominent books from the library’s collection on Palestine.

In addition, the library organised a series of events for children and families, including ‘Palestine’s Story’, and the ‘Raising for Palestine’ webinar held in cooperation with Teach for Qatar.

Another webinar, titled ‘Palestine: Memory of Place and Meaning’, shed light on the Palestinian cause within the context of contemporary Arab and Islamic history and had a focus on the rich heritage of Gaza, while the sacred Islamic sites nestled within the landscape of the country was the focus of a captivating virtual journey organised by the library and led by Dr Nadia Salem, a professor at DePaul University in Chicago.

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16/05/2024
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