The Arab American University commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Nakba with various activities, starting with a political symposium, and interspersed with a solidarity stand, a speech festival, a photo exhibition, and Palestinian flag half-mast.
The activities were attended by the member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Dr. Wasel Abu Yousef, the governor of Jenin Governorate, Major General Akram Rjoub, the representative of the university president and vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Muayad Abusaa, vice-presidents and assistants, deans of faculties, members of the academic and administrative staff, students, and the student council.
The activities of the Nakba commemoration began with a political symposium entitled “The Nakba Today”, moderated by Professor of Political Science at the University, Prof. Dr. Ayman Youssef, in which the member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Wasel Abu Yousef, spoke and stressed the importance of the activities of the Nakba commemoration that took place in different areas of the West Bank and abroad. Dr. Wasel pointed out that the world commemorated this year's anniversary compared to previous years until it reached the headquarters of the United Nations and the European Union, which indicates the international recognition of the Nakba and that the occupation has no place in our Palestinian state.
Dr. Wasel touched on the speech of the President of the State of Palestine, His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas "Abu Mazen" at the United Nations, which carried several messages, including the necessity of imposing sanctions on the occupying state, recognizing UN resolutions 181 and 194 and implementing them on the ground. He concluded his speech by saying, "There are three mechanisms that must be followed to preserve the Palestinian cause, including emphasizing national unity and its cohesion to confront the Israeli arrogance, the Arab countries that signed normalization agreements with the occupying state are required to review their position and retreat from them, and work on real and serious mechanisms to impose sanctions on the occupying state, especially for the crimes it committed Since 1948, and the most recent was today when three young men were executed in Nablus Governorate.
In turn, Professor of Political Sciences at the Arab American University, Dr. Jamal Hanaysha, touched on the political and historical reading of the Nakba, and pointed out that the beginning of the conflict was since the Mosaic campaign in 2270 BC when they based their positions on the religious and historical narrative, and that they have the right to be in Palestine. Dr. Hanaysha explained that the political narrative began in 1948 and 1967 when the Israelis proved to the world that they were right in their wars to establish their state, and the Western political discourse, that emphasized their right to defense, stood by their side.
Dr. Hanaysha continued saying: we lack the Palestinian discourse or the Palestinian narrative, which is almost non-existent, and this is dangerous, because without it we cannot prove our right to the land and sanctities.
He concluded his speech by saying, "The Nakba can be summed up in the following terms, it is not only a historical event that lives in our memory, but rather the facts of a current process, and that the Nakba did not stop for one day, but rather it is a developed and continuous historical process," stressing that many of the Palestinian people are unaware of what happened in 1948 and the resulting political, economic and social dimensions. What is required of the Palestinians, as Hanaysha said, is to reformulate and preserve the Palestinian narrative, and to preserve the Palestinian-Palestinian unity.
For his part, the governor of Jenin, Major Akram Rjoub, said that what is happening in Palestine since the Nakba until now is a global conspiracy against the Palestinian cause that passed through several stages. Therefore we, the Palestinian people, must be good readers of history, stressing the importance of formulating the correct Palestinian narrative to convince the world with our right to self-determination, the right of return, and the establishment of the Palestinian state. He pointed out that what happened in the United Nations in commemorating the Nakba in its corridors confirms the international recognition of the Nakba and the illegality of the occupation, and from here, we the Palestinians must complete the path by re-considering the Palestine Liberation Organization, and uniting the efforts of the Palestinian people, uniting the two parts of the homeland, and ending the division. He also stressed the need to reconsider our diplomatic language and international dialogue in conveying the Palestinian message, and that our discourse needs to be unified before the world.
The political symposium was followed with a stand in one of the university squares, during which there was a speech festival. It was inaugurated by the representative of the university president and vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Muayad Abusaa, who welcomed the attendees and conveyed the greetings of the university president, Prof. Dr. Ali Zedan Abu Zuhri saying: we commemorate the Nakba in its 75th year as part of the message of AAUP, its national vision, and its positive interaction with all national events, especially the Nakba, and all that happened to the Palestinian people represented in displacement, killing, and Judaization.
Dr. Abusaa added, "What distinguishes this year's anniversary is that the United Nations Committee held a celebration this year in coordination with the Division for Palestinian Rights in the Department of Political Affairs and Peace-building, and this is a political and diplomatic gain for the Palestinians and their cause in international forums. It also resembles a refutation of the Zionist narrative that has been stating that Palestine is the Promised Land and that this land belongs to chosen people of God, while all evidence and facts indicate that Palestine was inhabited by the Palestinians, from the days of the Canaanites until today, and that it is insurmountable to the invaders and colonizers.
In the speech of the Student Council delivered by its president Oday Kamil, who declared that the Student Youth Movement and the Student Council expressed their commitment to all forms of struggle until the realization of our just demands, the freedom of Palestine and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. He called on students to harness their youth energies and scientific knowledge to change reality and build a better future for our people. Kmail called on students to carry hope in their hearts and build everyone's belief in the power of youth in making a real change.
In his turn, the governor of Jenin, Major Akram Rjoub, said that Palestine is implanted in the minds of generations, and they refute the Zionist saying that the young forget by the death of their ancestors, but the Palestinian cause has become deep-rooted in the hearts and minds of all Palestinian generations, and the occupation expected to affect the Palestinian generations, but they woke up finding all generations are still clinging to the cause until the end of the occupation.
The activities included the Palestinian flag half-mast on one of the university buildings, in addition to the university choir presenting a number of patriotic songs.