The Islamic University of Gaza hosted an exhibition commemorating the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba [The Palestinian Catastrophe], with various pictures and cartoons depicting the forced migration and expulsion of Palestinians from their land and from thriving villages and bustling cities. The nationwide massacres, killings and terrorism that Palestinians suffered during the Nakba have had a lasting effect on the physical and social landscape of Palestine today.
Children opened the exhibition with a symbolic walk from the UN headquarters in Gaza to the IUG, carrying placards and large keys signifying the right of return of all Palestinian children to the home of their parents and grandparents. The placards contained the message "We are returning to…" and the names of towns their families had originated from. The children were dressed in traditional Palestinian dress and headbands with "We Are Returning" written on them and waved Palestinian flags as the Israelis celebrated their so-called "Independence Day" and the establishment of the Zionist state of Israel.
The children called on the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon to stand with the oppressed and not the oppressors and urged him to find a just solution to the Palestinian cause. The letter, addressed to the UN, said: "There is no solution other than the return of eight million refugees to their land and the return of their rights." The messages also called on the Occupation to pay compensation for all the villages and homes destroyed during the Nakba, and for all those who remain internally displaced. Three-quarters of the indigenous people of Palestine have fled to refugee camps and into the diaspora, and more than 350 villages have been destroyed. 85% of the Palestinians were displaced during the Nakba.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad