The efforts of El Salvador´s Palestinians in supporting the Palestinian cause were not limited to holding local and international conferences or appealing to humanitarian institutions to raise awareness of the ongoing violations against Palestinians in the occupied territories. Instead, they took the initiative to expose the occupation and support the struggle of the Palestinians through media and television channels. In El Salvador, the smallest and most densely populated of the seven Central American countries, a local channel dedicates a weekly TV programme to highlight the Palestinian case and the violations committed against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.
“I was invited by many TV channels in El Salvador to speak up and explain what happens in Palestine and the crimes of the Israeli occupation there. So I thought that there is a need for a regular TV program to raise Palestinians’ voices around the world and detail their suffering in the occupied land,” Siman Khoury tells MEMO. With this, WOW TV’s ‘Palestinians Around the World’ was born.
“If the position of the Palestinians at home is to resist and directly confront the occupation, then we Palestinians in the diaspora have a duty to raise our voices and expose the crimes of the occupation,” he adds.
Khoury explained that the idea for the programme began during the aggression on Gaza in 2021 when the Israeli occupation committed a massacre against innocent civilians.
“The administration of the WOW Salvadoran TV met with me during the Gaza War and suggested allocating a weekly programme to the Palestinian community in order to make their voices heard.”
‘Palestinians around the World’ has reached the homes of the one million Palestinians living in Latin America and other communities whether through live broadcasts or social media platforms. “One of the most important goals of the programme is to make all generations of Latino Palestinians, particularly the new generations who were born far from the land of his ancestors, understand that Palestine is our motherland and we should be proud of our culture and civilisation,” Khoury adds.
The head of the Palestinian Union of Latin America and member of the Salvadoran Palestinian Association, Siman Khoury, says the programme is recorded both in a studio and among the Palestinian community in El Salvador. “It is keen to get close to the Palestinians in El Salvador and connect them with Palestinians around the world. The programme combines Palestine’s culture, history and heritage, in which we present our Palestinian dress, customs and dishes that the Israeli occupation tries to steal.”
“Language constitutes a major obstacle for us,” Khoury says of the hurdles producers have faced. “The majority of Latino Palestinians do not speak Arabic, which prompted us to merge Arabic and Spanish languages in an attempt to reach the largest number of Palestinians and the Latino public.”
According to research commissioned by the Ministry of Interior, El Salvador has one of the largest Palestinian diaspora communities outside the Middle East with almost 120,000 people. They regularly host events to help build stronger links between communities and increase awareness about Palestine.
Khoury hopes his programme will help build ties and bridges with Palestine. Adding that now that Najeeb Boukila – known in Spanish as Nayeb Bukele and who was born to a Palestinian father – is president of El Salvador, stronger political bonds may also be on the cards.