November 29th marked the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, a global day of observance to bring the continuous struggle of the Palestinian’s to the forefront. Important to this solidarity is assisting Palestinians in telling their own stories. Chelsea Moore reports.
Moore: What were once ten are now nine in the UN training program for Palestinian journalists after the Jerusalem home of one of the journalists was demolished by Israel. His family now lives in a tent next to the ruins. This is a stark reminder of the struggle that continues for the people of Palestine. The program, initiated by the General Assembly, is meant to assist Palestinian Journalists in telling the story of their people to the world. Miruat Abu Soud, is a journalist in the program who has lived her entire life as a refugee.
Soud: It’s our responsibility to meet people and tell them about the situation in Palestine, in East Jerusalem. In particular how people suffer. Newly there is more settlements, issues going on, in Jerusalem especially, and also the houses which have been confiscated by Israeli settlers, which has been given by the United Nations to those refugees. So maybe this is a chance to tell people about the situation there and also to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians.
Moore: Wessam Hammad, a journalist and refugee from Gaza, has not seen his family in two years because of difficulties of getting in and out of the strip. He believes educating people about the situation in Gaza will help bring results.
Hammad: Talk about the situation over there. Talk about how much people are suffering. I come from Gaza, people are really devastated. Guys here, they have no idea what is happening over there and we are really expecting from this day that some rights or some decisions, or anything to rescue Palestinians. I am very optimistic, but this is what I’m looking for. So I would invite everyone to come and talk to Palestinians.
Moore: Illuminating the voices of Palestinians Journalists is an alternative to what some see as the one-sidedness of Israeli accounts. Soud spoke of a recent press conference she attended for the Israeli Military on the issue of Gaza.
Soud: They were talking about the situation in Gaza, how good the situation, how things can enter Gaza and people can go out whenever they want, especially sick people. This is our opportunity to send our own voice and tell people how the situation really is in Gaza, not like the Israeli’s are trying all the time to reflect the fake message of the situation. It’s not at all as they try to publish all the time. It’s horrible in Gaza, especially in Gaza.
Moore: Despite the difficulties ahead for the Palestinians and the peace process Hammad believes one must always carry the message of peace.
Hammad: We have to be optimistic, and we always hold the message of peace, holding the message of our rights it might take a lot of time, which is the reality. We have to keep on and on and trying to do our best to achieve the peace and to get our rights and to get done with this issue.
Moore: That was Palestinian Journalist Wessam Hammad and before that Miruat Abu Soud. This is a Deconstruction Production, I’m Chelsea Moore.