Palestinians around the world mark 68 years of the Nakba

Palestinians, and supporters of the Palestinian cause worldwide, marked the 1948 Nakba, ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic, last week. 68 years ago, two thirds of the population of Palestine fled their homes during the violence which marked the establishment of the state of Israel. Since then these families have lived as refugees, mostly in neighbouring countries, prevented from returning to their family home which most of them will never have seen.

Participants at a Nakba rally in Manchester learn how to Dabke - Photo: Manchester Palestine Action

Across the UK on Sunday, Nakba rallies celebrated Palestinian culture and shared stories of homes and communities in Palestine. However, most Palestinians refugees living in Syria, Lebanon and the surrounding region in very different conditions to those in the UK. One fifth of the 560,000 Palestinians in Syria have yet again been displaced abroad by war, while those who remain in their homes face siege, starvation and warfare. Those who have fled face different challenges - long journeys by lorry or boat with little or no water or food; hazardous and ill-equipped refugee camps providing minimal shelter and protection; complex legal obstacles; and host governments reluctant to provide support. 

The 68th anniversary of the Nakba is a reminder that Palestinian refugee populations must not be forgotten; that they must be afforded protection and have access to adequate healthcare wherever they are living; and that a solution to their plight is long, long overdue.

Featured image: A Palestinian man at Jaramana refugee camp in Damascus, Syria in 1948. photo:

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