Members of Left Parties of Europe Tour the University and the city of Nablus and its Refugee Camps

 

18th August, 2005

 

Representatives from the left parties of Denmark, Germany, Italy and Austria visited Zajel Youth Exchange Program, of the Public Relations Department, and got a presentation about the roots of the conflicts. As well as this, the historical background of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian People's struggle for freedom over the past decades were discussed. A Power point presentation was made about the history of the most important events of the region, not only the political ones but also the social and cultural ones.

 

Mr.Saed Abu Hijleh, Director of the Public Relations Department, spoke to the Delegation about the right of education for the Palestinian academic institutions; a right that has been violated by the Israeli measures and aggressions. These same aggressive attacks were responsible for the death of one of the University' students last week and took the toll of student victims to 46, killed over the past five years.

 

A discussion on the latest developments of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza took place, where guests asked some questions regarding the Israeli occupation policy, the apartheid wall, colonies and the future of peace processes.

 

Margrete Longtholer, the Co-ordinator of the delegation, spoke about the mission of the delegation. She stated that it had come to Palestine to witness Israeli violations to the Palestinians' rights and to show the local Palestinians that the international community associations care about them. She spoke, in her presentation, about the image of the Palestinians' struggle in the west's mind and the stereotypes that labeled the Palestinians as terrorists.

 

A tour to the old city of Nablus was organized by Zajel Program, where the guests witnessed the Israeli aggressions against the historical sites and the cultural places of the old city of Nablus, an area considered by UNESCO as one of the historical and traditional sites of the Middle East. The delegation members, consisting of eighteen members belonging to Anti imperialism and anti war movements in Western Europe, enjoyed visiting the traditional sites, the Turkish parts of the old city in particular.

 

A show of the traditional Palestinian dance, Dabka, was performed for the delegation, which enjoyed the opportunity to see another cultural part of the Palestinian people. The study visit to Nablus was concluded by a visit to the refugee camp of Askar, where they were hosted at the Development Center of Askar. The Director of the Center, Mr.Amjad Refai`, spoke about the situation of the refugees of the Askar refugee camp. A tour to the camp was then organized, where the visitors listened to the eyewitnesses of the war of 1948 and the testimonies of the deportation from Palestine.