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Five Nakba Stories Published, Product of Feature Writing Workshop
May 15 2023

Over the past few months, five writers of Palestinian heritage attended the 'How to Write Your Nakba Story? workshop hosted by the Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS). Today, in commemoration of 75 years of the Nakba, we share their stories.

Since IPS' founding in 1963, we have contributed a uniquely Palestinian voice to the public discourse facing Palestine and the Palestinians throughout the world. Led by Laura Albast, the workshop aimed to give space, support, and power to young writers to tell their own stories. Writers were provided with tools derived from journalism and oral history practices, including how to approach conversations with a trauma-informed lens.

What happened to their family and neighbors in 1948? Where did they go? What was different when they stayed, returned? Who was lost? What was left behind? What are the memories passed down? And what was built in exile, in refugee camps, in the generations that came after the expulsion?

The stories produced center histories of Palestinians who were expelled from Silwad, Bethlehem, Jaffa, 'Ilabun, Akka, Jerusalem, and Jenin. Their stories are about resistance, displacement, love, family, memory, and sacrifice. We are thrilled to share them with you and introduce new voices and untold histories from the collective Palestinian consciousness. 

The stories are available in English, Arabic, and Spanish. Ahmad Barakat and Laura Albast completed the Arabic translations. We partnered with El Intérprete Digital to bring these stories to Spanish-speaking audiences. 

To read the stories in Arabic:
ماري تحلم بفلسطين، بقلم سماح فضل 
الحياة الخفية لسيدو حبيب، بقلم أوديت ييدي
على درب التهجير، من حرب إلى أُخرى، بقلم عبد الله موسوس
في جنين، تلتقي الأقدار، بقلم زين عساف
وتبقى سلواد بالأغنية والتضحية، بقلم مرح عبد الجابر

To read the stories in Spanish:
María sueña con Palestina, por Samah Fadil
La vida secreta de Sido Habib, por Odette Yidi
De una guerra a otra, la vida en fuga, por Abdulla Moaswes
Buscando fe en Yenín, por Zain Assaf
A través del canto y la abnegación, Silwad sobrevive, por Marah Abdel Jaber

The workshop was possible due to the support of our co-sponsors: United Palestinian Appeal and the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University.

The instructors were Rami Khouri (American University of Beirut), Joseph Gedeon (Politico), Jennifer Mogannam (University of California), Omar Gallaga (Poynter Institute), Farah-Silvana Kanaan, and Laura Albast (IPS). Palestinian artist Aya Ghanameh illustrated these stories. Read about the instructors, the sessions they delivered, and the series illustrator here

About the sponsors:

United Palestinian Appeal (UPA) empowers Palestinians to improve their lives and communities through socially responsible and sustainable programs in health, education, and community and economic development. For more information about UPA's work in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and the diaspora, visit:

The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) is the only academic center in the United States focusing exclusively on the Arab world. Since its founding in 1975, CCAS has prepared new generations of diplomats, scholars, teachers, policymakers, and leaders in the business and nonprofit sectors capable of critical thought, constructive dialogue, and creative engagement with the Arab world. CCAS advances research in the field of Arab Studies not only through its academic programs, public events, education outreach, and multimedia projects but also by regularly hosting prominent scholars, visiting researchers, and post-doctoral fellows at the Center.

From the same blog series "Nakba Stories (Nakba 75)"
Illustration by Aya Ghanameh.
Marah Abdel Jaber
Samah Fadil
Illustration by Aya Ghanameh.
Odette Yidi David
Illustration by Aya Ghanameh.
Abdulla Moaswes
Illustration by Aya Ghanameh.
Zain Assaf
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