Commemoration of 68th of Al Nakba and Celebration of Australian Palestinian Graduates

By Marcelle Mansour
The Australian Palestinian Community Commemorated the 68th Anniversary of Al Nakba, together with the Celebration of the 2015 Australian Palestinian Graduates.
The General Union of Palestinian Workers and Australian Palestinian Graduates Association held a Ceremony in honor of the Palestinian University Graduates and the HSC Achievers in 2015, under the patronage of H.E.Dr. Izzat Abdul Hadi, the Ambassador of Palestine to the Commonwealth of Australia. On Sunday, 15 May 2016 in Candle Light Reception Lounge. The event also coincided with the date of commemoration the 68th Anniversary of AL Nakba meaning catastrophe.
Distinguished guests attended: Julia Finn MP -Australian Labour Party Member for Granville NSW,  Lee Rhiannon MP – The Australian Greens Senator for NSW,  Mr Jihad Dib MP- Parliament of NSW -Shadow Minister for Education,  Mr Paul Lynch MP - Parliament of NSW Member of the Legislative Assembly Member for Liverpool Shadow Attorney General Member of the Australian Labor Party,  Mayor Khal Asfour - Clr of Bankstown City Council,  Associate Professor Jake Lynch - Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney,  Prof Peter Manning Professor of Journalism,  Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed – Grand Mufti of Australia, the Secretary General of Fatah Abdul Kader Karanouh, and expert of Australian Palestinian Affairs Eddie Zananiri, Artists and Academics, Various Cultural  and Islamic Associations and Political Parties Presidents,  Media Representatives and a crowd of families and friends.
 The ceremony began by playing the two national anthems of Australia and Palestine. Followed by welcoming the attendees with introduction and a poem about Palestine recited by student Rola Alian, then a video displayed a brief history of the occupied Palestine.
The function was highlighted by a creative piece of performance titled “Al Nakba Suitcase “and was acted by Saleh Saqqaf  (Broadcaster and Actor) on the sound of Oud music played by the MC. Mr Jamal Alyan.
Speeches delivered as follows:
Abdul Hadi, Ambassador: In his speech H.E. stated: " Al-Nakba marks all our lives and it remains with us". Palestinians always remember the sad expel of their home land and it remains with them until justice and freedom will take place. These wonderful young achievers are the future of the Australian-Palestinian community spanning the globe who will transform loss into victory.
Mr Monir Mahajinah delivered a political speech in Arabic, in his own wods: "Tonight, we are not here to celebrate Al Nakba, rather to commemorate Al Nakba and raise flags and slogans. Three strategies are required:  firstly, is Unity, secondly to strengthen the steadfastness of the Palestinian people on the ground, such as education and other things, and thirdly, resistance to the new generations. We cannot achieve independence, without our will and persistence and, embracing the Holy Stone.”
Lee Rhiannon MP who has visited Palestine and has seen the refugee camps said the Nakba day is a sad day to Palestinian people who were taken away from their home. But time has come to achieve justice, and the 21st century will witness that Palestinians will return to their land, “especially here we are celebrating the success of new generation, your voice of Palestine will act as a challenge, it is about commitment of people working together.” She said.
Paul Lynch MP:  expressed his support to the Palestinian Community on Al Nakba Day commemoration of Palestinian exodus forcibly displaced from their homeland in1948 and their right of return through justice and ending occupation. He also praised the high achievement of young generation.
Jihad Dib MP: “There is a lot of connection between Aboriginals and Palestinians… Israel built the wall, but would not kill the spirit of Palestinian People… The fight of Palestine is the fight of what is right to return the land that was taken away from them… It is an honour to celebrate the achievements of young Australian Palestinians… Live Australia and Live Palestine.”
Jack Lynch: who has been a Director of of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney stated that the process is about the continuation of academic research. He praised the Palestinian graduates who came from Gaza and have excelled in every unit. Lynch was proud to see the very first graduate of Master Degree (Mr Shamik Badra) from Gaza on scholarship and he mentioned that the university will support more students from Gaza in the near future.
The event concluded by delivering appreciation awards to the Parliamentary members for their continuous support to the Palestinian cause: Julia Finn MP, Jihad Dib MP, Paul Lynch MP.  As well as members of the Palestinian community where the Ambassr Dr Izzat Abdul Hadi presented a shield  - on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) – to The General Union of Palestinian Workers in Australia, for their tireless work of serving the Community. The shield was received by President Ibrahim Ishan, followed by Palestinian community members who received appreciation awards were: Lama Hammouri, Ibrahim Ishan, khader Sultan,  Mahmoud Sultan,  Akeel Sultan, George Dabbagh, Mr Eddie Zananiri ,  Maher Morqabala, Ahmad Qasim for Council of Australian Palestinians. The Ambassador of Palestine Dr Izzat Abdulhadi also delivered achievement awards to 53 Palestine graduates of HSC, Master and PHD.



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