The project bringing Palestinian refugees back home

What does the right of return mean to Palestinians, 72 years since the Nakba? Tarek Bakri’s visual documentation project offers a glimpse

Shukri Al Jamal and family (L) outside the home in Jerusalem from which he was expelled during the Nakba, now (R) inhabited by Jewish Israelis

Henriette Chacar writes in The Electronic Intifada:

A few months ago, I was scrolling through Facebook when a video really caught my attention. I tapped the unmute button to hear a young Palestinian woman, Nour, tell her grandmother over the phone: “Sitti, I’m standing in front of the palm tree you told me about.”

There’s nothing particularly appealing about the video itself — the image is shaky, and it’s difficult to make out Nour’s words over the strong wind.

Her grandmother, a Palestinian refugee from a village north of Akka, was exiled to a camp in Syria during the Nakba, the catastrophe that culminated in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948, and which continues to impact millions more to this day.

Nour was able to enter Israel on a European passport. After hearing her grandmother, Um Safwan, talk about her Palestinian home all those years, she decided to pay it a visit.

The landscape has changed completely since, and what used to be the village is now an Israeli national park. But using the sea and a palm tree as her markers, Um Safwan guided her granddaughter to where the home once stood.

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