The Gender Studies Program at Mada al-Carmel—Arab Center for Applied Social Research held a seminar on May 15, 2013 entitled: “Between Haifa and Akka: Testimonies from the Women who lived the Nakba.” The seminar was held at “The Workshop—Art Space” in Haifa.

Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kervorkian, Director of the Gender Studies Program at Mada al-Carmel, opened the seminar, saying: “We organized this conference as a continuation of a project that the Gender Studies program began with a number of publications on Jaffa in the Journal of Palestinian Studies. These projects are an attempt to return to women, and the people, their own world and community, and to begin to read the psychological and political reality of people in the individual, familial, and historical contexts of Palestinian women.”

Ms. Zahara Khmra began, relating her memories of the Nakba by comparing the images that we see about what is happening in Syria with what is engraved in her memory from that year of her life. She explained her experiences living as a refugee for two years in Lebanon before returning to Haifa, and recalled some of the events that have stayed with her through the years because of the enormous impact they had on her.

Ms. Siham Jammal Minsa from Akka (Acre) followed, recounting in her testimony memories of the port of Akka and the crowds of those who would become refugees, her return to Akka, and reclaiming her father's house. She also said she believes that the refugees will return and Zionism will fall.

Then, Ms. Naila Nakara described her memories of the fear perpetuated by Zionist gangs in Haifa, the degrading, hard life in Beirut, and the difficulty of her ultimate return that had been filled with risks.  She explained that she continued to suffer in her life after her return but she perceived it as hope for new beginning.

The seminar concluded with Dr. Suhad Dhaher-Nashif, Program Coordinator for Gender Studies at Mada al-Carmel, who thanked the women for participating, giving their testimonies, and reviving the voices and stories of the women who experienced the tragedies of the Nakba. 

 

 

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