BADIL announces winners of 2009 Al-Awda Award

Award Ceremony Launches Nakba-61 Commemoration Activities Across the West Bank

4 May 2009

BADIL is proud to announce the winners of the 2009Al-Awda Award, the third annual public competition of its kind. The award aims to foster Palestinian talent and creativity and to raise the profile of the Palestinian Nakba and the right of all forcibly displaced Palestinians to return to their homes and lands.

The winners of the 2009 Award come from various parts of historic Palestine as well as Palestinian refugee communities in exile.

They were honored on Saturday, 2 May, in two parallel Awda Award Festivals in the West Bank (Ramallah Cultural Palace) and the Gaza Strip (Red Crescent Hall, Tal al-Hawa, Gaza City). The festivals were attended by an enthusiastic combined audience of over 1,500 people from all over Palestine.

The awards were granted by Fawzia (Um Kamel) Al-Kurd, a Palestinian refugee in Jerusalem who has become a symbol of resistance to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian capital since her home was expropriated by Jewish-Israeli settlers last year, Husam Khader, member of the Palestinian National Council, Afif Ghatashe, President of Badil’s Board of Directors, and Ingrid Jaradat Gassner, Director of Badil.

Winners were selected by independent juries composed of internationally renowned Palestinian artists, academics, journalists, academics and authors. The stage was also graced by the youthful Lajee Center Popular Arts Troupe from Aida camp, which opened and closed the events with a beautiful performance incorporating color, costume, movement and beauty.

This year’s Al-Awda Award launches multiple activities and events across Palestine and the world commemorating the 1948 Nakba in which a majority of Palestinians were expelled from their homeland. These activities and events will point to the ongoing nature of the Nakba, the fact that Palestinian refugees have not been allowed to return to their home despite the international community’s consensus on the legitimacy of this right, and the ongoing forced displacement of Palestinians throughout historic Palestine.

Badil has committed to disseminate the works of these Awda Award winners through various media. The winning poster has been adopted by the Nakba Commemoration Committee as the official poster for this year’s Nakba commemoration activities.

Those interested should continue to check our website as we publish the pieces of written journalism, the children’s stories, and research papers through various Badil publications.

We also call on artists, writers, and researchers to prepare themselves for next year’s competition, and thank all of those who participated in the one this year, including juries, awards committee, and of course the brilliant Palestinian participants themselves who have proved once again that the spirit of talent and creativity can not be caged by any oppressor.