Press Releases

50 Years of Palestinian Exile and Dispossession 1998 Campaign for the Defense of Palestinian Refugee Rights & Development

BADIL Alternative Information Center 
For Immediate Release 
20 March 1998 


In 1998, the Campaign will maintain its focus on: 

- Refugee Education and Grass-roots Mobilization in the framework of the Union of Youth Activities Centres/West Bank. Three targets have been identified: 

  • Oral History Project: Refugee youth will be trained in techniques of oral history recording. Throughout the year, youth will conduct interviews with the eyewitnesses of the 1948 eviction in their respecitive communities. Recorded interviews and photographs will be gathered in an oral history archive to be established by the UYAC. 
  • Cultural Activation: Youth Centres in all West Bank and Gaza refugee camps will participate in a year long program including sports events, artistic performances, celebrations and memorial events, and intellectual debates according to their preferences. Two central events commemorating 50 years of exile are scheduled for May and December 1998. The Campaign provide the financial and logistic support required for these events. 
  • Preparation of General Popular Refugee Conference: The need for broad refugee participation in the shaping of the refugees’ future will remain the central theme underlying all Campaign activities. The next popular refugee, will be called only when such participation can be guaranteed and a suitable mechanism for the election of refugee representatives is found. 

- Rebuilding Broken Ties: Neworking and Coordination with refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria: 

  • In 1998, the Campaign plans to facilitate a work visit of refugees from Palestine to Lebanon. Meetings with refugee activists and organizations there will improve understanding of the circumstances and the context in which refugees live and work in Lebanon. The aim is to initiate a discussion about possible coordination and joint projects in the future. 

- Assisting Local and International Initiaties of  Solidarity with Palestinian Refugees: The Campaign will continue to provide local and international organizations with information and logistic support for their activities aimed at raising international awareness and support for Palestinian refugees.  

  • The 1998 Campaign for the Defense of Palestinian Refugee Rights & Development will be coordinated by the Union of Youth Activities Centres/West Bank and BADIL Alternative Information Center. 

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For more information contact: BADIL Alternative Information Center, PO Box 728, Bethlehem, tel/fax (2) 747346, email: badil@baraka.org.