May 15, 2012

May 15 marks the anniversary of the “Nakba” (Arabic for “catastrophe”), the dispossession of the Palestinian people that came with the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

This year is the 64th anniversary. The day is acknowledged with protests throughout the Middle East. Last year, in Egypt, hundreds of protestors were arrested or injured, while a number of poeple were killed by Israeli forces when protesters marched on the borders of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, including at the Lebanese and Syrian borders.

May 15, 1948 is known as the Nakba because hundreds of thousands of Palestinian people were forced from their homes, or chose to leave to protect themselves and their families from violence. Some Palestinian people still carry the keys to the houses they had to leave, which are now being lived in by Israelis. This has made the image of a key an important symbol for protesting Palestinians.

But what does it mean, 64 years later, to have a Nakba Day?

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