Category Archives: Shatat Conference

Videos: Shatat Conference plenaries online

The following videos highlight the plenary and full-conference gatherings at Return and Liberation: Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North America. Filmed by videographer and activist Jase Tanner, the videos highlight the talks of Hanna Kawas, Loubna Qutami, Issam Yamani, Rabab Abdulhadi, Karma Nabulsi and Abdelrazzaq Takriti, as well as the Skype presentation by Leila Khaled:

Hanna Kawas, Haneen Karajah, Khaled Barakat and Omar Shaban:

Loubna Qutami and Issam Yamani:

Rabab Abdulhadi, Karma Nabulsi, Abdelrazzaq Takriti, moderated by Jacqueline Husary:

Leila Khaled (via Skype) and Wet’suwet’en indigenous drum group:

CONFERENCE RELEASE: Palestinian Shatat Conference convenes in Vancouver for Return and Liberation

May 15th, 2013 – In an effort to unite the Palestinian community through adherence to fundamental principles predicated on return and liberation, Palestinian activists and their allies in North America convened on unceded Coast Salish territories at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada from May 3 – 5, 2013.

With the firm belief that Palestinians in the Shatat should be actively engaged and invested in advancing the Palestinian cause as we commemorate 65 years of Nakba, participants discussed various issues, including, among others, accurate and accountable representation, defining the relationship of Palestinians in North America with Palestinians inside Palestine and the refugee camps, and finding methods to confront Zionist settler colonialism inside and outside of Palestine.

According to Khaled Barakat, a member of the organizing committee of the conference, “at a time when the right of return is under attack and Palestinian land is under threat from occupation attacks and so-called ‘land swaps’, the voice of Palestinians in shatat must be raised. The conference is a critical step towards addressing these concerns, and a new forum to engender positive changes in the Palestinian national liberation movement.”

The program of the conference included workshops spanning various topics, such as strengthening Palestinian organizing in the Shatat, Palestinian shatat participation and leadership in the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, forging joint struggles with justice movements in North America, gender and queer issues, combating Zionism and normalization, the centrality of the right of return to Palestinian liberation, discourses on national unity and addressing issues regarding representation and the Shatat’s relationship with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The conference, which featured Palestinian freedom fighter Leila Khaled, who greeted conference attendees for a one-hour presentation via Skype in which she called for Palestinian national unity on the basis of resistance and struggle for return and liberation saluted the Palestinian prisoners in their fight for freedom and liberation, and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the Palestinian national liberation movement.

Conference participants included members of Idle No More, as well as other longtime indigenous activists; conference participants dined on bannock donated by Indigenous chefs and a Wet’suwet’en drum group introduced Khaled. According to Omar Shaban, director of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) at UBC, “it is important to recognize, over and again, that this conference was held on unceded indigenous territory, and that the struggle of the Palestinian people in the Shatat is incomplete without recognizing and joining the struggle of the indigenous people of Canada and the United States.”

Throughout the various discussions which spanned various points of views, political perspectives and diverse ideologies, attendees vowed to continue the conversation on forging a united front against Zionist colonization in Palestine. Conference participants formed a follow-up committee, which will be releasing a proposed action plan for Palestinian mobilization in the North American diaspora in the coming weeks.

For more information please contact:
Omar Shaban
604-379-4050
info@palestinianconference.org
palestinianconference.org

To get involved with these initiatives and the follow-up work of the conference, please contact info@palestinianconference.org.

The points of unity of the conference and its follow-up committee are as follows:

May 2013 marks the 65th anniversary of the Nakba, and the 65th year of the ongoing struggle for Palestinian refugees’ return and the liberation of Palestine.

1. The Palestinian people are one people and our cause is one cause. Our objective is to revive the Palestinian national liberation movement and build the national institutions of the Palestinian people based on popular participation and direct democracy, in order to achieve the liberation of the land and people of Palestine and the implementation of the right of Palestinian refugees to return their homes.

2. The conflict with the settler colonialist state of Israel will only be resolved through the dismantling of the racist settler colonial nature of the state, meaning decolonization from Zionism, in all its forms, social, economic and political.

3. The right of return is the first and foremost step to the exercise of our right to self-determination.

4. Based on history, language, culture and geography, Palestine is an integral part of the Arab world and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.

5. Palestine is part and parcel of international resistance to colonialism, settler colonialism, imperialism and Zionism. The Palestinian people’s struggle is the struggle of an indigenous population directly connected to national liberation movements around the world facing the same powers, including the struggle of Indigenous peoples of North America, where this conference is taking place.

6. This effort is part of the struggle to achieve the basic right of Palestinians to elect our representatives in a democratic manner, and to overcome all obstacles being placed in front of our people in Palestine and in the shatat. As Palestinians in shatat, we have a right to representation and raise the voice of the shatat in our national liberation movement.

7. Palestinians have the right to resist injustice and occupation in order to achieve the liberation of their land and people.

8. The governments of the United States and Canada are directly responsible for apartheid, colonization and occupation in Palestine, through their diplomatic, political, military and economic support for the state of Israel. We recognize the US and Canada to be settler colonies built on indigenous lands.

9. We have the responsibility to confront the role of the US and Canada, hold the governments of the US and Canada accountable, and to build alliances with oppressed peoples and communities in North America.

10. We recognize the leadership and central role of Palestinian women in the national liberation movement, in this initiative, and in political representation.

return-liberation

Register and Donate for the Conference of the Palestinian Shatat!

 

Return and Liberation: Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North America

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Register today!

Return and Liberation, the Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North America, will take place in Vancouver, Canada from May 3-5, 2013, at the University of British Columbia. Panels, workshops and cultural events include “Looking Back, Forging Forward: Palestinian Organizing in the Shatat,” “Palestinian Representation and the Right of Return,” “Palestinian Perspectives on Solidarity and BDS,” “Repression and Resistance: Palestinian Civil and Political Rights,” “Organizing on the Cultural Front,” “The Role of Palestinian Students and Youth” – and much more. Speakers and workshop facilitators include Rabab Abdulhadi, Karma Nabulsi, Issam Yamani, Loubna Qutami,

Abdelrazzaq Takriti, Mezna Qato, Ramzy Baroud, Nada Elia, Dina Omar, Mostafa Henaway, Lamis Deek, Palestinian singer Nisreen Hajaj and many more.

More than that, this conference is a unique opportunity for Palestinians in shatat and their allies to join in this historical gathering to re-examine our history and build together towards a free future for our people and land by putting an end to Zionist colonization and normalization everywhere throughout the Palestinian and Arab homeland. Join us to plan, discuss and learn from each other about our homeland and how we can become active participants in reviving our movement.

 

Journal Ads

Buy a Journal Ad! 

Reach our attendees and supporters – and help to support the conference – with your message and content with a Journal Ad in the conference program. Full-page, half-page and quarter-page ads are available from $150 and up. Ads will be distributed in person to all attendees and online. Sign up for your Journal Ad online or email us at support@ palestinianconference.org.

Travel Details

Travel Details

Learn more about travel directions to Vancouver and the UBC Campus, accommodations and public transit at our Logistics and Accommodations page.

The main airport in Vancouver is YVR (Vancouver International). Please note, if you are travelling from the US, you may find it more affordable to fly into Seattle (SEA) or Bellingham (BLI) – buses are available to Vancouver. 

Donate

Donate

This conference relies on the grassroots to support and fund our efforts. Your donations make this conference possible and sponsor Palestinian youth and students to attend and participate in the conference! Donate today and receive a premium from Palestine Online Store – Ghassan Kanafani cards, DVDs on Palestine and more. Donate online here!

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Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North America

http://palestinianconference.org

palestinianconference@gmail.com

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REGISTRATION NOW OPEN: Save with the special Early Bird rate!

May 3-5, 2013
University of British Columbia
Unceded Musqueam Territories
Vancouver, BC, Canada

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TODAY – SPECIAL EARLY BIRD RATE AVAILABLE!

Web: palestinianconference.org + Facebook + Twitter

Registration is NOW OPEN for the Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North America! This conference – which will take place at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on May 3-5, 2013 – will bring together Palestinian and Arab organizers, activists and community members to discuss our collective role as Palestinians in our liberation movement and assert our voice as Palestinians in shatat/exile.

There is more information about the conference at our website, palestinianconference.org This conference is being organized from the ground up, and will benefit from the active involvement and participation of Palestinian organizations and organizers across North America. The conference will include facilitated workshops, plenary discussions, conversations, and presentations – it welcomes your participation, your voice, and your active involvement in reclaiming the voice of the shatat.

REGISTRATION RATES:
Register early and save! Early bird special: March 11 – March 24: $25
Early Registration: March 25 – April 7, $35
General Registration: April 8 – April 22, $45
Late Registration: April 23 – May 1, $55
Registration closes on May 1st.

We will soon be posting accommodations information. If you have any questions, or require solidarity housing, please email us at housing@palestinianconference.org.

Highlights of the program include the two KEYNOTE PLENARIES:

PALESTINIAN REPRESENTATION: Raising Our Voices in the Shatat in North America

The PLO is historically regarded as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, an overarching mechanism by which we all came together to deliberate on the strategies of our national movement. In this plenary, we will discuss the histories of political representation in our national movement, and what representation might mean today. Some of the questions addressed will include: What did the PLO look like, what does it look like now, and how/can it be remade? What can we learn from our earlier revolutionary histories? How has the current lack of representation impacted our struggle, and our ability to develop a coherent and cohesive national strategy for liberation and return? How do we create representation bodies that are inclusive of all our people and forces, and serve the needs of our national movement? How do we embody our demands for popular and democratic representation in our own communities and associations?

LOOKING BACK, FORGING FORWARD: Strengthening our Organizing in the Shatat

This plenary will examine Palestinian organizing in the shatat, looking at the past and moving to the present day. We will discuss the reasons and implications for how different methods and mechanisms came to frame our organizing as part of our liberation movement, and consider frameworks moving forward. Some of the questions addressed will include: What have been the organizing trends within the history of our movement? What has been the historical role of students, workers, and women? How do we forge our role and revitalize our sense of national responsibility in the shatat? How do our communities currently organize? What internal and external challenges are confronting our communities? How do we build community accountability and organizing discipline? How can we imagine and strategize ways to connect our organizing in North America with our brothers and sisters on the ground and in exile?

This is a critical time for the Palestinian people and the national liberation movement, and this conference is an opportunity to connect, build and mobilize our people in North America. Conference participants will not only gain knowledge, but are expected to commit themselves to collectively and democratically working together to re-build and revive our national liberation movement.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TODAYConfirm the special Early Bird Rate!

Call: Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North America

LIBERATION and RETURN: The Conference of Palestinian Shatat in North America
May 3-5, 2013
Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish Territories
Canada

As we approach our 65th year of exile from our homeland, the need for Palestinians in the shatat (diaspora) to reinvigorate, develop and carry out an effective strategy for our national movement for liberation and return is as urgent as ever.  For too long our voices have been excluded and the majority of us have been unrepresented in the decision-making and direction of our movement.

We call on all Palestinian activists, organizers and community members in the shatat to join us in this historical gathering to re-examine our history and build together towards a free future for our people and land by putting an end to Zionist colonization and normalization everywhere throughout the Palestinian and Arab homeland.

Join us to plan, discuss and learn from each other about our homeland and how we can become active participants in reviving our movement. The conference will include facilitated workshops, plenary discussions, conversations, and presentations – it welcomes your participation, your voice, and your active involvement in reclaiming the voice of the shatat.

At a time when Zionist colonization continues its incessant destruction and exploitation of Palestine and our people, our body-politic remains fragmented, with empty, unrepresentative and often corrupt national institutions and leadership, and a clouded vision of how to move forward towards our national aspirations for return and liberation.

This conference aims to work towards: restoring our people’s morale and commitment to our national struggle for return and liberation, reviving our transnational unity and building our national liberation movement despite our geographical dispersion, and overcoming the current impasse of national fragmentation (socio-economic, political, geographic and ideological).

Participation is a right, but also a duty.  Conference participants will not only gain knowledge, but are expected to invest time, energy and willingness to collectively and democratically work with fellow Palestinians to re-build and revive our national liberation movement.

Learn more about the conference: http://www.palestinianconference.org/call-conference-of-the-palestinian-shatat-in-north-america/

Register online for the conference: http://www.palestinianconference.org/register/

Guidelines for Participation

  • Read and support Conference Principles of Unity
  • Understanding of conference objectives
  • Commitment to developing and implementing a long-term strategy of our role as Palestinians/Arab in North America for return and liberation
  • Accountability, transparency and respect for the democratic decision-making process
  • Actively participate during conference and follow-up
  • Give direction, purpose, and relevance to our national movement
  • This conference prioritizes Palestinian and Arab participation

We look forward to seeing you at the conference and working together! Contact the organizing committee at palestinianconference@gmail.com!

Principles of Unity

May 2013 marks the 65th anniversary of the Nakba, and the 65th year of the ongoing struggle for Palestinian refugees’ return and the liberation of Palestine.

As Palestinians in Shatat, and particularly in North America, we are convening on this date in order to carry out our responsibility to lay out concrete strategies and a clear vision to challenge the status quo and to raise our voice, the voice of the shatat.

The organizers are united by the following principles:

1. The Palestinian people are one people and our cause is one cause. Our objective is to revive the Palestinian national liberation movement and build the national institutions of the Palestinian people based on popular participation and direct democracy, in order to achieve the liberation of the land and people of Palestine and the implementation of the right of Palestinian refugees to return their homes.

2. The conflict with the settler colonialist state of Israel will only be resolved through the dismantling of the racist settler colonial nature of the state, meaning decolonization from Zionism, in all its forms, social, economic and political.

3. The right of return is the first and foremost step to the exercise of our right to self-determination.

4. Based on history, language, culture and geography, Palestine is an integral part of the Arab world and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.

5. Palestine is part and parcel of international resistance to colonialism, settler colonialism, imperialism and Zionism. The Palestinian people’s struggle is the struggle of an indigenous population directly connected to national liberation movements around the world facing the same powers, including the struggle of Indigenous peoples of North America, where this conference is taking place.

6. This effort is part of the struggle to achieve the basic right of Palestinians to elect our representatives in a democratic manner, and to overcome all obstacles being placed in front of our people in Palestine and in the shatat.  As Palestinians in shatat, we have a right to representation and raise the voice of the shatat in our national liberation movement.

7. Palestinians have the right to resist injustice and occupation in order to achieve the liberation of their land and people.

8. The governments of the United States and Canada are directly responsible for apartheid, colonization and occupation in Palestine, through their diplomatic, political, military and economic support for the state of Israel. We recognize the US and Canada to be settler colonies built on indigenous lands.

9. We have the responsibility to confront the role of the US and Canada, hold the governments of the US and Canada accountable, and to build alliances with oppressed peoples and communities in North America.

10. We recognize the leadership and central role of Palestinian women in the national liberation movement, in this initiative, and in political representation.

Conference Objectives

Our objectives:

We are convening this conference:

1. To mobilize Palestinians in the diaspora/shatat in order to participate fully in the renaissance of the Palestinian national liberation movement. This includes the development of a strategy for the building of representative political national institutions and achieving real, meaningful and directly democratic representation.

2. To build strong initiatives and direct engagement with our people in Palestine and to assume our responsibility to support their steadfastness and resistance to occupation.

3. To build strong ties and joint initiatives among Palestinians in shatat, in particular the relationship between Palestinians in North America with Palestinians in the refugee camps in the countries around Palestine, such as Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

4. To unite and mobilize the Palestinian community in North America to challenge  the role of the U.S. and Canadian governments in supporting colonialism ,occupation, apartheid and oppression in Palestine, and to strengthen the relationship between the Palestinian community and oppressed and marginalized communities – including the Indigenous and Native peoples of this land –  in North America.  To develop a strategy for the role of Palestinians in diaspora and shatat in leading and developing the international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions and the international isolation of Israel.

5. To develop and organize sectors of the Palestinian community, including students, youth, women, workers to take their leading place in the Palestinian national liberation movement, and to play their role in leading and developing the solidarity movement with Palestine – including within the labor movement, student movement, and other popular movements in North America.

6. To use a historical lens to explore the deep roots and long history of Palestinian resistance and mobilization against colonization in order to learn from this experience and develop the future of our national liberation movement.

7. To bridge Palestinian generations and support the development of new Palestinian leadership.