This episode is the first in a series taken from the Nakba Archive, a collection of more than 500 recorded interviews of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon by a team of scholars. 1948, the year when Israel first celebrated its existence as a nation state, is also the year that marks the Nakba, the Arabic word for Catastrophe, when some 750,000 people, more than three quarters of Palestinians, were forced from their towns and villages by Zionist militias. Violently dispossessed of their homes and belongings, their only crime was being not Jewish.
While the Israeli government has long banned the word Nakba from Arab textbooks, it is not possible for us to understand Israel/Palestine today while denying the Nakba. Just as those who deny the reality of the Holocaust are rightly denounced, Israel’s attempt to erase the reality of the Nakba must be denounced.
Fifty-five years after Zionist militia executed the forced expulsion of Palestinians from Lydda, Ismail Shammut, renowned Palestinian artist, shared his story from his home in a refugee camp in Lebanon.