Friday, April 17, 2015

Souha Bechara and Karl Sabbagh

Souha Bechara and Karl Sabbagh 

by Mazin Qumsiyeh - Popular Resistance

I met many people in my short visit to Europe (and I am really home sick to Palestine). The most interesting was Lebanese Souha Bechara.

Souha gave a talk on Gaza in France. It was very moving. Souha spent 10 years in the infamous Al-Khayyam prison in South Lebanon during the Israeli occupation. She was tortured like many who spent time in that prison. She, a Lebanese Christian, had shot Antoun Lahd (the criminal who worked as a subcontractor for the Israeli occupation). Reading her book in its Arabic version on the way from Geneva to Oslo was educational.

I had read the English version a few years ago. The book puts the era of the occupation in perspective and gives us lessons about today’s world (e.g. about security coordination and subcontracting management of local population to local collaborators). It is really fascinating. I also learned so much from talking to people - those we agree with and those we don’t. Now in Oslo for the Arab Film Festival just met Nadine Salib from Egypt (film “Mother of the Unborn”) and we will have many good films to screen and discuss including the one about my village called “The Wanted 18”.

For more on this festival see

Much work accumulated for us in Palestine in our many areas (the clinical laboratory, the museum administration, the research, the student papers, the visitors who will come see us, the writing, the conferences, etc). So it is hard to be away but the time here is important to reflect and reset some priorities while encouraging me to proceed in other areas even in stronger. And the contacts we made are always good and some collaboration likely will produce fruits to serve Palestinian youth. I also recruited some   volunteers who will come work at the Museum.

Invitation: Lectures at the Palestine Museum of Natural History, Mar Andrea Campus of Bethlehem  University

Thursday April 23rd, 4 PM

Karl Sabbagh: Why the World Needs a Museum of the History of Palestine.

Although Palestinians know their own history only too well, many people in the west have only the vaguest of ideas about the history of the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. If they understood the history better they would have a much clearer idea of the rots of the dispute between the Palestinians and the Jews. Karl Sabbagh presents a proposal for a Museum of the History of Palestine, to be built in a major western capital.

Bio: Karl Sabbagh is a British Palestinian, the son of Isa Khalil Sabbagh from Safad. He is a documentary producer, a writer and a publisher, based in the UK. Among his many works “Palestine: A Personal History” and “Britain in Palestine”.

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director

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