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Untold Stories: First-ever US Nakba Museum opens in Washington DC

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When Bshara Nassar arrived in Washington, DC, he strolled along the National Mall and passed myriad museums dedicated to exposing the painful history of oppressed peoples: the National Museum of the American Indian, the Holocaust Museum, Laogai Museum, the list goes on. He quickly recognized there was no “place for the Palestinian story to be told,” which inspired him to launch the first-ever Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope.

As Nassar worked on a master’s degree in conflict transformation, the thought of a space dedicated to Palestinian voices became a working reality. He was particularly interested in telling the little-known story of the “Nakba,” which means “catastrophe” in Arabic. The term is used to refer to the displacement of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948 when the State of Israel was created. Today, nearly 5 million people, nearly all of them descendants of the original group, are registered as Palestinian refugees with the United Nations.

A non-partisan team of Palestinian and Jewish-American artists formed to support Nassar’s dream. One of the artists whose work will be featured in the upcoming exhibit, painter Ahmed Hmedat, curated the show by recruiting other Palestinian artists and helping assemble their work for display. Another collaborator of Nassar’s was an American Jewish friend named Sam Feigenbaum, who did the exhibit’s website and graphic design.

“I just wanted to prove that somewhere in the world that a Jew and a Palestinian could get along,” said Feigenbaum, who had first met Nassar several years earlier and got back in touch with him after the outbreak of a war in Gaza last fall.

After a successful fundraising campaign earlier this year, that project will formally launch on June 13, 2015, with the opening of a two-week art exhibit at the Festival Center in Washington D.C.

The exhibit will feature the work of six Palestinian refugee artists. Nassar chose to use their painting and photography as the primary method of telling the refugees’ story because art “is a language that everyone can understand.”

Palestinian refugee artwork (Image: Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope Facebook page)

Palestinian refugee artwork (Image: Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope Facebook page)

“This is not about victimhood, politics or religion,” said Nassar, acknowledging the controversy and divisive rhetoric that often surrounds the issue of Palestinian refugees. “We want deep conversations that can lead to equality and justice in Israel and Palestine…. I’m trying to tell stories that people haven’t heard.”

The museum will not only be an outlet and platform for Palestinians to tell their story, but also an educational resource for others to recognize the human suffering currently endured by Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

“What’s nice about this exhibit is that it uses a means of communication that is not necessarily dependent on language or education. You don’t need to know about the Nakba in order to experience it through the art. My hope is that people will see something that hits them on an emotional level, and then start asking questions,” he said.

These human stories of loss and suffering, confinement and inequality, must be heard by a global audience to expose the historic and current injustices in Palestine.

Nassar emphasizes that the museum is as much focused on the present as the past, and describes the Nakba as an ongoing event for Palestinian refugees who still live in camps and for all Palestinian people who live under occupation. To address that reality in their own lives, Nassar’s family founded an organization called Tent of Nations. Based at their 100-acre farm in the West Bank, near Bethlehem, it is dedicated to building respect and understanding between different people and cultures.

That hasn’t prevented them from living under constant fear of displacement, however. For years, the family has fought a legal battle in Israeli courts to block plans to seize parts of their land for development, and in 2014, military bulldozers uprooted 1,500 fruit trees and grape vines on their farm.

In life generally, and in his efforts to found a museum to tell the Palestinian story, Nassar continues to draw inspiration from a stone at the entrance to the family farm, inscribed with the words, “We refuse to be enemies” in three languages.

The Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope debuts at the Festival Center on June 13, 2015, and we invite you to join us at this profound exhibit of truth-telling, hope, and resistance.

Check out http://www.nakbamuseumproject.com for more information and future exhibits.

About Kayla Blau

Kayla Blau is a Pacific Northwest native and currently lives in Seattle. She is a spoken word artist, social worker, and organizer advocating for juvenile justice alternatives.

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54 Responses

  1. John Douglas
    John Douglas
    June 12, 2015, 10:41 am

    This is wonderful for hundreds of reasons. I just wanted to comment that the initial image that accompanies this article is absolutely stunning. I wonder who the artist is.

  2. just
    just
    June 12, 2015, 10:44 am

    Thank you, Kayla. I hope that this museum is flooded with visitors.

    Thank you, Bshara Nassar and family.

    Fully agree, John Douglas!

  3. Walid
    Walid
    June 12, 2015, 10:52 am

    “This is not about victimhood, politics or religion,” said Nassar, acknowledging the controversy and divisive rhetoric that often surrounds the issue of Palestinian refugees. “We want deep conversations that can lead to equality and justice in Israel and Palestine…. I’m trying to tell stories that people haven’t heard.”

    This sure sounds like a half-hearted, timid enterprise for such a catastrophic event that would need drastic measures. It wouldn’t buy the refugees a cup of coffee but these “deep conversations” will surely score high points in normalizing an abnormal situation between the Zionists and the Palestinians.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      June 12, 2015, 12:42 pm

      “will surely score high points in normalizing an abnormal situation between the Zionists and the Palestinians.”

      That “we refuse to be enemies” statement made we wince. It carries with it the faint whiff of “I promise to play nice if you let me join the museum game.” Playing “nice” has never gotten the Palestinians anywhere.

      “I just wanted to prove that somewhere in the world that a Jew and a Palestinian could get along,” said Feigenbaum, who had first met Nassar several years earlier..”

      It does sound like one of those well-intended but useless “normalization” events that never deal with the underlining issue. *cough* Zionism *cough*. Perhaps some local Mondoites can go and give us a review.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        June 12, 2015, 1:06 pm

        Yes indeed, abc, the museum game is a very important part of the political process. A museum can be presented in a spirit of pride or anger, crying ‘Never forget!’ or in a spirit of wistful antiquarianism ‘It’s all in the past!’ Those controlling the game can assign the roles as suits them.
        I’m a member of the British Museum, which says with pride but amid some disagreement ‘Never forget that the British Empire, whatever else you think of it, played a mighty part in bringing the ancient world to light’.
        The Zionist plan for Palestinian culture is to make it a museum piece of the second kind amid much gentle musing and a few quiet tears on the harsh necessities of history.

      • Bornajoo
        Bornajoo
        June 12, 2015, 1:09 pm

        “Playing “nice” has never gotten the Palestinians anywhere.”

        So true

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        June 13, 2015, 11:42 am

        Brilliant observation, MHughes!

        The Zionist plan for Palestinian culture is to make it a museum piece of the second kind amid much gentle musing and a few quiet tears on the harsh necessities of history.

        I never would have thought about it that way.

        This museum is an unequivocally consciousness-raising good thing, but which seems to be treating something as history that is ongoing. As you, abc, and Walid say, there’s a significant element of premature sentimentalizing about the demise of the Palestinians in this. Kind of a “WE can all get along, as long as YOU accept that this is HISTORY” approach/motif.

        Great point. Really great point.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 14, 2015, 1:21 pm

        ‘Never forget that the British Empire, whatever else you think of it, played a mighty part in bringing the ancient world to light’.

        Couldn’t leave that alone either, could they?

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        June 14, 2015, 1:56 pm

        Yes indeed, Mooser – colonising space is colonising time. And thanks for kind words, ritzl. – Martin

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      June 12, 2015, 12:55 pm

      It sounds a bit timid to me – how could politics and religion be outside the scope of the discussion? ‘Victimhood’ has perhaps come to mean ‘excessive moaning’ but victimisation is absolutely inherent in the story, as even Mr. Shavit agrees in some moods. This seems to be an enterprise struggling rather pathetically not to offend those who identify with the perpetrators of the events in question: rather different from its utterly confident, relentlessly accusing Holocaust counterpart.

    • diasp0ra
      diasp0ra
      June 14, 2015, 9:12 am

      Thank you, Walid. That was exactly what I was thinking. Watering down our position to score some points.

      Ever notice how “liberal” Zionists love to go on and on and on about dialogue and deep conversations?

      As if the Palestinian catastrophe is a problem of communication, and not a struggle for freedom from colonial ethnocrats.

  4. lysias
    lysias
    June 12, 2015, 11:24 am

    Festival Center is in Adams-Morgan in D.C., on Columbia Road west of 16th Street, a few blocks from the Columbia Heights Metro station.

  5. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    June 12, 2015, 12:39 pm

    Is there a Hoa Chinese Nakba Museum anywhere?
    Nearly a half million Hoa Chinese were ethnically cleansed from communist Vietnam in the 1970’s. Many still live in refugee camps.

    • Walid
      Walid
      June 12, 2015, 1:05 pm

      Maybe they should include a giant poster of D B-G in the same vein that the holocaust museum in Jerusalem has one of Haj Amin al- Husseini or steel sculptures made up of hundreds of old keys to the properties all welded together in one blobby art piece.. Would be great “deep conversation” starters.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        June 12, 2015, 1:18 pm

        Except that David Grun had everything to do with the Nakba, and Al Husseini had almost nothing to do with the Holocaust.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      June 12, 2015, 1:16 pm

      Oh get a grip and stop whining! There are Holocaust museums and memorials in cities all over the world, including a huge publically funded one in Washington. This, despite the fact that the Holocaust had nothing to do with the US, and that there is not a similar memorial to such things as slavery which had a LOT to do with the US.

      It’s quite chilling how Zionists are so angered by any acknowledgement of Palestinian suffering. Your heart felt concern for the Hoa Chinese, however, is touching. Did you just come up with them yourself, or can we expect to hear frequent mention of the Hoa Chinese as the latest hasbara whataboutery tactic?

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        June 12, 2015, 9:07 pm

        Charleston South Carolina has a Holocaust memorial monument right in the middle of town . There is no memorial to the men and woman in bondage and slavery who actually built that town.

        The first Synagogue in the US was in Charleston. There is a fascinating history there, but it is lost and overshadowed by the Holocaust memorial/museum industry, which is robbing a people of its history and identity.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        June 12, 2015, 10:05 pm

        Ellen- “which is robbing a people of its history and identity.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/untold-stories-washington#comment-774285

        which people is that? The Palestinians? The American Jews? The Americans? The blacks? Or all of the above?

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        June 12, 2015, 11:28 pm

        Yonah, which people? Those who are Jewish by faith and culture. Jewish history is surely not only about persecution and suffering . (The history of a Jews in settling the early colonial South, being just one example.)

        Most all groups can point to current or past suffering and persecution. That alone is not representative of any true culture. And if it promoted to be so, one must ask what or if there is, indeed, a true unifying culture.

        African Americans and Palestinians have been or are robbed of their history. We know that. With the dominance of the Holocaust industry, Jews in the US are also robbed of their history and culture in the US. This is quite sad.

        I don’t know what you mean by the Americans? What are Americans? Canadians, Hondurans, Mexicans, denizens of Detroit?

      • talknic
        talknic
        June 12, 2015, 11:32 pm

        @ yonah fredman //Ellen- “which is robbing a people of its history and identity.” //

        “which people is that? The Palestinians? The American Jews? The Americans? The blacks? Or all of the above?”

        The Holocaust museum, of which strangely there are more in the US than in any other country in the world, overshadows the history of the Synagogue (American Jews). There is no Nakba memorial, no memorial to the American Negroes

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 13, 2015, 11:21 am

        Jewish suffering is worse than other people’s, for some reason. Maybe we feel it more, or deserve the suffering less. Probably both! Je suis generis!

      • catalan
        catalan
        June 13, 2015, 3:12 pm

        “Jewish suffering is worse than other people’s, for some reason. Maybe we feel it more, or deserve the suffering less” Мооser
        Mooser, you have so much more empathy and compassion than other Jews.[ … ] but you seem to have reached a much more universalist point of view.
        How did you do that? Was it your upbringing? it’s just amazing how you care for other people.

      • michelle
        michelle
        June 13, 2015, 3:58 pm

        .
        seems like the Jewish suffering is the street corner begger
        peoples spare change and taxes used to help widows and orphans
        now it buys bullets and bombs and votes so Israel can takeover the Middle East
        through the governments and other charities just how much is the world paying
        Israel to wipe the Palestines off the map
        how can any of us get the blood of these people to wash off our hands
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

    • Abu Malia
      Abu Malia
      June 12, 2015, 4:59 pm

      I would bet a shekel you did a general search for “ethnically cleansed peoples” and picked the Hoa Chinese to get your “whataboutery” in. No way, a heartless colonialist of your ilk would care enough to read up on non-Jewish suffering that happened in Southeast Asia. Jackdaw, you do realize this website is generally focused on the topic at hand, right?

      What really are you trying to accomplish here with your comments Jackdaw? It is a sincere question – surely it isn’t to win hearts and minds for zionism? I don’t get it!

      Great news wrt the new Nakba museum – It will be an eye opener for a lot of Americans.

      • Qualtrough
        Qualtrough
        June 13, 2015, 12:15 am

        That’s the way Jackdaw rolls. He did a copy and paste without any attribution last week, was called out on it, and never even apologized.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        June 13, 2015, 1:47 am

        ” would bet a shekel you did a general search for “ethnically cleansed peoples” and picked the Hoa Chinese to get your “whataboutery”

        No. I actually got a food craving for a bowl of pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), than I started free associating and remembered that the maker of my favorite hot sauce, Sri Racha, was a Chinese/Vietnamese refugee.

        Still miss my pho.

      • just
        just
        June 13, 2015, 9:35 am

        +1, Abu Malia!

    • Qualtrough
      Qualtrough
      June 13, 2015, 12:23 am

      Jackdaw – I am trying to make sense of your comment. It’s as if you are unaware that there is a huge Holocaust museum in DC dedicated to what happened to the Jews in WWII. This despite the fact that the USA wasn’t responsible for the holocaust or even where it took place. Meanwhile, and remarkably, there are no dedicated Black Slavery or Native American Genocide museums in DC. But that’s somehow not enough for you and you have to bitch because someone had the temerity to hold a tiny, temporary exhibit focusing on what the Palestinians have experienced. You really are a piece of work. I don’t want to discourage you however, because you are doing great work in making Zionists look like the selfish, uncaring, self-absorbed scum that they are.

      • just
        just
        June 13, 2015, 9:34 am

        There’s no ‘sense’ to be made.

        It’s nice that “Cautionary Crow” is here to expose the invasive rot, though.

      • Bornajoo
        Bornajoo
        June 13, 2015, 10:00 am

        +1 Qualtrough. Superbly stated!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 14, 2015, 1:26 pm

        “It’s as if you are unaware that there is a huge Holocaust museum in DC dedicated to what happened to the Jews in WWII”

        Okay, it’s huge, but you gotta ask yourself, is it big enough?

    • bryan
      bryan
      June 13, 2015, 8:54 am

      That’s a very interesting point you make, Jackdaw. There are some similarities but many differences between the Palestinian Nakba and the departure of the Chinese Hoa from Vietnam, but strange that you should need to defend ethnic cleansing within a civilised, liberal, democratic, advanced western state by pointing out that human rights abuses are legion within authoritarian Communist states and colonial states undergoing the trauma of imperial conquest.

      Some obvious differences:

      (1) The Hoa, like the Zionists, were a minority of foreign immigrants (many of whom had only very recently entered entered the land) whereas the Palestinians were the indigenous population who were expelled by a minority of foreign immigrants). In 1970 it was estimated that the Hoa comprised only 5.3% of the population of Vietnam.

      (2) The Hoa, like the Zionists, allied themselves with the imperial powers who attempted to control the land. Wikipedia states that: “Chinese immigration into Vietnam visibly increased following the French colonisation of Vietnam from 1860 onwards following the signing of the Convention of Peking whereby the rights of Chinese to seek employment overseas were officially recognised by the Chinese, British and French authorities. Unlike their Vietnamese predecessors, the French were very receptive of these Chinese immigrants as it provided an opportunity to stimulate trade and industry, and they generally found employment as labourers or middlemen… Historians such as Khanh Tran viewed this as a divide-and-rule policy, and the intention of its implementation was to minimise the chances of any internal revolt against the French authorities. The Chinese population nevertheless witnessed an exponential increase in the late 19th century and more so in the 20th century; between the 1870s and 1890s, some 20,000 Chinese settled in Cochinchina. Another 600,000 arrived in the 1920s and 1930s, and peaks in the migration patterns was especially pronounced during the 1920s and late 1940s when the effects of fighting and economic instability arising from the Chinese Civil War became pronounced. (Interesting how this exactly mirrors the timing of Jewish immigration into Palestine, with exactly equivalent imperialist backing).

      (3) The Hoa, like the Zionists. were to some extent the authors of their own unpopularity within indigenous society. They viewed themselves as culturally superior to the indigenous population, and often resisted assimilation. Wikipedia points out that “At first [the authorities] sought to pressure ethnic Chinese to adopt Vietnamese citizenship, but only a handful of Hoa cadres complied, most of whom were heavily assimilated individuals anyway. Thereupon the authorities attempted to seize the Chinese passports of the ethnic Chinese under various pretexts, but most Hoa refused to give up their passports. The regime made repeated efforts to transform the Chinese minority schools into mixed Chinese-Vietnamese schools in which Hoa children were to study together with Vietnamese pupils and the curriculum was to be based on the standard North Vietnamese curriculum.”

      (4) The Hoa, unlike the Palestinians, were not specifically targeted for their ethnicity or religion (thus “ethnic cleansing” is an inappropriate term to use). The small Chinese minority controlled an estimated 90 percent of non-European private capital in the mid-1960s and dominated Vietnam’s retail trade, its financial, manufacturing, and transportation sectors, and all aspects of the country’s rice economy. This inevitably led to conflict with the Communist authorities as they attempted to control and regulate the economy. The government outlawed wholesale trade and large-scale businesses, forcing the former-owners to become farmers or soldiers and confiscated foreign currency. Wikipedia asserts that “While such measures were targeted at all bourgeois elements, such measures hurt ethnic Hoa the hardest and resulted in the takeover of Hoa properties in and around major cities.”

      (5) In contrast to the expulsion of Palestinians during the Nakba, the Communist authorities made some efforts to avert the exodus of Hoa by refusing to grant exit visas and accusing Beijing of attempting to coerce its citizens to emigrate.

      (6) In contrast to the Palestinian refugees who have been denied a right of return, the Chinese community in Vietnam has recovered; to quote Wikipedia: “The Vietnamese government’s post-1988 shift to market liberalization has led to an astounding resurgence of Chinese commercial dominance in the country’s urban areas. Much of the Hoa community in Ho Chi Minh City control 50 percent of the city’s market activity and have achieved economic prominence in the light industry, import-export, shopping malls, and private banking causing much resentment with the indigenous Vietnamese.”

      See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoa_people

      But please do continue to exploit any possible “whatabout”, irrespective of relevance and significance, in order to defend the indefensible, and expose your unprincipled partizanship.

      • bintbiba
        bintbiba
        June 13, 2015, 10:11 am

        @ Qualtrough , +1

        “sense” ? what, where , how “sense” ? !!!
        “Sense” sprouted wings long, long, long time ago and departed back to pre – pre- pre- pre -pre-biblical times where zionism was but a twinkle in homo sapiens eye and ‘sense’ reigned supreme !!!

    • SQ Debris
      SQ Debris
      June 13, 2015, 1:28 pm

      Yo Jack, There’s a small difference between Hoa Chinese and Palestinian refugees. The Hoa not only have the right of return, but are exercising it. Your 3D zionism muscles (Denial, Deceit, Distraction) need some toning.
      http://www.nytimes.com/1996/04/17/world/new-boat-people-exodus-back-to-vietnam.html

  6. michelle
    michelle
    June 12, 2015, 4:33 pm

    .
    seeds of truth planted in good soil
    .
    the only ‘enemy’ is within
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  7. michelle
    michelle
    June 12, 2015, 6:34 pm

    .
    will this be an online museum as well
    so many more would be able to visit
    from all over the world
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  8. Kay24
    Kay24
    June 12, 2015, 7:46 pm

    This is wonderful. Congratulations to Bshara Nassar and all those good people who made such a great effort to bring into focus the plight of the Palestinian people, mostly ignored by the world. I hope to visit this museum one day, and see their great work.
    Good luck to all.

  9. just
    just
    June 12, 2015, 9:02 pm

    I just stumbled across this! It might well be something that folks in England will be interested in:

    “Palestine Unlocked: A celebration of Palestinian Life and Culture

    From 4th-21st June 2015 the city of Oxford will be filled with creativity and life, celebrating Oxford’s first Palestinian festival!
    The festival will be showcasing Palestinian theatre, film, food, music, art, photography, kite flying, poetry, craft and dancing, as well as ‘unlocking’ the realities of life in Palestine. Events will happen across a range of city venues from Pegasus Theatre in East Oxford to Barefoot Books in Summertown including the Phoenix Picturehouse, the Glee Club, several Oxford churches and colleges, the Town Hall and Bonn Square.

    Distinguished speakers include leading Palestinian civil activist Mustafa Barghouti , the Norwegian emergency doctor and humanitarian Dr Mads Gilbert talking about resilience in Gaza, as well as Palestinian authors Ghada Karmi, Karl Sabbagh and Selma Dabbagh”

    http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/events/Oxford/1069586.Palestine_Unlocked__A_celebration_of_Palestinian_Life_and_Culture/

    Loads of info @ website “Palestine Unlocked”

    http://palestineunlocked.com/

  10. RoHa
    RoHa
    June 12, 2015, 11:40 pm

    I hope this museum has a lot of space for expansion. The Nakba isn’t over yet.

  11. pacifist.rabbi
    pacifist.rabbi
    June 13, 2015, 2:09 am

    an important project initiated by a member of a committed, impressive family. And a well-written article.

    • just
      just
      June 13, 2015, 9:15 am

      Welcome to MW, pacifist.rabbi.

      It is impressive isn’t it, Walid? I only wish I could have alerted friends before it began! I really admire these folks for having an extended program~ the 4th til the 21st in Oxford, no less! That’s unprecedented (iirc) and necessary (imho).

      @ RoHa~ ;-(

    • German Lefty
      German Lefty
      June 13, 2015, 4:39 pm

      @ pacifist rabbi: I am not a fan of religion, but I like pacifism. So, welcome on Mondoweiss.

  12. CigarGod
    CigarGod
    June 13, 2015, 9:11 am

    I hope before and after photos of his orchard, and the uprooted 1500 vines and trees…is displayed.

  13. just
    just
    June 13, 2015, 9:47 am

    There is this:

    “The Original Brick-and-Mortar Museum
    America’s Black Holocaust Museum was founded in 1984 in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin storefront by Dr. James Cameron, the only known survivor of a lynching. In 1988 Cameron acquired a spacious free-standing building, where the he expanded ABHM’s exhibits and employed staff.”

    http://abhmuseum.org/category/about-abhm/

    Many years later, there is this:

    “The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives and how it helped us shape this nation. A place that transcends the boundaries of race and culture that divide us, and becomes a lens into a story that unites us all.
    Scheduled to open in 2016, the museum is under construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on a five-acre tract adjacent to the Washington Monument. Until then, we invite you to visit our gallery located on the second floor of the National Museum of American History.”

    http://www.nmaahc.si.edu/About

    It took a long time to have a “National Museum of the American Indian”, too.

    The many Holocaust museums/memorials all over the world, not so much.

    • Walid
      Walid
      June 13, 2015, 11:48 am

      Just, you also have other museums pertaining to Afro-Americans. There’s the underground train museum and Freedom Center in Cincinnati and others for the underground railway in Ontario and Nova Scotia as Canada with its long border with the US was a popular destination of escaping slaves.

      A few words about the underground railway from Wiki:

      “… Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century enslaved people of African descent in the United States in efforts to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists, both black and white, free and enslaved, who aided the fugitives.[ Various other routes led to Mexico or overseas. An “Underground Railroad” running south toward Florida, then a Spanish possession, existed from the late 17th century until shortly after the American Revolution. However, the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad was formed in the early 19th century, and reached its height between 1850 and 1860. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the “Railroad”.

      British North America (present-day Canada), where slavery was prohibited, was a popular destination, as its long border gave many points of access. Most former slaves settled in Ontario. More than 30,000 people were said to have escaped there via the network during its 20-year peak period, although U.S. Census figures account for only 6,000. Numerous fugitives’ stories are documented in the 1872 book The Underground Railroad Records by William Still, an abolitionist who then headed the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee.”

      Full article
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_Railroad

      • just
        just
        June 13, 2015, 12:10 pm

        Thanks, Walid. True, irrc.

        My discomfiture comes from the fact that few governments have acknowledged the ongoing Nakba, and the other myriad crimes that they are responsible for and complicit in. The US government was not responsible for the Holocaust. As for the Nakba and Naksa, I cannot say the same.

        I am grateful that there is a ‘happening and awakening’ in DC, thanks to Bshara Nassar and family.

        Folks who were raised on the propaganda from Israel and their minions all over need to know the truth.

  14. Walid
    Walid
    June 13, 2015, 12:27 pm

    Lots of internet background chatter from various Jewish sites to this museum’s opening in DC. While none of them come out and actually attack it head on, they are critical of it because it doesn’t go anywhere near the BDS issue and most importantly, it’s giving rise to these sites to complain about the non-representation anywhere of the 850,000 Jewish refugees supposedly expelled from Arab states. I see the museum becoming a launching pad for press coverage on the Jewish Arab refugees. These sites are stressing that the problem of the refugees is caused only by the Arab states that are refusing to naturalize the Palestinian refugees.

  15. German Lefty
    German Lefty
    June 13, 2015, 4:35 pm

    German mayor cancels exhibit critical of Israeli army
    The mayor of Cologne canceled an exhibit in his German city by an Israeli group of soldiers that alleges the Israel Defense Forces mistreats Palestinians.
    The decision came this week following talks featuring the office of Mayor Jürgen Roters with the Jewish community and Israeli Embassy, according to the Frankfurt-based pro-Israel activist Sacha Stawski, founder of the media watchdog Honestly Concerned.
    The exhibit by Breaking the Silence, an NGO that includes testimonies by Israeli soldiers on the alleged abuse of Palestinians, reportedly had been billed as part of this year’s commemoration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel. However, it was not an officially approved part of the yearlong series of events and had not received permission to use the logo approved by the Israeli Embassy and German Foreign Ministry.
    http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/German-mayor-cancels-exhibit-critical-of-Israeli-army-405833

    • just
      just
      June 13, 2015, 5:14 pm

      I read that earlier.

      Shameful of Mayor Jürgen Roters of Cologne. Way to miss an opportunity for free speech and education for the people!

      Really shameful, imho. He’s a distance runner in his private life. In his professional life, it appears that he runs fast and far away from the truth.

      (nice to ‘see’ you again, German Lefty)

  16. eGuard
    eGuard
    June 13, 2015, 7:04 pm

    Memory and hope it says. We are in the mental interbellum of reality then. Worth crying.

    I applaud this creation.

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