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May 13, 2011

American Activist, Aishah Schwartz Joins Pre-Nakba Celebrations in Cairo and Rafah

Before heading to the Rafah border, American Activist, Aishah Schwartz attended Friday morning prayers at Cairo's Masjid Al-Noor, where worshipers waved Palestinian flags in setting the tone for May 15 Nakba Day celebrations.
Photo Album of Friday Prayers at Masjid Al-Noor, Cairo

CAIRO, EGYPT (May 13, 2011) - Gearing up for Palestinian Nakba Day celebrations set to begin Sunday, this Friday morning's fajr prayer attendance at Cairo's Masjid Al-Noor soared to thousands. The overflowing crowd spilled down the steps of the masjid's entrance and filled the Egyptian military secured street-front.

At the conclusion of their prayers worshipers massed outside Masjid Al-Noor waving Palestinian flags and chanting boisterously in support of their Palestinian counterparts.

The May 15 commemoration events for the Nakba (translated as 'Catastrophe') Memorial Day mark the occasion during which more than 700,000 Palestinians - estimated today to number 4.7 million with their descendants - were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in 1948. Additionally, Israeli forces destroyed more than 400 villages in their wake.

Refugees in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria were also to mark the anniversary from Friday onwards.

Also in advance of May 15 Nakba celebrations, American Activist, Aishah Schwartz joined team members of the Egyptian-International Coalition for Ending the Blockade and Rebuilding Gaza, led by Organizer and Public Affairs Director Ahmed Elassy, of Cairo.

The group, in follow-up of a commitment announced on April 17 by Egyptian Foreign Ministry officials to facilitate delivery of goods and supplies Elassy requested be delivered to the Palestinians in Gaza, has arrived to the Rafah border in anticipation of fulfilling its mission.

On April 29 Foreign Minister Al-Araby announcement Egypt's intention to permanently open the Rafah border, stating that Egypt would take, "important steps to help ease the blockade on Gaza in the few days to come."

"It is my earnest hope and prayer that on Sunday, May 15, Mr. Elassy, his organization and team members, lead their siege breaking cargo of building supplies and goods through the border at Rafah and onward into Gaza," stated Schwartz.

She added, "On a personal level, I am grateful for the opportunity to be a witness to history, God willing, and among the few allowed to pass into Rafah during a time when the Egyptian military has turned away thousands attempting to reach the border."

Further signaling Egypt's intention to move forward with pro-Palestinian changes in foreign policy, The Unity Agreement, signaling the conclusion of intra-Palestinian political hostilities between Fatah and Hamas, was signed in Cairo on May 4.

Serving as a catalyst for The Unity Agreement was the Gaza Youth Breaks Out (GYBO) March 15 revolution. Palestinian youth, reportedly more than 65% of the territory's population, called for unity demonstrations that were widely publicized and supported by global solidarity movements. Among GYBO's demands was a call for immediate unity and reconciliation among Palestinian political factions, as well as free and fair elections.

According to The Unity Agreement signed in Cairo on May 4, the Legislative, Presidential, and Palestinian National Council elections will be conducted within one year from the date of signing.

Photo Album of Friday Prayers at Masjid Al-Noor, Cairo
Egypt gets ready for Palestinian Nakba Day - Army steps up security around Sinai peninsula as Egyptian activists plan march towards Gaza border on Nakba Day
Pre-Nakba Day protests in Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel - These protests have the potential to reveal an unexpected Palestinian strength, and could help build linkages between Palestinians and the citizens in neighboring countries. 
Marking The Nakba Day On May 15, Egyptians Plan To March To Gaza 

French lawyer reveals himself as 'Palestine papers' source - Ziyad Clot, a lawyer of Palestinian descent involved in 2008 Annapolis negotiations between Israel and PA, says in Guardian op-ed that 'Israel's attack on Gaza and the disastrous 'peace talks' compelled me to leak what I knew.'

1 comment:

  1. Is (Muslimah Writers Alliance) for Muslim female writers who live in USA only?