On Friday October 16th, 2020 at 10 am EDT, 15:00 UTC+2 (17:00 P/I)
Psychologists for Social Responsibility will honor Umar al-Ghubari for his years of dedicated work re-centering Palestinian narratives and Nakba legacies and the rights of Palestinian refugees and their descendants.
Please join Psychologists for Social Responsibility for a virtual ceremony followed by a lecture by Umar (See below)
When Palestinian refugees meet their own destroyed place, after years or decades of forcible displacement, they meet the sensitive roots of their trauma. When they touch the ruins of their houses, they touch the painful point of their own expulsion. To make this a positive and constructive experience, on both political and personal levels, we respectfully embrace their personal testimony and family story, frame these in a special booklet, hold a public tour with an “audience,” follow the refugees’ steps while he/she teaches the public their own history and story, and explore the invisible. While this takes place, we document this whole process, as a clear recognition that this place is their place, validating their right to come back/return. In the lecture I will describe this process of recognition and the healing moments it holds.
Umar al-Ghubari (Musheirfeh and Wahat el-Salaam) has worked for decades in the field of political education, shifting the discourse in Israel/Palestine to address the denial of the 1948 Nakba, to mark the Nakba in Palestinian communities, organizing visits and tours in the destroyed and expelled Palestinian towns, and to work on the right of Palestinian refugees for return. He works to inspire not just a humanitarian response but political responsibility that might effect change.
Umar’s work emerged before consciousness of the plight of Palestinian refugees living inside Israel/Palestine gained momentum. In his efforts he has created pathways for Palestinian refugees to tell their stories and, when possible, to bring them back to their destroyed villages. He has brought busloads of Palestinians refugees to their villages to tell their stories to Jewish Israelis, whom are willing to face the Nakba facts and to deal with Recognition, Responsibility and Redress. For some (Palestinians), these reckonings and pilgrimages of sorts, are the first time refugees have returned and the first time they have told their story. His work involves accompanying older Palestinians to their lands, encouraging them to tell their story and thus to know their testimony is needed for history and must be told to those who are responsible.