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The Mechanics
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Chicago Suburbs Thu May 15 2014

Palestinian Group Aims to Educate Public About Past

To educate the public about Nakba, the 1948 Palestinian exodus when over 700,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes, the Chicago chapter of the American Muslims for Palestine are hosting two events in Chicago this May.

The first event was Thursday at Daley Plaza, where a group of volunteers, 31 in total, handed out informational materials at Daley Plaza. The materials aimed to educate passers-by about the 1948 events and what Nakba means today. Most of these volunteers came from Universal School in Bridgeview. 3,000 total copies were distributed, according to Kristin Szremski, director of media and communications at the organization.

Szremski said that reaction Downtown was mixed. While some people read the educational brochure and were intrigued by it, others were rude and definitely anti-Palestinian, she said. She said this was difficult for the students who encountered this since they are Americans of Palestinian heritage.

On Saturday, the chapter will host an event that includes a Palestine Parade, authentic Palestinian cuisine, a bazaar, folk dancing and songs and bread, freshly baked on traditional 'taboon,' or ovens outside of the Universal School in Bridgeview.

"We want people to know that the Nakba still continues today in the Israeli apartheid policies that result in the military occupation of Palestine, the restriction on freedom of movement, the demolition in thousands of Palestinian homes and the random arrest and detentions of thousands of political prisoners, including 700 children, every year," said Nida Sahouri, AMP-Chicago chapter chairwoman. "We Americans fund this with our tax dollars. We just want people to know the truth so one day they will pressure Congress to approve a more fair and balanced foreign policy in the Middle East."

 
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