“Being Palestinian is about the spirit, not the origin, If you’re not a Palestinian by origin but have the spirit of Palestine, you are Palestinian”, a participant said
The Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development’s (ARDD) Question of Palestine (QoP) program offered an online course for Palestinian refugee youth in host countries and the broader diaspora. Held between the 14th-15th September 2021, the training covered ‘Palestinian legal identity and struggle for justice and respect for their rights by tracing down the origin of the question of Palestinian refugees and the evolution of their living situation within the political context of the Question of Palestine (QoP) and beyond.
The participants had the opportunity to reflect in small groups about their previous knowledge on Palestine, and share the narrative that had perhaps been shared with them by their parents or grandparents. Space was then given for reflection and feedback as well as the opportunity to consider other refugee contexts around the world that may bear a resemblance to the protracted displacement of the Palestinians as well as the uniqueness of their situation.
The course also included sessions on the regional and international community’s responses to the issue of Palestinian refugees, including but not limited to the formation of UNRWA, the right of return, and the Israeli regime’s denial of Palestinian refugees’ return to their homes. The living, legal and political situation of Palestinians in refugee camps inside host countries (Lebanon and Jordan in particular) was also discussed.
Through the participatory training, provided by ARDD and experts, participants gained further knowledge to support with their own work and advocacy and a solid understanding of who Palestinian refugees are, the various legal statuses they enjoy according to their country of residence, and how legally underpinned advocacy can sustain the cause for justice and accountability for Palestinian refugees wherever they are.
“We are distant perhaps, but we belong there (Palestine)”, a participant said