As part of its annual campaign to commemorate the Nakba, the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) put on a day-long culture festival in the Bridgeview suburb of Chicago. On the dusty, gravel-covered lot the commemoration was hosted in, AMP successfully managed to bring thousands of us back home to Palestine.
The event included a parade, live dabke performances, intricate models of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, and ethnic Palestinian foods prepared on-site. Poets performed pieces from the heart and community leaders reminded the crowd—which was dense with guests from Chicago, Milwaukee, and even Kansas—about the history of the Nakba and how today, six and a half decades later, the displacement of an entire people continues unchecked.
Here is a collection of photographs I took during the event. Every corner I turned, I was reminded of the Palestine I’ve already seen and the Palestine I’ve yet to see.
A Palestinian girl, dressed in a traditional Palestinian thawb, smiles at the camera moments after performing dabke before a large audience. She is part of a team of girls her age who regularly perform at cultural functions and events.
New to the United States from the Palestinian village of Ein Yabrud, a man serves fresh tamr hindi or tamarind juice, a blessing for event-goers during the 90 degree heat. All of his ingredients are grown in Palestinian soil. [Read more...]