Recognizing Nakba, reaching peace / Hanan Ashrawi
Haaretz 15 May — …For many Israelis, recognizing what happened back in 1948 is a painful process. The slogan “Your independence is our Nakba”, which is on display in many Palestinian cities is indeed correct … By 1948, Palestine was one of the most developed Arab societies, boasting one of the healthiest economies under the British mandate and a high school enrolment rate, second only to Lebanon. Commerce, the arts, literature, music, and other cultural aspects of life were thriving in Palestine. We remember that between 1911 and 1948, Palestine had no less than 161 newspapers, magazines and other regular publications, including the pioneer “Falastin” newspaper, published in Jaffa by Issa al-Issa … Palestine had a strong women’s movement as early as the 1920’s. Women excelled in many fields, including education, journalism, and political activism. Women activists were among the first to lobby for Palestinian self-determination at the beginning of the British Mandate. Palestinian dedication to education is deeply rooted in our culture.