(MENAFN- The Peninsula) QNA
Doha: Palestinians around the world are united through love for their homeland, the quest for justice, and the spirit of resistance, not only suffering, a discussion hosted by Qatar Foundation's Doha Debates has heard.
The event at Qatar National Library explored the future of a collective Palestinian identity following 75 years of statelessness and with the Palestinian diaspora spread far and wide across the globe, and posed the question of what it means to have a national identity without a nation.
Supporters of the Palestinian cause from the fields of activism, academia, and the arts aired their views at the Education City talk, alongside students from Qatar who gave their opinions on the role of technology and social media in amplifying Palestinian voices, how the world sees the Palestinian struggle – and whether the goal of freedom for Palestine will ultimately be realized.
“The Palestinian identity has instilled in us patience and resoluteness,” said Palestinian activist and author Ahed Tamimi, who was among the speakers.“It has made us strong and ready to pursue our resistance.
“The fragmentation of the Palestinian people means it is very important to reunify our objective, because this is how we will be able to reach our goal and reunify our identity. Whether we are in Palestine or within the diaspora, we are one people, and when we went to the world with one discourse [after the forced displacement of Palestinians from their homes in east Jerusalem earlier this year], the discourse of strugglers and fighters and resisters, rather than the discourse of the victim, the world stood with us.
“Suffering and hope push us to resist in a much stronger way. It is a feeling that makes us not feel fearful, it unifies us, and it gives us hope and conviction that we will put an end to occupation and colonialism.”
Palestinian-American comedian and activist Maysoon Zayid told the event:“It's justice and love that unites us – many people believe we relish the suffering and wouldn't know how to be united, but we have a resistance to suffering and an insistence that we survive.
“The right to return to our homes is justice. The right to equality is justice. Our love for Palestine is so much bigger than being united in suffering – it's about justice.”
Palestinians must preserve their identity when they are“literally a people who have other people challenging our existence”, Zayid said, adding:“No matter how much anyone tries to sever Palestinian identity, there is a unity, and wherever you go in the world, when you bump into a Palestinian there is instant friendship.
“Seeing the younger generation of Palestinians being so loud and proud has helped me solidify my own identity, so that no matter how much people try to erase it, the stronger, brighter, and bolder it gets.
“Going forward, we have to remember every single life lost, do everything in our power not to lose another one, and say 'we have the right to life, and like every other human being, we will do whatever it takes to have that life'.”
Moderated by Palestinian-American journalist Dena Takruri, of Al Jazeera Media Network's AJ+, the discussion also heard from Dr. Tariq Dana, Professor of Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, who said:“I would identify anyone who supports our struggle for justice as part of our identity – it is an identity that reflects the struggle for justice on a global scale.
“And what I have heard from this new generation makes me confident that I will see a liberated Palestine, from the river to the sea, during my lifetime.”