“Reviving Our Roots” – Conferences near you!

 

As the weather is cooling off here in the US, conference season is continuing full speed ahead.

Next month, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the organization, National Students for Justice in Palestine, is hosting their annual conference in the DC area. The hype is beginning for it and it looks incredible. Students from around the country are going to be joining together to learn, discuss and work on activism together.

On the NSJP Conference website, they have posted information on the basic topics to be covered during the conference itself. From mobilizing to sharing to building together – this is exactly what our movement needs. The last goal outlined online is called “Reviving Our Roots.” As a Palestinian, this is so meaningful, and so important. I have always championed connecting back to our history and culture, and truly believe this is one of the most crucial ways that we can unify, stand together and show the world who we are. The students coming to the conference are not only Palestinian, but instead a mix of individuals from all backgrounds coming together to educate and learn.

On the conference website, the goal of Reviving Our Roots describes how the conference will “take time to situate SJP within a history of struggle against oppressive power” and “continue to connect our work to non-student communities, the greater movement for justice and liberation both here in the U.S. and globally, and the Palestinian student movement history that has led us to this critical point.” These connections are so important not only to the overall movement against Israeli apartheid and occupation, but also giving us Palestinians further avenues to rediscover our roots.

Thinking about our roots, the word “homeland” always comes to mind. As a Palestinian, this word is constantly discussed, analyzed, anguished over. It is pulled apart on the news, fantasized about in pop culture, and written about by authors and poets around the world. Ibrahim Tuqan, a Palestinian poet from the early 1900’s, is famous around the world for his poem on our homeland – “Mawtini.” Best known now as the current Iraqi national anthem, the poem describes the desire and longing for a homeland that we experience every day. It has been adapted musically in a number of ways, and is a beautiful way to remember how important our history is to helping shape our future.

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Here’s to solidarity, connections and continuing to stand against oppression and occupation. The NSJP Conference will be the perfect way to reconnect and re-energize the past, present and future of our movement. I’m so excited to continue following it!

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