Start A Petition

Untold Stories: First-Ever US Nakba Museum Opens in Washington DC

Society & Culture  (tags: The Nakba Museum Project of Memory and H, Palestinian culture-society, mass expulsion, Palestinians human rights, West Bank-PALESTINE, Gaza, occupation, world, usa, Americans, news, movies, family, death, violence, media, law, internet, world )

- 1439 days ago -
After a successful fundraising campaign earlier this year, that project will formally launch on June 13, 2015


We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


fly bird (26)
Saturday June 13, 2015, 2:26 am
When Bshara Nassar arrived in Washington, DC, he strolled along the National Mall and passed myriad museums dedicated to exposing the painful history of oppressed peoples: the National Museum of the American Indian, the Holocaust Museum, Laogai Museum, the list goes on. He quickly recognized there was no “place for the Palestinian story to be told,” which inspired him to launch the first-ever Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope.

As Nassar worked on a master’s degree in conflict transformation, the thought of a space dedicated to Palestinian voices became a working reality. He was particularly interested in telling the little-known story of the “Nakba,” which means “catastrophe” in Arabic. The term is used to refer to the displacement of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948 when the State of Israel was created. Today, nearly 5 million people, nearly all of them descendants of the original group, are registered as Palestinian refugees with the United Nations.

A non-partisan team of Palestinian and Jewish-American artists formed to support Nassar’s dream. One of the artists whose work will be featured in the upcoming exhibit, painter Ahmed Hmedat, curated the show by recruiting other Palestinian artists and helping assemble their work for display. Another collaborator of Nassar’s was an American Jewish friend named Sam Feigenbaum, who did the exhibit’s website and graphic design.

“I just wanted to prove that somewhere in the world that a Jew and a Palestinian could get along,” said Feigenbaum, who had first met Nassar several years earlier and got back in touch with him after the outbreak of a war in Gaza last fall.

After a successful fundraising campaign earlier this year, that project will formally launch on June 13, 2015, with the opening of a two-week art exhibit at the Festival Center in Washington D.C.

The exhibit will feature the work of six Palestinian refugee artists. Nassar chose to use their painting and photography as the primary method of telling the refugees’ story because art “is a language that everyone can understand.” Palestinian refugee artwork (Image: Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope Facebook page)

“This is not about victimhood, politics or religion,” said Nassar, acknowledging the controversy and divisive rhetoric that often surrounds the issue of Palestinian refugees. “We want deep conversations that can lead to equality and justice in Israel and Palestine…. I’m trying to tell stories that people haven’t heard.”

The museum will not only be an outlet and platform for Palestinians to tell their story, but also an educational resource for others to recognize the human suffering currently endured by Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

“What’s nice about this exhibit is that it uses a means of communication that is not necessarily dependent on language or education. You don’t need to know about the Nakba in order to experience it through the art. My hope is that people will see something that hits them on an emotional level, and then start asking questions,” he said.

These human stories of loss and suffering, confinement and inequality, must be heard by a global audience to expose the historic and current injustices in Palestine.

Nassar emphasizes that the museum is as much focused on the present as the past, and describes the Nakba as an ongoing event for Palestinian refugees who still live in camps and for all Palestinian people who live under occupation. To address that reality in their own lives, Nassar’s family founded an organization called Tent of Nations. Based at their 100-acre farm in the West Bank, near Bethlehem, it is dedicated to building respect and understanding between different people and cultures.

That hasn’t prevented them from living under constant fear of displacement, however. For years, the family has fought a legal battle in Israeli courts to block plans to seize parts of their land for development, and in 2014, military bulldozers uprooted 1,500 fruit trees and grape vines on their farm.

In life generally, and in his efforts to found a museum to tell the Palestinian story, Nassar continues to draw inspiration from a stone at the entrance to the family farm, inscribed with the words, “We refuse to be enemies” in three languages.

The Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope debuts at the Festival Center on June 13, 2015, and we invite you to join us at this profound exhibit of truth-telling, hope, and resistance.

Check out for more information and future exhibits.

Justin Vale (13)
Saturday June 13, 2015, 2:39 am
if reincarnation is true i'll bet my life i can guess two time periods you were also around and i'll hit the localities you called home too. in the latter part of the 11th century, around 1096 on the rhine close to mainz. easy you were around then. bearing the cross. and of course you were the little red devil sitting on the left shoulder of eichmann.

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Saturday June 13, 2015, 5:37 am

Thanks Jess for this info - great news. I'm not clear though - is this now an exhibition or is it a permanent museum like the many Holocaust Museums dotting the US? I believe it's time that the US public gets at least a bit of a taste of truth! Wish I could be there!

Those who are interested in reading more about Tent Of Nation may check out"

a href="">Tent Of Nations – People Building Bridges

The Christian Family Refusing to Give Up Its Bethlehem Hill Farm of June 2014, posted by Evelyn


Eleonora Oldani (37)
Saturday June 13, 2015, 5:39 am

Sorry - the first link got a bit messed-up:

Tent Of Nations – People Building Bridges


Eleonora Oldani (37)
Saturday June 13, 2015, 5:51 am

I hope that we will not see a repeat performance of this:

Interview: Dror Feiler Talks About His Artwork Being Attacked by an Isreali Ambassador

Israeli Ambassador attacks Swedish artwork

fly bird (26)
Saturday June 13, 2015, 10:47 am
Thanks for posting the links, Eleonora - they all work!

I do hope it is permanent, sounds like it is. Be sure to check the link at the bottom of the post for updates.

Parsifal S (96)
Sunday June 14, 2015, 5:15 am

Can a fascist-racist government of the Zionist apartheid regime Israel / Jewish state at all be taken seriously a member in the international community ?
There let the Prime Minister of this right-wing government, Netanyahu, a so-called expert opinion - an examination of the legality under international law of the illegal settlements and outposts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - create by a three-member commission.

This so-called 'independent' commission consisted of lawyers who are tied close to the settler movement and the Likud.
It was chaired by former Judge Edmund Levy in the Supreme Court in Israel, a hardliner and 'law-construe' of a special kind, who had voted against the withdrawal of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip during his former judges as the only one of eleven judges.
This eighty-nine-page report looks really like a satire, but it is in reality the vision of Jewish 'lawyers' and politicians of the ruling majority in the Jewish state.
Here is an injustice legalized retrospectively on the basis of long-standing support of the settlements, all just in the sense of Zionism of the Jewish state.

Here we see the recurring formula that was already in the founding of the illegal state was influential and was also openly by politicians such as Ben Gurion, Golda Meir and many other discussed and was also traded:
'A land without a people for a people without a land',
as Theodor Herzl, the Zionist forefather noted heartless.
Thus began the land grab, dispossession and the catastrophe, the Nakba for the Palestinian people.

The Jewish people, there is such a thing ? ('The Invention of the Jewish people', book by Shlomo Sand)

It was created the 'chosen ones' special rights in the world, and so was by the Holocaust a Zionist expansionism of unique extent tolerated at the expense of the Palestinians by the international community.

Past Member (0)
Sunday June 14, 2015, 10:28 am
Mondo Weiss is a known anti-Israel hate site, spreading lies and hate about Israel.

This site is frequently used by Islamist and Arab Nationalist propagandists to spread their dawah on the Internet.

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Sunday June 14, 2015, 1:12 pm

Who is behind Mondoweiss? One could check out their website (click on "about") as well as do a quick background check on their staff ... if one would be serious and not just spreading hasbara.

From their website:

"Founded in 2006 as a personal blog of journalist Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss grew inside the progressive Jewish community and has become a critical resource for the movement for justice for Palestinians. We continue to follow debates over the role of Israel and nationalism in Jewish American life while seeking to reflect a diverse community of views on issues of international importance. We recognize that Jewish voices are often prioritized in discussions of Israel and seek to challenge that dynamic by bringing a universalist focus to an issue that is commonly dominated by narrow points of view."

It's rather surprising to find on an "anti-Israel hate site", which is "spreading lies and hate about Israel" nothing but Jewish people in charge ... I must assume that the "little white Dawah Ghost" has put them there (?).

Equally surprising and strange is the fact that this Mondoweiss website is not listed by the ADL. Weird stuff going on these days ...

Parsifal S (96)
Sunday June 14, 2015, 8:23 pm

Zionist Bob Algeron does what he always does:

speading Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and promote the FASCIST New Zionist World-Order

. (0)
Sunday June 14, 2015, 11:12 pm
And you do what you always do Parsifal, spread your anti-Semitic hatred wherever possible.

Evelyn B (63)
Monday June 15, 2015, 4:16 am
From what I heard when this Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope.was first getting off the ground - the dream is to have a space permanently, with rolling exhibitions & a good archive of documents. Whether they've managed to raise enough funds yet or not? It sounds as though they're starting with exhibitions in others' locations.

And the Nassar family have committed a great deal to creating spaces where Israelis and Palestinians (of all religions) can get together to know and understand each other. They definitely are not popular with the Israeli administration ... who have a way of losing official papers related to land ownership, then send in bull dozers to destroy orchards & farmland .

I hope they are able to achieve the dream of a stable centre, not vulnerable to efforts by pro-Zionists who do not want such exhibitions & such proof of how peace could be built, with a little tolerance and recognistion of wrongs done on both sides ...

Thanks, Jess

Parsifal S (96)
Monday June 15, 2015, 10:28 am

Zionist Donn M.

It takes one to know one.....

Parsifal S (96)
Monday June 15, 2015, 10:28 am

Nakba - the great catastrophe
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in Society & Culture

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.