On Tuesday 21 June, Sabeel held its weekly Kumi Now meeting about Palestinian refugees and the right of return. Sandra Khoury, President of the Sabeel Board, shared the story of her family and how they became refugees from Jerusalem in 1948. This Kumi Now was organized in commemoration of Refugee Week, which is held during the week of World Refugee Day, June 20.
Refugee Week is a festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Founded in 1998 and held every year around World Refugee Day on 20 June, Refugee Week is also a growing global movement.
According to the UN, there were about 750,000 Palestine refugees in 1950. Now, there are approximately 5 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees live in other parts of the world. The Palestinian people are still fighting for recognition, for citizenship and social services in the places where they currently live, and for the right of return to the homes and land their families were forced to leave in 1948 and 1967 by the Israeli military and, before the state of Israel was founded, by Zionist militias.