Starting Date: 05-25-2007
Ending Date: 05-27-2007
Embassy Suites Hotel Anaheim South
11767 Harbor Boulevard
Garden Grove, California 92840
United StatesVenue Change: Fifth Annual International Al-Awda Convention - Uniting for the Return
NEW VENUE: Embassy Suites Hotel - Anaheim South, 11767 Harbor Boulevard, Garden Grove, CA 92840
DATE: May 25-27, 2007
The host committee of the Fifth Annual International Al-Awda Convention announces a change in venue. The convention will now be held at Embassy Suites Hotel - Anaheim South, 11767 Harbor Boulevard, Garden Grove, CA 92840. The convention will take place on the May 25-27 memorial day week-end.
The date of the convention commemorates the Nakba, the 59th year since the "State of Israel" was declared on stolen Palestinian land, and which led to the Zionist occupation of all of Palestine.
The community-based local host committee currently includes the Southern California chapters of Al-Awda (Al-Awda Riverside, Los Angeles and San Diego), Students for Justice in Palestine at UCR, The Palestinian American Women's Association, The Free Palestine Alliance, The National Council of Arab Americans, The Middle East Cultural and Information Center, The Muslim Students Association at Palomar College, The Muslim Students Association at UCSD, Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA, The Muslim Students Union at UCR, The Arab Community Center of the Inland Empire, Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid - Southern California, Students for International Knowledge at CSUSB, and The Muslim Students Association at CSUSB.
The Fifth Annual International Al-Awda Convention promises to be an amazing three-day event from speakers and workshops, film showings, to a Palestine Cultural Dinner Event. The opening will be held on the evening of Friday 25 May and include a moving event at which survivors of the Nakba, the great catastrophe, share their recollections of their first-hand experience in 1948.
On Saturday May 26, the convention will devote itself to political assessments, and to developing the ongoing work of organizing right to return campaigns such as refugee support, media work, student, art/culture, etc., in addition to our recruitment and outreach projects.
On Sunday May 27, the convention will arrive at its resolutions based on the concrete recommendations of the various workshops.
The Saturday evening Palestinian Cultural Dinner Event will include keynote addresses as well as music by world-renowned maestro Dr. Nabil Azzam, poetry readings and more. A Naji el-Ali exhibition will also be on display in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of his assassination. The cartoons for this exhibit were kindly provided by Khalid el-Ali, his son.
Among the confirmed convention speakers are:
Dr. Jamal Zahalka, New Leader of Balad (National Democratic Assembly, al-Tajamu' al-Watani al-Dimuqrati) who will discuss the current situation of Palestinians living in the areas of their country occupied in 1948 in the context of the persecution of Dr. Azmi Bishara, former leader of Balad.
Dr. Naseer Aruri, former member of The Palestine National Council.
Leila Al-Arian, journalist, daughter of political prisoner Sami Al-Arian.
Elias Rashmawi, National Coordinator National Council of Arab Americans.
WHY VENUE CHANGE
The host committee decided to move the convention from the University of California at Riverside to the Embassy Suites Hotel - Anaheim South when new unacceptable conditions were demanded by certain UCR administrators well after they had approved the venue. For example, the administrators levied new administrative, security and other fees in the thousands of dollars which the hosts of the convention at UCR viz. the Students for Justice in Palestine would be expected to pay. Such prohibitive fees are highly unusual and have almost certainly never before been levied at UCR on any other student group. Additionally, the university administrators insisted that Zionists be allowed to attend the convention, and that they film the convention and its participants, a remarkable attempt at intimidation.
All these new conditions and unreasonable demands were considered by the host committee as an attempt to shut down the Fifth Annual International Al-Awda Convention. Hence, the committee decided to move the convention to the Embassy Suites Hotel - Anaheim South, 11767 Harbor Boulevard, Garden Grove, CA 92840 - The committee felt that this private venue would provide a safer and more secure environment for our community and convention attendees.
We urge all Al-Awda members, groups and individuals who support our goals join us in our landmark Fifth Annual International Convention. It is extremely important to show those trying to silence us that they will not succeed. The convention is a superlative forum for right to return activists to listen to expert presentations and to share their own thoughts on how they would like to see our collective efforts and campaigns develop for the implementation of Palestinian refugee rights. With your support, Al-Awda's Fifth International Convention, like its predecessors, will be one of the largest annual gatherings of Palestinian Arab activists and their supporters
Geographical Scope: International