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'Palestinian Fest' in Bridgeview celebrates Palestinian culture and preserves history and traditions – Columbia Chronicle

Palestinian flags flutter above shopkeepers, who sell a variety of goods, from jewelry and dresses to children’s figurines.Sam Tucker

“The old will die and the young will forget,” David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, said of the Palestinian people in 1949. Generations of Palestinians around the world.

Bridgeview’s second annual Palestine Fest was held on October 1 at Seatgeek Stadium. A speech by Palestinian-American comedian and political activist Amer Zar, Poetry readings by Palestinian traditional dance troupe Arsalam Dabke, Palestinian singer Fadi Hanani, and Aisha Afane.

Participants tell us that immersing and interacting with history, culture and people keeps Palestinian resistance alive. Young Palestinians who attended the event spoke with The Chronicle about the resistance and how they keep their culture alive within the Palestinian community living in the Chicagoland area.

President Salaam Hater The University of Illinois at Chicago, Students for Justice in Palestine Chapter stood in front of the SJP stand at Palestine Fest to speak with many attendees of the event about the group and its mission.

According to Kata, Students for Palestinian Justice is a secular solidarity organization that aims to organize for Palestinian human rights violated by Israeli settlers and the apartheid state.

“We also advocate for Palestinian self-determination and have a number of activities on campus to boycott and divest Israeli institutions to ensure school funds go where they belong. said Khater.

The SJP has hosted multiple events over the past year, including a discussion panel, a ‘101’ course on activism and SJP, and an event focused on symbols of Palestinian culture and resistance.

During the festival, bagpipe players lead a procession of musicians as they march through the crowded shops and stalls as smoke from barbecues and music fills the air.Sam Tucker

Beyond the event that took place at the UIC, Cater spoke On the importance of individual Palestinians passing on their culture, language and customs to younger generations.

The practice Khater said is the key to Young Palestinians to Remember “Tatrez” is an embroidery technique used by older Palestinian women as part of their self-identity.Kater said Tatreez are one of the biggest signs of resistance and solidarity, especially from women.

one of the most important subjects What we believe needs to be shared among Palestinians living abroad is language. Khater said that being born and raised in the United States caused his family to stop using their mother tongue.

“I speak an old language called ‘Farahi,'” Khater said. “There are not many people who speak the language anymore, but I continue to speak it because it is my ancestor. …When you lose the language, you lose your identity.”

Hashem Saeed, President of the Chicago Palestine Film Festival A nonprofit that showcases stories made by Palestinians, for Palestinians, he spoke about the organization and his own Palestinian background at Palestine Fest.

The Palestine Film Festival was founded in 2001 and is run by volunteers from various professions. All members of the committee are Palestinian, but the festival welcomes volunteers from all backgrounds.

For Said, events and film festivals like Palestine Fest allow Palestinians to create and showcase their own voices that challenge the image of Palestinians established by others.

“I think it’s important to speak up. Usually, it’s other people who control the story.” Said. “Film festivals give us the opportunity to tell our own stories and control our own stories. It is a very powerful tool. because it no longer allows we are painting ourselves.

Traditional Palestinian goods and goods are sold throughout the festival. Here, the owner sells cups and teapots with traditional Palestinian designs.Sam Tucker

A first-year student at Universal School in Bridgeview, Sadeen Mjeed attended Palestine Fest on behalf of Yara Shabaab, a high school-run organization for high school students in the Chicago area. The American Muslim-Funded Activist Group for Palestine is planning events for high school students to participate in Palestinian culture and history.

When asked why Mizyed attended the festival, she said she struggled. I have seen her family live as Palestinians.she said I hope her family never goes through these struggles again.

“People don’t understand that this is an occupation, not a war,” Mizyed said. “Zionism is run and funded by other countries…but all the Palestinians have is their voice.”

Mizyed said an important action people can take to sustain the Palestinian resistance movement is to spread awareness and talk about Palestinian history.

American Muslims for Palestine Created Palestinian Festival to Allow Experience Palestinian customs, share culture, and teach history to the younger generation of Palestinians in the region.

“If we young people forget… Palestine will never be free,” Mijid said.