Al Jazeera: Palestinians debate impact of Diaspora efforts

Al Jazeera: Palestinians debate impact of Diaspora efforts
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Al Jazeera: Palestinians debate impact of Diaspora efforts

Veteran Arab American journalist Ali Younes explores the challenges facing the Palestinian Diaspora in his most recent feature on the recent gathering of Palestinian activists in Istanbul. Click here to read the Al Jazeera Feature.

Ali Younes, an award winning professional journalist who has traveled throughout the Middle East, interviews three key activists and writers to explore their views of why the Palestinians are unable to come to a consensus on what needs to be done.

Younes covered a major international gathering of the Palestinian Diaspora held in Istanbul, Turkey recently. The Istanbul conference on the challenges facing the Diaspora included a large segment of activists and thought leaders from two major regions, the Arab and Muslim Worlds, and from the West with the largest contingent coming from South American countries like Chili, Honduras, Venezuela and Colombia.

Palestinians and activists attended from more than 50 countries at the conference which took place at the end of February 2017.

The activists interviewed by Younes include Mohamad Dalbah, a Palestinian journalist based in Washington D.C. who writes for many Arab World publications. Dalbah argues that Palestinians need to stick to their demands for justice which are based on the international rule of law.

Dalbah argues that although Israel has colonized and occupied Palestine, imprisoning the Palestinians in a brutal military occupation, Palestinians should not compromise because the land will be there no matter how long it takes.

Palestinian journalist Ray Hanania, editor of TheArabDailyNews and a weekly columnist with the Arab News based in Saudi Arabia, argues that Palestinians in the Diaspora are divided between two core groups, those who have been raised and whose experiences have been nurtured in the oppression of the Arab and muslim Worlds, and those Palestinians who have raised and nurtured under the oppression of the West. But Hanania argues that while Palestinians are oppressed in the West, they have been able to think more openly and more creatively about the challenges facing Palestinians.

“Palestinians who live in the Arab and Muslim World believe that they should get all or nothing. So far, they have gotten what they wanted. Nothing,” Hanania said.

Hanania said that Palestinians who live in Western countries such as in South America, have been even more free to express themselves and become engaged and experienced in politics.

Younes also interviewed Dr Miguel Lama, a third-generation Palestinian Chilean professor of heart surgery who attended the Istanbul conference.

Lama reflected the thinking of the Palestinian Diaspora in the West, arguing that Palestinians need to rebuild their state of Palestine on any land they can get back from the Israelis. Lama said that Palestinians attending the conference from South American countries are more engaged in their societies and have built coalitions with non-Arab activists and political and government officials in those South American countries, something that many Palestinians raised in the Arab and Muslims World have failed to do.

Lama notes that Palestinians who insist on all or nothing are thinking with their hearts, not minds that are experienced in free-thinking and creative strategies.

This year, the world will mark the 50th Anniversary of Israel’s military invasion of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, and nearly 70 years since it colonized Palestine and established the state of Israel which thrives on racism, military oppression and Apartheid to exist.

Third Melbourne protest for the Palestinians o...

Third Melbourne protest for the Palestinians of Gaza against the brutal attack by Israel – 18 Jan 2009 Organisers estimated 12,000 people marched in the Melbourne Protest against Israel’s attack on the Palestinian Gaza territory. View the slideshow or see the photo set. View 2 videos: We are all Palestinians and Micheal Leunig on Gaza and the morality of the heart on Takver’s Youtube channel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

Click here to send Ray Hanania and email.

His Facebook Page is

Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com
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