U.S. Activist Aishah Schwartz Joins Egyptians for Nakba Commemoration at Rafah

The Nakba (translated 'Catastrophe') Memorial Day commemoration marks the occasion during which more than 700,000 Palestinians - estimated today to be 4.7 million with their descendants - were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in 1948.
 
 
Aishah Schwartz at Rafah border, Egypt - May 15, 2011.
Aishah Schwartz at Rafah border, Egypt - May 15, 2011.
 
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May 19, 2011 - PRLog -- RAFAH, EGYPT (MWA-Net) - Joining a group of fellow activists traveling from Cairo to the Rafah border crossing, American activist, Aishah Schwartz, marked Sunday's 63rd Nakba commemoration among demonstrators waving Palestinian and Egyptian flags calling for the right of Palestinians to return to their homelands.

The Egyptian-International Coalition for Ending the Blockade and Rebuilding Gaza, led by organizer and public affairs director, Ahmed Elassy, originally set out for the Rafah border in anticipation of fulfillment of the April 17 commitment made by Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil El-Araby to facilitate delivery of goods and building supplies officially requested by Elassy for delivery to Gaza.

In an unforeseen twist of fate it was announced on Sunday that Al-Araby had been named as the new Secretary General of the Arab League, effectively side-lining what would have been a siege breaking event.

The main objective of the Egyptian-International Coalition for Ending the Blockade and Rebuilding Gaza is to peacefully demand the permanent end of the Egyptian blockade of goods, services and building materials to the Gaza Strip.

Elassy's group was determined to remain hopeful of completing its mission but returned to Cairo on Tuesday, after an all-night sit-down demonstration staged Monday by a separate group of activists arriving through the desert, resulted in officials placing a ban on all non-traveling visitors attempting to reach the border.

Thousands from across Egypt had attempted to reach the Rafah crossing to commemorate the 63rd Nakba, but an alert issued in the Sinai Peninsula and along the borders, resulted in an intensified military presence marked by travelers not identifiable as Sinai residents being turned back.

The May 15 Nakba (translated as 'Catastrophe') Memorial Day commemoration marks the occasion during which more than 700,000 Palestinians - estimated today to number 4.7 million with their descendants - were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in 1948. Additionally, Israeli forces destroyed more than 400 villages in their wake.

RELATED:
Photo Album - 63rd Nakba Commemoration, Rafah - http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.186171244766983....

Photos at DEMOTIX - http://www.demotix.com/news/695467/us-activist-joins-egyp...

US, Egypt activists sit-in at Rafah Crossing - http://english.youm7.com/News.asp?NewsID=339982

اعتصام 50 ناشطا مصريا وأمريكيا أمام معبر رفح - http://www.youm7.com/News.asp?NewsID=412977

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Aishah Schwartz, a Muslim American, is an internationally renowned human rights activist and writer focusing on the rights of Muslim women and the plight of the Palestinian people affected by the Israeli imposed illegal embargo on Gaza. Full biography here: http://aishahsjourney.blogspot.com/2010/06/aishah-schwartz-american-muslim-revert.html
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