By Revda Selver
GOMBAK, 29 May 2023: In an event held at the University of Malaya (UM) on 15 May 2023, an exhibition was held that shed light on the ongoing Palestinian struggle and the historical significance of Al-Nakba commemorating its 75th anniversary, that captivated a diverse audience.
The exhibition aimed to foster understanding and empathy for the Palestinian cause among Malaysians and international students alike.
It showcased Al-Nakba (meaning the exodus of Palestinians from their home country) through compelling visuals, an inclusive approach, and engaging a diverse audience who left messages on an interactive wall. Another corner was dedicated to present Palestinian handmade items.
Fourth year Economics student, Fatma Tabassum, expressed her admiration to IIUMToday, stating that the impactful images showcased had captivated her attention and she found it enlightening. “The photographs spoke for themselves,” she said. It also deepened her understanding of the Palestinian people, dispelling any skepticism she may have had of their struggles.
A Palestinian UM student, Sundus Wael, shared her admiration for the exhibition’s inventive portrayal of Palestinian culture. She specifically emphasized the strategic decision to host the exhibition at UM, attracting a diverse audience who could engage with the Palestinian narrative.
Sundus further conveyed her hope for increased support from influential figures in Malaysia, recognizing their potential to amplify and bring attention to the authentic Palestinian story. “Malaysians have been always supporters to our cause, but I rarely notice on my social media accounts Malaysian influencers sharing content about Palestine,” she explained.
Eager to delve into Palestinian history and understanding its origins, an Indian master’s student, Naila Arif, shared her empathy with the sufferings endured by the Palestinian people, she lauded their resilience and unwavering faith, and described their tawakul (trust in Allah) as supreme.
Biochemical student, Aisha Sohail, praised the exhibition for its educational value, allowing visitors to explore both Al-Nakba and Palestinian culture and suggested that a deeper exploration of Palestinian history be incorporated. She conveyed her admiration for the Palestinian perseverance, hoping that their struggles will ultimately triumph.
Fourth-year Egyptian student, Salma Alfaramawry, emphasized the significance of the exhibition for UM students, highlighting the lack of other events discussing the Palestinian cause. She believed that attendees had gained valuable insights from the exhibition and expressed a desire to learn more about how Palestinians have preserved their culture, particularly those who migrated from Palestine.
“I had no clue about the Palestinian cause before this exhibition,” said an Economics student from China, who wanted to be identified as Brinton. For him, the exhibition served as an introduction to the Palestinian issue, prompting him to advocate for increased awareness and support for the Palestinians.
The event included a walk of support that commenced with a powerful speech in both English and Malay, explaining the meaning of Al-Nakba as an ongoing catastrophe for the Palestinian people.
The President of Hashim Sani Center for Palestinian studies, Prof. Dr. Nazari Ismail reminded the participants during his speech that the Palestinian cause transcends religious and national boundaries, emphasizing its significance as a humanitarian issue that is still on going.
The exhibition was organized by Friends of Palestine (FoP) in association with Hashim Sani Center for Palestinian Studies and Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) Malaysia, sponsored by Palm Strategic Initiatives Centre, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Al-Nakba. ***