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1948 was the year when 700.000 Palestinians were expelled from their villages, and 413 villages were destroyed completely by the Zionist militias. In the following podcast you will hear interviews by two Palestinian refugees telling their personal story of how they were excluded from their village, became refugees and ended up in Aida Camp. The interviews are narrated by their grandchildren, who are refugees today because their grandparents were expelled.
This is their story.

Story by: Amaja El-Ozzo, Layan Al-Azza & Pernille Sørensen
Narration by: Saja Ajarmeh & Mohammad Abo Scrour
Voices by: Ragd Ajarmeh & Miras Al-Azza
Music by: Trio Joubran
Poems by: Ramzy Baroud & Remi Kanazi

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Today, 25th of May, Pope Francis came to Bethlehem for a religious visit. As anyone that visits Bethlehem knows, it is impossible to visit for religious purposes without also noticing the present political situation. He drove past the watchtower at the entrance to Bethlehem in his so-called ‘pope-mobile’ and was welcomed by the people of Aida refugee Camp. At the watchtower, the Pope surprised everyone by getting out of his vehicle, walking to the apartheid wall, and laying hands on the wall in prayer, just beneath numerous anti-occupation slogans that had been spray-painted on it.

The municipality of Bethlehem spent weeks preparing for the Pope’s visit by beautifying the streets and fixing up Nativity Square.  Some residents felt that this gave him a false image of the region, but they still had hope that he would see the reality and feel compelled to make a statement about it.

Story by : Kate Carlson, Mohammad Al-Azza  & Pernille Sørensen
Interview : Habshe Yossef, Mohammad Abu Srour & Mohammad Al-Azza
Voice by : Isra’ Abusrour

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Nihad Wadih Haddad, better known as Fayrouz, was born on November twenty-first, 1935 in Lebanon.

She is considered to be one of the most famous Arab artists of those who are still living today.

Her love for singing and flowers was rivaled only by her love for her grandmother. Fayruz used to spend most of the summer holidays at her grandmother’s house, assisting her in the housework during the day and listening to her stories at night.

Fayrouz’s father had saved some money of his meager income for his children’s education.  It was at school that her voice immediately attracted the staff’s attention for it has as a unique quality. She was a good and hard working student though she hated mathematics.

Her career began in 1952 when she first started singing for audiences. Her first large-scale concert was in 1957 and by 1960 she was known as the first lady of Lebanese singing.

Today, Fayrouz is known worldwide. The Arab world listens to her music especially in the morning.

She continues to be known as one of the most famous singers in the Arab world.

Story By : ِAreej Asad, Mohammad Alazza, .

Photo credit : Lajee center

Music byFayrouz

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A group of young Palestinians have been engaged in this project at Lajee Center: Radio Lajee recording the poem “Those Who Pass Between Fleeting Words” written by the famous Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Darwish wrote this poem in 1988 during the first intifada and the direct and uncompromising words caused a great stir in Israel. Israel’s then Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir, quoted the poem in the Israeli Knesset to “prove” that the PLO posed a threat to existence of the Zionist state. In response, Darwish said that he found it “difficult to believe that the most militarily powerful country in the Middle East is threatened by a poem”.

Story By : Saeed Dajneeh, Ala’a Dajneeh, Yasmin Alazraq, Miras Alazzeh, Isra’ Abusrour, Fatima Salah, Mariam Abu Aisha, Mahmoud Albarmil, Mohammad Alazza, Nanna Bak, Marie Lund Nielsen.

Photo credit : Lajee center

Music by : Le Trio Joubran

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My name is Lucy Shomali , and I’m half Czech, half Palestinian.I come to Beit
Sahour almost every summer to spend the holidays with my family. I am
proud to claim my origin, but it is not easy to be the strange one wherever I go.
I try to help Palestine by sharing my experience, so here is my

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Narrated by: Lucy Shomali

Photo credit: Mohammad Alazza

Music by : Le Trio Joubran

Mahmoud Darwish was a Palestinian poet who devoted his life fighting for human rights for Palestinians. He suffered much during his life for his commitment to this struggle, including exile and imprisonment. He is well known as the voice of the Palestinian people, but his poems are cherished by people from all over the world. Darwish passed away in August of 2008. This segment is written and narrated by seventeen year old Shatha Saleem who is originally from Beit Mahseer in Palestine, but now lives in Amman, Jordan.

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Photo credit:Mohammad Alazza

Narrated by: Shatha Saleem

Yasmine has been living in Aida Camp for a month, helping out at the Lajee Center and also playing football with the Women’s National Team. She is 18 years old and is on a gap year. She lives with her family in New York. In this piece she talks about her involvement with the national team and shares her thoughts on football in Palestine.

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photo credit: Lila Abu-Lughod

music: Waving Flag by K’Naan ft. Nancy Ajram

Embroidered dresses are an important part of Palestinian culture and history. Dating back to ancient history, women have been hand making beautiful dresses. Once an indicator of class and marital status, the dresses have now become a more symbolic costume to remember Palestinian culture and keep the tradition alive. In this piece, Sondos Nidal talks about this important handicraft and interviews her grandmother about the history of embroidered dresses.

Story by Sondos Nidal

Photo credit: Athal Al Azza

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Since the beginning of the Intifada, Palestinians with West Bank or Gaza Identity Cards have needed to obtain permits from the Israeli Intelligence in order to enter Jerusalem. Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine, has important prayer sites for Muslims, Christians, and Jews. In this clip, 15 year-old Rania Roomi, talks about dreams of one day being able to visit Jerusalem.

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Story by Rania Roomi

Photo credit: Mohammad Alazza

I have written this piece because I want everyone to know about Ghassan Kanfani. He put something in my heart and made me feel proud about being Palestinian.

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Story by Athal Al Azza

Music by Le Trio Joubran

photo accessed from   http://www.bintjbeil.com/articles/2003/ar/0709_bazzi.html

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