- Palestine Tent
By Megan Cécile Radford
At the World Social Forum in Tunis this week, flags from across the world flew proudly around the university campus. But one flag was seen more than any other- the green, red, black and white of Palestine.
Throughout the week of the forum, there were impromptu marches, chanting and songs dedicated to Palestine. People from many countries sported t-shirts, scarves and stickers saying, “Free Palestine”. And from the top of one of the university buildings, a huge Palestinian flag hung above the proceedings.
Nader Zeyara, a secretary at the Palestinian embassy of Tunis related the support of the participants in the World Social Forum to Palestine’s recent victory in the United Nations to become a non-member observer state. “It didn’t come only because of the Palestinian fight and struggle inside Palestine or in the diaspora. It comes by international support. It comes by the international social forums who supported Palestinians to have an independent state. And by this support we feel that our struggle has become stronger.”
Zeyara said that around 500 Palestinians participated in the forum, animating workshops, giving talks, and raising awareness about their culture. In the Palestinian tent, photos illustrating Palestinian music, art and the struggle for independence adorned the walls. Lectures and workshops included topics like Palestinian women, Jewish settlement on Palestinian land, political prisoners in Israeli prisons, and the social, political and economic situation in Palestine. In the Palestinian village, the Palestinian student union acted out scenes from what they call the “apartheid wall”.
Mouna was one of the women who spoke to participants throughout the week in the Palestinian tent. She said that she was proud of the support that the activists from around the world were giving to the Palestinian cause at the forum. “I feel that I am part of this world. Palestine is part of the world. A new world is possible only if Palestine is free !”