Yafa – The Bride of Palestine

It was said that a book would be written in Cairo, published in Beirut and read in Yafa.  For thousands of years, overlooking the Mediterranean, there was a colourful, prosperous, cultured city; Jaffa – Yafa {يافا} in Arabic.  Before 1948, Yafa was the most populous and most influential city in Palestine.  The Bride of Palestine {عروس فلسطين} was part of a network of key Arab cities that stretched from Cairo to Damascus.

An-Nakba (The Catastrophe) of 1948 that was marked by the ethnic cleansing of Palestine included Yafa; the cultural centre that was reduced from a bustling city of more than 120,000 people to a ghost town of less than 4,000 in just a few days, as the undefended civilian population fled the Zionist forces that were fighting to establish the state of Israel on the ruins of Palestinian society.  This exodus was repeated all across Palestine, thereby creating the problem of the Palestine refugees who, to this very day, are denied their right to return home by the state of Israel in contravention of international law and United Nations resolutions.  Among the many UN resolutions that the expansionist state of Israel continues to violate, every hour of every day, are UN General Assembly resolution 181 of November 29, 1947 for the partition of Palestine, UN General Assembly resolution 194 of December 11, 1948 for the return of the Palestine refugees, and UN General Assembly resolution 273 of May 11, 1949 that admitted the state of Israel to membership of the United Nations conditional upon its implementation of the other two resolutions; namely 181 and 194.

Yafa is now an impoverished suburb of Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city, but Palestinians’ memories of their hometown before An-Nakba refuse to be erased.  People living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza, and the West Bank, who have not seen Yafa since they were children, still sing its praises.  Those who know Yafa only through stories they heared from their parents and grandparents continue to long for the day when they will return to their hometown.

Aljazeera’s presenter Mona Ibillini and producer Geoff Dunlop offer a personal and intimate account of An-Nakba in telling the story of Yafa through the history of one of its main streets; Al-Ajami Street – Palestine street.  The documentary comes in two main parts; The Lost Bride, and The Bride in Exile.  Each of the two main parts is presented below in four episodes.

Part 1:  Palestine Street – The Lost Bride:
Episode 1:

Part 1:  Palestine Street – The Lost Bride:
Episode 2:

Part 1:  Palestine Street – The Lost Bride:
Episode 3:

Part 1:  Palestine Street – The Lost Bride:
Episode 4:

Part 2:  Palestine Street – The Bride in Exile:
Episode 1:

Part 2:  Palestine Street – The Bride in Exile:
Episode 2:

Part 2:  Palestine Street – The Bride in Exile:
Episode 3:

Part 2:  Palestine Street – The Bride in Exile:
Episode 4:

Monzer Zimmo
Ottawa, Canada
2010/08/29

Hope is the stuff from which life is made!

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About Alcanaanite

Monzer Zimmo, a Palestinian-Canadian living and working in Ottawa, Canada. Monzer is an advocate of resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the peaceful creation of a bi-national-democratic state on all the territory of historic Palestine, where Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others live together as equal citizens; be and feel safe, secure, and at home.
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5 Responses to Yafa – The Bride of Palestine

  1. Patrick Mac Manus says:

    A moving, a beautiful text. Thank you.
    Greetings from Copenhgen
    Patrick Mac Manus

  2. jim says:

    This is awesome, man

  3. Sandra Twang says:

    i would like to feature this in my wordpress blog. Please let me know if this would be acceptable to you ….my blog is We are All Related…at sandrt.me…thank you for considering…It is a beautiful touching peace and the witnesses stories are rich and telling…thank u , sandy

  4. Eid says:

    Great write up. My mother and her family were those who were forced out of their home. She recalls as a young girl being held by her father as they left all that they had and knew. They were given hours to flee their home or suffer. She has tried to understand what it will take to regain her rights as a natural born citizen of Yafa but to no avail. Thank you for posting this information.

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