Announcing the 2019 North America Nakba Tour

71 Years Without a Country: Stateless Palestinians from Lebanon

In some ways time stopped in 1948 for the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.  Many of them and their descendants are living in the same refugee camps created when the Zionist forces expelled them from  Palestine in that year.

Israel expelled most of the majority Palestinian population in 1948, and has prevented them from returning to their homes ever since. Hundreds of towns and villages were leveled to the ground, a crime that Palestinians call al-Nakba (the Catastrophe). But Israel did not stop there. It repeatedly attacked Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, killing thousands more.

Suddenly stateless and without the benefits of citizenship, Palestinian refugees were extremely vulnerable and had very few rights starting in 1948. 71 years later, not much has changed for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, who continue to be denied basic civil rights as well as their most fundamental right: to return to their homeland.

These Palestinians have different experiences than other Palestinians, even as they share a common struggle and identity. They are not living under Israeli occupation. Israel does not allow them to visit their homes, much less live there. As exiles, they have a different perspective from Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and the part of Palestine that became Israel.

In 2016 the Nakba Tour brought 21-year-old Amena Elashkar and 86-year-old Nakba survivor Mariam Fathalla to 26 venues in North America.  In 2017, Amena journeyed with 85-year-old Khawla Ibrahim to another 29 venues. This year, Amena is returning with another stateless Nakba survivor to share her personal story of the most tragic event in Palestinian history.

Invite these two stateless Palestinian refugees to speak in your community.

The tour will begin in Washington DC on March 3, 2019, and will travel by car south toward New Orleans, then north through the Midwest to Minnesota before ending in Chicago in early May.

We need your help to tell their story.

  • Book a spot along the Nakba Tour route (included below). 

The local sponsors of the event will be the primary organizers, but we will help and advise you with protocol, advice, logistics and outreach, including advertising. We will make sure the speakers and field coordinator / tour driver / videographer Samir Salem are able to travel to your venue.

  • If you do not see your city or town on the route, but are interested
    in sponsoring an event please contact us to see if we can find a way to
    reach your destination.
  • If you do not live along the route, contact us about hosting a live-streaming event.
  • Donate!
  • Contact us to help organize! We are always in need of volunteers.
  • And, most importantly: forward this announcement to all of your lists and follow us on Facebook!

Costs for hosting an event:

Our costs are estimated to be $1500 per event. We need to raise these funds to make the tour possible, but we are asking each host of an event along the Tour to provide a minimum payment of $500.  If you, your organization or institution can afford more, there is no doubt that we will need it.We want to ensure the event affordable for student groups and others that cannot afford to pay the total cost.  We also hope to raise much of the cost from generous donors that may or may not be on the tour route.  We will need $200 in advance to reserve your event and at the remaining balance at the event itself. We also ask you to provide lodging and meals for the speakers and field coordinator during their visit to your community (homestays and shared rooms are very acceptable).

Universities are asked to provide a minimum of $500 honorarium and make similar housing and meal arrangements. We will also make informational materials available for use along the Tour.

Go to for more information or email us at

Projected 2019 Nakba Tour approximate event dates (to be filled with your events)

March 4-5     Washington, DC
March 7-8      Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill
March 9         Charlotte
March 12       Atlanta
March 14       Tupelo/Birmingham/Tuscaloosa
March 15       Memphis
March 17       New Orleans
March 20       Houston
March 22-23  Austin/San Antonio/College Station
March 25        Dallas
March 28-29  Tulsa/Oklahoma City/Norman/Stillwater
March 31        Lawrence/Kansas City
April 1             Lawrence/Kansas City
April 3             Columbia, MO
April 5             St. Louis
April 8             Champaign/Urbana
April 10           Indianapolis
April 11-15      Other Midwest college towns
April 17           Iowa City/Des Moines
April 19-20      Omaha/Lincoln
April 22           Sioux City/Sioux Falls
April 25-26      Minneapolis
April 28-29      Madison/Milwaukee
May 1-3          Chicago

Watch a previous Nakba Tour event!

Watch Amena and Mariam Fathallah discussing their experiences, histories and struggles:

Tour hosts and attendees are saying about the Nakba Tour:

In the news

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