Saturday, April 17, 2021

New exhibit shows Palestinian resistance in decades following the Six-Day War

By Martin Leeper - February 07, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Yasser Arafat] [museum]

A 105-piece collection of Palestine’s revolution posters has opened in the Yasser Arafat Museum’s (YAM) exhibition hall. POSTER is the third exhibit in the hall since the museum’s doors opened in 2016.

The collection of posters originally were widely disseminated by the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (FATAH) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the 1970s and 1980s. Now they are donated to the Yasser Arafat Foundation by an Algerian artist, Rasheed Quraishi.
With 55 posters on the walls, and 50 being displayed digitally, the political posters offer a glimpse into the not so distant past.
  Left: Palestine Lives from 1984, Right: Support the Palestinian People to Regain Their Inalienable Rights from 1975
At the end of the Six-Day War in 1967, when the entire region, including Egypt, Jordan and Syria, was crushed by Israel’s preemptive airstrikes, resulting in shifting borders and mounting uncertainty, the message from the Palestinian political movement is clear, continue to fight.

Mohammed Sawaifeh works for the Yasser Arafat museum, assisting guests through the Siege Area, where Arafat was confined in 2002, as well as through the Exhibition Hall.
“This exhibit is to tell anyone, that we are fighting,” Sawaifeh said.
“We believe that we can live together if they can believe that [but] they need to know that Palestinian people will not leave this place. They will fight, even, with their own hands if it is necessary.”
Sawaifeh sees the exhibit, as he sees the museum. “This is our truth and this is our right. Here you can come to this place, you can read, you can see, you can listen and… you can judge for your own self.”
YAM Director, Mohammed Halayqeh is encouraged by how the POSTER exhibit has been received.
“It has already been [our] largest exhibit, with regards to the publicity and reactions,” Halayqeh said.
There were nearly 200 people who attended the opening with mostly “positive feedback and reactions.”

Halayqeh couldn’t say for sure how many visitors have been through the hall since opening POSTER, though he said the museum receives between “3500 - 4000 monthly [guests]… [Of which] 25-30% are foreigners and the rest are Palestinians.”

“[We have had visitors from] over 70 different countries,” Halayqeh said.
“A quarter of our visitors are students. Schools [from all over Palestine have] organized visits to the museum—from Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron.”

  Left: Victory is Inevitable from 1983 Right: Palestine Is Our Homeland - 2 from 1984


Halayqeh knows there are a lot more posters out there and he wants to build the collection.

“We started to contact people and other artists and tried to add to this collection,” Halayqeh said.
“[It is] linked, one way or another, with our story within the last 100 years, [but we] leave this to the visitors to interpret it as they want. We do not orient people to a specific direction… We leave it to the people to decide how they want to understand it.”

The exhibit is open to any visitor of the museum and will be on display through June. 

Lead photo: Mohammed Sawaifeh standing in front of his favorite poster in the room, Palestine Is Our Homeland - 1 “We don’t fight with guns [now], but that doesn’t mean we are weak people. When you have the right, you are going to fight with all the means you can. You’re going to fight with mind, with logic. [Only] the last step will be fought with guns.”

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