The 29th November of each year is significantly observed as the UN international Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This follows the adoption of the resolution 181(II) by the General Assembly in 1947 partitioning Palestine into two states. That resolution provided for the establishment in Palestine of a “Jewish State” and an “Arab State”. Of the two States to be created under this resolution, only one, Israel, has so far come into being.
From the 28th November to the 2nd of December 2016, South Africans observed Palestinian Cultural Week as part of the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The events were held in partnership with the Palestinian Embassy in South Africa as well the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).
During this week, a series of events were planned including an art exhibition by the late Mr. Ismail Shammout and Mrs.Tamam Al-Akhal, a film screening in Cape Town of the award-winning documentary by filmmaker Imad Burnet entitled “Five Broken Camera’s” and finally a food and music festival at the State Theatre in Pretoria.
The paintings vividly showcase the struggles of the Palestinian people and the impact the conflict with Israel has had on ordinary Palestinians while the film screening portrayed the displacement of Palestinians from their homeland.
The traditional dances and music showcased the fact that culture plays an integral role in every country and that Palestine too has a people, a culture, a heritage, a legacy and many unknown traditions.
UNIC Pretoria’s National Information Officer, Zeenat Abdool, delivered the UN Secretary General’s message on this day in which Mr. Ban Ki-moon reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to the peace process and stated that ‘’On this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, let us all reaffirm our commitment to upholding the rights of the Palestinian people and working to build a future of peace, justice, security and dignity for Palestinians and Israelis alike.’’