More than 70 years later – remembering ‘Nakba’ at Hastings mosque

Khader Abu Hayyeh was just a child when his family were forced out of their village of Lydda in Palestine and this Sunday he’ll be recalling what he still remembers as a  traumatic event when he comes to speak at an event being staged in Hastings’ Mosque.

Dr Khader Abu Hayyeh was a child when his family were forced out of their village in Palestine. He’s speaking in Hastings on Sunday.

All members of the local community have been invited to the mosque in Mercatoria for a special event which will include not just Dr Hayyeh’s talk but a film and free food.

Remembering Al Nakba, has been organised with the Hastings and Rye Palestine Solidarity Campaign (HRPSC) and is being held to commemorate the Palestinian ‘Nakba’ – a word that means ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic – that took place in 1948.

“More than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled or forced to flee their homes and villages,” explains Gill Knight of the HRPSC.

“Despite the right of return being enshrined in international law, they and their descendants have been prevented from returning home, so today more than five million Palestinians live as refugees,” she says.

Gill told Hastings In Focus: “This is a great opportunity to learn about the Nakba from someone who was actually there and to taste a little authentic Palestinian cuisine. It is also a chance to spend some time in our local Mosque and get to know the Muslim members of our community.

“We were struck by the hundreds of locals who turned out at the Mosque vigil for the victims of the New Zealand massacre in April. It was very heartening to see how many people came to show their support. Hastings is a very diverse town but one thing we share is an openness and friendliness towards each other. This is a chance to get together and strengthen those bonds.”

Mosque spokesman Dr Imad Bourghli said: ‘It’s our great pleasure to host this special event, focussing on the lost people of Palestine and we hope many people, of all faiths and none, will come along to hear Dr Khader and to share a meal.”

  • ‘Remembering Al Nakba’ is at Hastings Mosque, 12 Mercatoria, TN38 0EB, on Sunday June 16th from 2pm-5pm. For more information email

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