Beit Ommar Organizes Festival to Mark Land Day
On the afternoon of Saturday, April 2, 2011, the Beit Ommar Center for Freedom and Justice celebrated Land Day with a festival devoted to Palestinian political and cultural identity. Some two hundred and fifty people attended, including the mayor of Hebron and Mahmoud Al Alul, a member of the Central Committee for Fatah.
The mayors of Hebron and Beit Ommar, as well as Mahmoud Al Alul and several other special guests gave speeches about the arbitrary road closures in Beit Ommar, and possible paths to improve the situation. The work of the National Committee across the West Bank to ameliorate life for all Palestinians was also a popular topic. Between keynote speakers, Beit Ommar residents shared personal monologues.
After the speeches came cultural expositions: groups of local students performed Palestinian folk dances in traditional garb, others sang, and a large group performed a play about the Israeli occupation. Towards the back of the hall, Palestinian artwork and crafts were also on display.
Land Day is celebrated yearly, marking the date of the 1976 general strikes in which six Palestinians were killed in confrontations with the Israel Defense Forces. Since then, the holiday has become not only a commemorative moment, but a day of pride in the Palestinian identity, and a renewed call for an end to the occupation.