Conversations towards Action: Gaza, Palestine

A group of 30 people gathered recently for an event, called ‘Conversations towards Action’, held at Cúl a’ Tí in Culdaff.  It was organised by ChangeMakers Donegal at the Inishowen Development Partnership, in collaboration with the Inishowen Palestine Solidarity Group.

ChangeMakers Donegal panel member, Nora McQuaid, facilitated the event, which provided attendees with viewings of short films on Palestine, a panel of speakers and a chance to reflect on what actions can be taken at a local level.  Kateann and Ronan served Palestinian food to reflect the rich culture of Palestine. Attendees were also provided with a leaflet containing several suggested actions that any individual can take to support Palestine. These actions included encouraging election candidates to recognize Palestine as a State, joining a local solidarity group like the Inishowen Palestine Solidarity Group, and getting workplaces and communities to become an ‘Apartheid Free Zone’ which would include boycotting Israeli goods, facilitated by downloading the ‘No Thanks’ app to avoid purchasing goods from Israel.

Palestine what next flyer which was put together by Inishowen Palestine Solidarity Group.

Majida Al-Askari, an artist and activist from Palestine living in Buncrana, was one of the speakers at the event. As a refugee from Gaza, Majida has suffered unimaginable tragedy, losing 30 members of her family in the genocide in Gaza since October 2023. Majida spoke about the news she hears every day from friends and family in Palestine. Attendees at the event wrote and painted messages of support, which Majida plans to translate and send to people, particularly children, in Gaza. This is at a time when 44% of the people who have died in Gaza are children.

Des Boyle from the Inishowen Palestine Solidarity Group provided an in-depth overview of how things have continued to be eroded in Palestine and the root causes, dealing with the systems in place and the challenges of a two-state solution.  With the approach of May 21 proposed as a potential date that Ireland will  recognise the state of Palestine, there was discussion on whether the two-state solution is realistic.

According to Fadl Mustapha, a Palestinian actor, facilitator, activist, and Youth Worker at Donegal Youth Service who participated in a panel discussion at the event, “The important message from tonight is hopefulness. People came in with a lack of hope due to what they’ve been experiencing, and what they’ve been seeing, but the empowerment factor of standing together brings hope, empowerment, and resilience at the same time. Further events like this, hopefully, will empower more people and bring the Palestinian voices out through the Irish voices.”

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