Op-Ed video: The Nakba is personal
For Palestinians, the Nakba is remembered as a traumatic rupture that resulted in the destruction of Palestinian society and the severance of links with their homeland, says Palestinian-born academic Azzam Tamimi.
"Like most Palestinians, if not all, the Nakba is a personal issue," Tamimi told Middle East Eye.
"It was the Nakba that brought my mother from the town she was born, Bersheeba, or Be'er-Assabea as its called in Arabic, to Al Khalil or Hebron where my father was born and lived.
"My mother left the town, together with her parents and siblings upon hearing the news of the massacre that was perpetrated in Deir Yassin. They thought it would be a matter of days, and then they'd return. So they brought the keys with them and took only a few valuables. Everything else remained."
The word "Nakba" means "catastrophe" in Arabic and refers to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist militias to make way for the creation of Israel in 1948.
In a premeditated military campaign, Zionist forces killed thousands of Palestinians, destroyed hundreds of villages and forcibly expelled 80 percent of the Palestinian population from their homeland.
After more than a year of relentless violence, the newly created State of Israel captured 78 percent of historic Palestine.
The remaining 22 percent, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, were occupied by Israel 19 years later and remain under Israeli military rule.