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February 2009

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Ally Profile: Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition

Al-Awda-NY was founded in August of 2000 in response to the failures of the one-sided Oslo Accords and in response to the plight of the least protected and most victimized members of society, the Palestinian refugees who comprise the largest refugee population in the world and who were exiled by Zionist Terror Gangs in the early 1900's, the formation of the Zionist Israeli State in 1948 and continue to be exiled and internally displaced until today.

Al-Awda's founding principle is based on the principles of humanity, international law and the most basic principle of human rights, that Palestinians, just like any other people, in the world have the inalienable right to return to their original homes.Two-thirds of the Palestinian population lives in exile and diaspora without the protection of an embassy as Palestine has not been allowed to act as a state in the international forum. Al-Awda-NY sought to give voice to the Palestinians in diaspora and exile and to advocate for their basic human rights to return, to dignity, to equality and liberation from Zionist colonialism and violence.

Al-Awda-NY worked arduously to ensure that the right of Palestinians to return to their homes would not be negotiated or liquidated by unrepresentative parties, the US and the Israeli state. Al-Awda-NY propelled its efforts through grassroots mobilization and organizing within the Palestinian community, providing workshops, educational panels, building the students movement, porganizing mass street actions and campaigns, reaching out to allies and others, and helping protect and empower the Arab community's voice in the face of suffocating government repression in NY.

Currently Al Awda-NY's work focuses on building Arab youth and women's movements, protecting Arab civil liberties and freedom of speech on Palestine, educational panels, informational material production, cultural training and performance groups, and national coordination and building of the US Palestine Community Network and the Union of Palestinian Students.

This article originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of Nodutdol eNews.
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Nodutdol eNews is the monthly e-mail newsletter of Nodutdol.Through grassroots organization and community development, Nodutdol seeks to bridge divisions created by war, nation, gender, sexual orientation, language, classes and generation among Koreans and to empower our community to address the injustice we and other people of color face here and abroad. Nodutdol works in collaboration with other progressive organizations locally, nationally and internationally as part of a larger movement for peace and social change.

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