The Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace

Invites you to the opening of

The Nakba Exhibit

Sunday, September 21, 2008

3:00 – 5:30 PM

At the Mary Cosby Gallery, Potter's House

1658 Columbia Rd, NW

Washington, DC

(202) 232-5483


In 1948 with the establishment of Israel, more than 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed and more than 750,000 Palestinians were forced to leave their homes and their communities. This exhibit, produced by Friends of Sabeel Canada, consists of 60 photographs describing what happened then and the dispossession that continues to occur. The exhibit tells the story of the Nakba (the catastrophe). You will also have a chance to hear, in person, one of the witnesses to these events who will relate her experience to the pictures in the exhibit:

Guest Speaker: Afaf Ayish

Mrs. Ayish was born in Jerusalem. She was 14 years old in 1948 when the Israeli soldiers forced her family to leave their home and country.


For questions concerning the exhibit, please contact Exhibit Coordinator, Aida Atallah, aidaatallah at


Please note that the exhibit will be on display at Potter's House into October; please call ahead if you would like to see it after the opening.

Afaf Ayesh was born and raised in Jerusalem. She was 14 years old when the Nakba (The Catastrophe) occurred in 1948.


The destruction of Palestinian homes and villages and the massacre of Palestinians in such villages as Deir Yassin by the Israeli army forced Afaf’s family to flee to the temporary safety of Zarka, a small town outside of Amman, Jordan.


Nine months later, after a brief truce, Afaf returned with her family to the city of her birth only to find that her country was now under occupation.  Her once fond memories of growing up in the holy city of Jerusalem were forever changed. 


As an adult, Afaf taught elementary school for the United Nations in Dheisha, a Palestinian refugee camp located in Bethlehem.  Sadly, after 60 years, this refugee camp remains a visible sign of the forced expulsion Palestinians from their homes and land.


In 1959, Afaf moved to the United States with her new husband.  Denied the right to return and live in the city of her birth, Afaf was compelled to establish a new life, in a new land, yet once again.  And while she is grateful for the safety and security of being able to raise her four children in the U.S., she nonetheless is reminded daily of the impact the Nakba has had on her and her family and people.  As she says, “Israel denies us the right to even bury our loved ones in the place of their birth.  And the world remains silent.”