A delegation from the Al-Quds Foundation International on Tuesday visited the Palestine Museum in Cape Town where they handed over precious artifacts to the Kaaf Trust to be displayed in the museum. Historian and delegation member Dr Saud Abu Mahfuz said an institution such as the Palestine Museum, although not yet complete, would convey the suffering and plight of the Palestinian people to all South Africans and all who visit it. He applauded South Africans for their support of the people of Palestine, regardless of religious or cultural affiliation.
“During my visit so far, I saw a mosque called Masjid Al-Aqsa, complete with the golden dome, the same as we have. I am here to launch this museum, because it will be a crucial help to us. I have seen the Palestinian flags waving everywhere. We thank South Africans, for all their efforts, from our brothers and sisters.”
Kaaf Trust founder Dr Anwah Nagia welcomed the delegation, saying their presence was important in keeping the momentum on Palestine on the national agenda. He said the museum would serve as a place of memory for the millions of Palestinians who have been displaced by the Zionist occupation.
Mahfuz and other members of the Al-Quds foundation are Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon and Jordan. He described being a refugee as not only being someone in exile but also as someone treated as a second class citizen in their own country. Mahfuz said he believes many South Africans who lived under Apartheid could relate to what millions of Palestines in exile and within Israel experience.
“You can have a five degree education, or be a billionare, but when you are outside your own country, you are a refugee. I imagine some older South Africans, may know that feeling. As refugees we suffer because we are outside of our homeland.”
Mahfuz said it is not only Muslims who are being subjected to inhumane treatment by Israeli authorities but Christians and other religious sects in the occupied territories also have their beliefs subjugated and oppressed. He believes more initiatives such as the Palestine Museum could enlighten ordinary citizens from all walks of life on the plights of the Palestinian people. VOC (Andriques Che Petersen)