International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 2013

On the 25 of November, in collaboration with the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, and the Council of Arab Ambassadors, UNIC Canberra held an event in recognition of the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

An audience of diplomats, government representatives and Canberra residents filled the historic Albert Hall.

“This annual Solidarity Day is an opportunity to reflect on the critical situation faced by the Palestinian people and to consider our collective contributions and responsibilities as governments, international, or civil society organizations, towards Israeli-Palestinian peace”, read UNIC Director Mr Woodthorpe, as he delivered the Secretary-General’s message.

Master of Ceremonies, Dr Victoria Mason address the audience of diplomats, politicians and Australian public

Master of Ceremonies, Dr Victoria Mason addresses the audience of diplomats, politicians and Australian public

The master of ceremonies was Dr Victoria Mason, of the Australian National University whospoke of her own research into the question of Palestine.

Mr Izzat Abdulhadi, the Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia and New Zealand and Ambassador to East Timor and Vanuatu spoke of the experiences of the Palestinian people.

His Excellency Mr Mohamed Mael-Ainin, Ambassador of Morocco to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands and Dean of the Council of Arab Ambassadors also spoke at the event.

16 year-old Australian-Palestinian clarinet player, Basil Saleh, who has previously toured Palestine, performed on the night alongside 15 year-old pianist, Jonathon Chan.

Basil chose songs he personally believed expressed his and the Australian community’s solidarity with the Palestinian people, including the classical piece Clair de Lune.

An exhibit explaining the question of Palestine and the United Nations assistance to the Palestinian people was created for the event, educating the Australian community about the Palestine-Israeli conflict and Palestine’s nonmember observer state status at the United Nations.

The event also offered the Palestinian community an opportunity to display traditional embroidery and ceramics and share Arabic food.