Faizel Patel, 2016-05-25
The second International Palestinian Conference for Media and Communications took place at the Pullman Hotel and Convention Centre in Istanbul in Turkey last week.
The two-day event, hosted by the Palestine Media Forum in partnership with Middle East Monitor (MEMO) was aimed to encourage dialogue and provide an opportunity for discussion in an attempt to formulate a true image of the Palestinian cause in Arab and international media.
Renowned media professionals including writers, heads of newspapers, radio and television journalists, artists and directors, as well as intellectuals and international academics, all took part in the event which was split into workshops, courses, seminars and panel discussions.
Panelists highlighted and discussed the most successful methods through which fair representation of the Palestinian cause can be attained.
MEMO Director Daud Abdullah said events such as these are vital to strengthening the Palestinian cause.
“ The Forum offers an opportunity to appraise the performance and state of media coverage of Palestine on the one hand, whilst also providing an opportunity to interact with and benefit from the experiences of practitioners from various parts of the world.”
Abdullah says the platform is a means to forge international relationships within the media fraternity
Palestinians from the West Bank and the diaspora attended the event, including the mother of Mohamed Abu Khadeir, the Palestinian teenager who was kidnapped and burnt alive by settlers in occupied East Jerusalem in 2014.
South Africa also featured at the conference.
Iqbal Jassat one of the founding members of Media Review Network (MRN) was presented with an honorary award by for his years of service to the Palestinian cause.
Since 1996 Jassat has been bravely writing about “Palestine”, “intifada” and “resistance”. This, at a time when according to MRN were dirty words in a South African media landscape that was largely controlled by apologists for Apartheid South Africa, and aligned to the Israeli regime
Another notable person honored was 5-year-old Ahmad Dawabshe whose family was burnt to death by Israeli terrorists last year.
Those that attended the conference were asked to take action to stop the abuse of other children in Palestine.
Ahmad survived, but with sever burns all over his body. He is more handsome than ever, though. His scars are a symbol of his undying spirit and of the beauty and innocence of the children of Palestine.
Dr. Ramzy Baroud a widely published and translated author and an internationally syndicated columnist and editor of PalestineChronicle.com says in order for the Palestinian narrative to be effective and to reach maximum audiences all over the world it has to achieve unity of narrative.
He says the stories about Palestine needs to be consistent and doesn’t necessarily have to be an ideological but rather humanistic and human based.
Baroud says this is one thing that Zionists have played to so well.
“They fabricated a history after 1948 and they used that fabrication to present the Zionist narrative consistently for the last 68 years. The Palestinian narrative is truth based, is realistic, is based on facts, yet on the other hand is marred by all sorts of factional, ideological and political problems.”
He says if people love Palestine and want justice for the Palestinian people, the narrative must be unified.
Everyone that attended the conference hoped to acknowledge and share the vision of ensuring the broadest international media communication that serves the Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.