Chilean capital hosts Palestinian week

The Chilean capital, Santiago, witnessed on Wednesday the launch of the activities of a first-of-its-kind Palestinian-Chilean week. The activities include organizing seminars, lectures, and arts and culture galleries in a number of cultural, political and social institutions.

A number of Palestinian-Chilean institutions will be taking part in the activities such as the Palestinian social club “Palestino” and the Palestinian Federal Group in addition to Palestinian and Arab activists and journalists who traveled from several Arab and Western capitals to attend the Palestinian week.

Coordinator of the media coverage of the Palestinian-Chilean week, Ziad al-Aloul, said that this week aims to promote the Palestinian culture, and introduce the Chilean community from Palestinian origin and boost their relations with the Palestinian cause.

The week will involve workshops for Palestinian notables in Latin America and other workshops in the Senate of Chile (parliament). A parliamentary grouping for Palestine will be launched as well as other pro-Palestinian campaigns including “Apologize for the Balfour Declaration”.

Many TV seminars will be aired on a number of Arab and Palestinian satellite channels during the week.

Danial al-Hedra, mayor of Ricolata district in Santiago, said that the Palestinian issue receives a great popular and political support in Latin American countries in general and in Chile in particular.

Al-Hedra, who hails from Bethlehem city to the south of occupied Jerusalem, told the Quds Press news agency that the Palestinian community, numbering more than 300 thousand, is one of the most important components of the Chilean society, and it has achieved many great successes in the finance and business sector.

He emphasized that the Palestinians in Chile managed, despite the challenges they faced by the pro-Israeli lobbies, to promote opposing views to the Israeli crimes.

“Most of the Chileans support the Palestinian rights. The pro-Israeli lobbies couldn’t change this situation,” he added.

The mayor of Ricolata, who talked to the Quds Press in English, affirmed that the main challenge facing the Palestinians of Chile is the language since most of them do not speak Arabic, stressing that Arabic language is the main gateway for Palestinians to defend their rights in the political organizations and international forums.

The estimated number of Palestinians in South America is 600 thousand. Chile hosts more than half of them, while the rest are scattered in Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia and Uruguay.

The Palestinian migration to Chile remarkably increased during the British Mandate and after the wars of 1948 and 1967.