Head of the Palestinian Communities’ Union in Europe, Mazen Ramahi stresses the importance of giving the Palestinian communities in Europe the official representation it deserves to strengthen the presence of communities and unite its efforts, especially referring to the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
In a special interview conducted by PNN editor in chief, Monjed Jadou, during a work visit in to Al-Ramahi’s office in the Hungarian Capital of Budapest, Ramahi said that the PCUE is the only community that is not represented in the Palestinian National Council, which is the only place where the union can be represented as it can not participate in the Legislative Council or in the government.
Al-Ramahi stressed the need to strengthen Palestinian national unity because unity is the easiest way to reach Palestinian national goals.
In Europe, we must take initiative in two directions. The first is representing Palestinians in Europe and being the reference to the Palestinian communities, and the second is to give the communities their rights since we are a part of this people, Ramahi said.
“Palestinians in Europe has no intentions on becoming ministers, but rather have the right to be a partner in the decision-making as a Palestinian,” he added.
Rumahi added that despite being born and living outside of Palestine, Palestinians in Europe belong to their main homeland, bring his personal experience as an example.
Ramahi was born and lived in Kuwait, where he went to school there and sang the Kuwaiti national anthem. After that, he moved to Hungary, and only has visited Palestine three times only, where he went as a visitor.However, like thousands of Palestinians living abroad, there is something in his subconscious that connects him to Palestine.
When the idea of forming a Palestinian community union came to life, Ramahi said that there were two options.
“The first was identifying as a European individual and demanding EU rights, which would require not acting as Palestinians. The second option would be demanding rights from the EU as a Palestinian, which would make it look like we have no rights in this country.”
“Therefore, we decided to create a lobby since we are a big community that has second and third generations that would be able to pressure decision makers and then the public opinion,” Ramahi said.
The union has been working in several areas, the most important of which is strengthening the belonging of Palestinians to their homeland through a project that documents the ownership of Palestinians of their land and property in Palestine through a website that contains photographs of documents owned by Palestinians.
The second project that the Federation of Communities in Europe is creating a Palestinian ID for all the Palestinians in Europe, which would document the name and birthplace and date in order to have statistics on the Palestinian population.
The unions is also talking to the EU parliament members about the settlement expansion in Palestine which is engorging Palestinian lands, and the Boycott movement which aims to end Israeli apartheid in Palestine.
Ramahi said that he started working in tourism where he thrived in this field and became one of the most famous tourism workers in Hungary and Europe. He began his career in tourism after a small project he carried out in university with his friends. Now, he has a chain of hotels.