A years-long dream comes to fruition for Bshara Nasser MA ’14 on June 15, when the Museum of the Palestinian People in Washington D.C. hosts a grand opening.
The new museum’s space, located at 1900 18th St. NW, celebrates Palestinian history, arts and culture, and “will connect Palestinians throughout the diaspora to evoke pride in Palestinian arts and culture,” according to a press release.
A limited number of opening-weekend tickets are available. Regular hours – 12-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday – begin on June 20.
“When I first moved to Washington in 2011, there was simply no place to hear or see the stories of Palestinians,” said Nassar. “For too long our stories have been told by others, who portray us in often-negative stereotypes. We want to share with the world who Palestinians truly are.”
Rooted in Nasser’s traveling Nakba Museum Project, which came to EMU in 2016, the new museum will open with an exhibit titled “Re-Imagining A Future.” It features music, painting, collages and other works by Palestinian artists from the United States, Canada, the West Bank, Gaza and Israel, and invites visitors “to explore a new imagination of a future for Palestine and the Palestinian people, casting a sense of hope and possibility that has been largely missing from contemporary Palestinian art,” the release said.
On permanent exhibit will be historical documents, textiles and other artifacts detail the history and culture of the Palestinian people, including the displacement of Palestinians from their homeland and the realities of occupied life. The exhibit is curated by Syrian artist Nada Odeh.
A wall of fame features Palestinian scholars, historians, writers, feminists, entrepreneurs, poets and comedians of note.
The museum plans also to offer workshops and cultural events throughout the year, and to partner with other organizations to reach “broader audiences committed to its vision of a world without borders.”
Nassar is the fourth generation of the family that owns the educational farm “Tent of Nations” near Bethlehem. It has been a regular stop on EMU’s Middle East trips for over two decades, and last fall, the farm’s lead spokesperson, Nassar’s uncle Daoud Nassar, visited EMU.