“When I return to Palestine, I will …”

The US Palestinian Community Network has announced a new initiative today: “an online viral participatory campaign featuring simple notes by Palestinians, Arabs and allies describing what they hope to do when they return to Palestine.”

Full announcement and submission guidelines follow.

WHEN I RETURN—A collective celebration of hope and promise

We are pleased to invite you to participate in When I Return, a US Palestinian Community Network initiative aiming to highlight community and collective aspirations for the freedom and liberation of Palestine.

When I Return is an online viral participatory campaign featuring simple notes by Palestinians, Arabs and allies describing what they hope to do when they return to Palestine.

When I Return intends to unleash the Nakba’s daily resonance, as not only a vanishing point in a past to be commemorated, but a persistent moment binding us to our past, our present and to each other. In this project, we hope to take part in reviving the celebratory and revolutionary spirit that has always been a part of the Palestinian national struggle, working against all odds, bolstered by our collective will to always resist, always dream.  In this year of revolutionary hope and change, now more than ever, we know, as we have always known, Palestine will be free.

This project asks you, for just a moment, to take liberation for granted, and to think of your first day after liberation. What will you do? Where will you go? What will you be dreaming of next?

The project cannot work without your participation. We are inviting a select group of Palestinian, Arab and ally scholars, community organizers, artists and activists, of all ages, to submit their own contributions for the launch.

In order to contribute to this project, please send us a statement in whatever medium you choose, video, audio, text, musical piece or artwork, in Arabic, English or Spanish, that completes or addresses either of two statements:

“When I return to Palestine, I will…”
“When Palestine is liberated, I will…”

It can, but need not be, somber; the joys of liberty and freedom can be as mundane, funny or as profound as you wish.

Please submit to: whenireturn@palestineconference.org

In your submission, please indicate:

  1. Your first and/or last name (however you would like to be featured)
  2. Your current location
  3. If you are Palestinian, your town/village of origin.

In order to be ready for the launch, please submit your contribution by May 10, 2011. Campaign launch will be on May 14, 2011.

Your contribution will be featured on a website that will launch on May 14, 2011. A viral campaign will also begin on Twitter (#whenireturn), as well as Facebook. Submissions to both will be fed into the website.

Statements are currently being collected from Palestinians all over the world. A member of the initiative is currently working on video footage in refugee camps, and another is interviewing Nakba survivors in the United States.

We look forward to your participation!

Kindest regards,
Ryah Aqel and Andrew Dalack
‘When I Return’




Work with children who no longer have parents of their own and teach English to any child who needs this free of charge. I want to be of any use I can be to the children of Palestine now that I am retired and have the rest of my life to give to them in any way that they wish. lynnewilliams24@rogers.com


The first thing I will do, is to look for and pick up all the stories my parents and grandparents told me about Suhmata, and its people.


... go there and help rebuild the country that my country helped destroy.


When I return I want to be able to teach more about justice, organizing for justice around the world . so never again can truly be never again for anyone . Palestine should never be a breeding ground for hatred and racism .
I want to visit my grand father old house in Beir Al Sabaa, and get enough neighborhood support to rebuild his cozy coffee shop which was replaced by a cold cemented bank . while at it I will have an Arab born in the U.S to read spoken words about Class struggle and coorporate greed ,


I would like to work with orphaned children who's there parent died for the cause. I will make sure every Palestinian child is placed in loving , warm home, stable family, and work with them to continue there education, because education is powerful tool to use against our enemies.


I will sit under the shade of an olive tree in Um Sleem in Beitilu and breathe in the spirit of my father's soccer-playing youth, or my grandfather's role as a principal, or my great-grandfather's harvesting of the land. And then I will walk, run, and soar to At-Tur to eat a falafel sandwich in Al-Balad, and stroll from my the house my mom was born in to souq Al Quds to buy a slice of knafa from Jaafar before entering the grounds of Al Harem El Sharif/Al Aqsa. There, I'll pray and then, sit under the shade of a tree to look out at the beauty before me, and smile at my country, PALESTINE.


I will Climb to the top of every mountain. Pray and raise the flag . . . Ya Rab

Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is an associate editor of The Electronic Intifada and lives in Chicago.