Zeiad Abbas talks of his childhood living in a refugee camp, and Nakba, the 1948 “catastrophe,”when 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were expelled or fled from their homes creating second class citizens of the Palestinians. Scheer and Abbas discuss the “birthright” movement, the Palestinian diaspora, and US-Israel relations. Abbas says “The moving of the embassy to Jerusalem, it's like you erase the rights of the Palestinian people in East Jerusalem.” He questions the lack of media coverage of the Palestinian crisis and the continual suffering of the Palestinians. For example, Abbas says, “We have one aquifer in Gaza, which according to United Nations and according to all the human rights organizations, including the Israeli human rights organization, 95% of the water in the aquifer in Gaza is polluted… [and] 12% among the young deaths in Gaza [are caused by] diarrhea, related to the pollution.”
Zeiad Abbas Shamrouch, is the program manager for cross-cultural programs for the Middle East Children’s Alliance. He is a Palestinian refugee from Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the West Bank and cofounder of the Ibdaa Cultural Center in Dheisheh. Zeiad is also a fimlmaker, journalist and educator who has worked with Palestinian and international media and has participated in the production of several documentary films. He was the co-producer and production manager of Promises, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002.