Palestinian Ahmed Elaian, 86, shows the keys of his home in Israel, abandoned during the 1948 Mideast war. Muhammed Mulheisen / AP Photo
Palestinian Ahmed Elaian, 86, shows the keys of his home in Israel, abandoned during the 1948 Mideast war. Muhammed Mulheisen / AP Photo

Expulsion of Palestinians from ancestral homeland in 1948 remembered



It has been dubbed one of the most innovative cities in the world, hailed for its sleek architecture and seaside boulevard peppered with bars and high-end hotels. Architecture aficionados speak of Tel Aviv's Bauhaus-influenced tall, modern buildings, which collectively make up a Unesco World Heritage site.

But beneath the concrete and glass lie remnants of a people who were persecuted, killed, jailed and forced to flee. Dig a little under the old houses atop the hills, take a closer look across the urban landscape, and you'll find traces of the city's pre-1948 inhabitants who lived in Al Jammasin, Sheikh Muwannis and Sommeil, Palestinian villages on which Tel Aviv has been built.

One organisation has made it its mission that those Palestinians are never forgotten. Zochrot raises awareness among Israeli Jews about the Nakba - the Arabic word for catastrophe, referring to the expulsion of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homes during the 1948 war. The word Zochrot is the feminine form of "remembering" in Hebrew and the organisation works to live up to its name. "It's not just about knowing, it's about acknowledging memory," says Eitan Bronstein Aparicio, one of the founders of Zochrot, which also supports the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

Aparicio's idea was born 11 years ago as a result of his personal transformation from an Argentine immigrant raised on a kibbutz, to a soldier, to a citizen who felt that Zionism could never make room for peace. He was jailed twice for refusing to fight: once during the first Lebanon war and subsequently during the first Intifada. But despite his jail time and his conviction that these wars were wrong, he remained part of the Israeli reserves; the last vestige of his belief that being a good Israeli citizen meant joining the army.

After September 2000, during which he says he had his final crisis with Zionism, Aparicio understood that this ideology left no space for Palestinians. Aparicio asserts that one of his proudest moments was when his two sons refused to serve in the Israeli army. He took that to be suggestive of a transformation slowly taking place in Israel. Of course polls tell a different tale - one of an Israeli society unwilling to accept the return of Palestinian refugees to their ancestral homeland, or even the prospect of a nearby demilitarised Palestinian state.

Whatever the reality on the ground is, Zochrot is pushing ahead, working on issues that are virtually unchallenged in an increasingly self-isolating society. The organisation arranges tours every year to villages destroyed or depopulated, they publish booklets, collect testimonies from Palestinian refugees and post signs in Israeli neighbourhoods referring to these long-lost villages.

The group also put out a guide for teaching high school students about the Nakba. In 2011, an Israeli law was passed barring public funding to non-governmental groups that take part in commemorating the Nakba. Two years prior, even the word "Nakba" was banned from state schoolbooks. Not many teachers are prepared to incorporate discussions in their curriculum about the exile and depopulation of Palestinians from their homes in 1948. Zochrot helps the ones who do formulate lesson plans through a study guide and a teacher training session.

One of the more powerful tools created by Zochrot is a guidebook of many of the destroyed and depopulated villages. Sharing some similarities with mainstream travel resources, Omrim Yeshna Eretz (Once Upon a Land) offers 18 tours to some of the roughly 500 Palestinian villages destroyed or depopulated in 1948. A combination of history, maps and pictures, this book, which is published in both Hebrew and Arabic, is a comprehensive manual that provides answers to outstanding queries: What happened to these villages? Where are the Palestinians who once lived there? What were their livelihoods back then and when were they expelled?

The book also provides readers or "alternative tourists" with information on the Jewish villages (or cities) that were built on top of the Palestinian ones, and provides guidance on how to get to them, as well as advice on the best time or season to make the trek. The book, published by Zochrot and Pardes Publications with content from some 40 writers and photographers, is itself a political and civil acknowledgement of the Nakba, but it aims to do much more: to act as a constant reminder for those who know, and as a teaching tool for those who don't. The book is obviously written for an Israeli-Jewish readership, in order to provide them with historical insight and tour directions. The Arabic side of the book (which is laid out side-by-side with the Hebrew part) is a mix between the classical and the spoken language. The font used in the book often makes reading a daunting exercise, and the language does not always read easily or clearly.

In addition to a handful of spelling errors and weak phrasing, the nuances of Arabic culture are often lost in translation, which is something that the editor alludes to in his introduction, noting that the book was originally written in Hebrew and then translated into Arabic. For reasons unknown, some of the Palestinian contributors dropped out, which obviously affected its Arabic section.

However, it's easy to forgive these shortcomings when delving into the book, which provides insights into a long-forgotten or largely unknown layer in the country's landscape. These days, it is ironically the Jewish families who took over Palestinians' homes who are fighting to stop their imminent destruction by Israeli authorities. Legal battles between the Israeli Jewish families, Zochrot and the Tel Aviv municipality are ongoing; but these historical houses are quickly disappearing, making way for high-rises.

One such skyscraper, the Century Tower, stands in the heart of what was once the village of Sommeil (al-Mas'udiyya). Some old Palestinian homes from the village are still intact, standing adjacent or on top of shops and designer boutiques with little Israeli flags attached to their narrow windows. The remains of mosaic kitchen floor tiling are still visible, peeking through the shrubs of an abandoned home, and a car park stands in place of many other houses levelled to make way for cars. More towers are built in place of the village of Al Jammasin, and Tel Aviv University is built on the ruins of the village of Sheikh Muwannis. The Green House - now the university's faculty club - used to be the village mukhtar's home. The Land of Israel (Eretz Israel) Museum - the ethnography and folklore pavilion to be exact - is also located on one of the houses of Sheikh Muwannis. While the book sets out to challenge the reader to examine Israel's daily reality, this resource needs to be disseminated to a larger audience. Zochrot is looked at with a weary eye by some Palestinians and many Israeli Jews. Last year, some Palestinian activists protested when the organisation scheduled an event in Ramallah to discuss aspects of the right of return, citing normalisation as their justification.

For Israeli Jews, Zochrot is an unwelcome reminder constantly presenting them with evidence that contradicts the national myth popularised by Israel's fourth Prime Minister, Golda Meir: "A land without a people, for a people without a land."

Dalia Hatuqa is a writer based in Ramallah.

JOKE'S ON YOU

Google wasn't new to busting out April Fool's jokes: before the Gmail "prank", it tricked users with mind-reading MentalPlex responses and said well-fed pigeons were running its search engine operations .

In subsequent years, they announced home internet services through your toilet with its "patented GFlush system", made us believe the Moon's surface was made of cheese and unveiled a dating service in which they called founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page "Stanford PhD wannabes ".

But Gmail was all too real, purportedly inspired by one – a single – Google user complaining about the "poor quality of existing email services" and born "millions of M&Ms later".

UAE SQUAD

Jemma Eley, Maria Michailidou, Molly Fuller, Chloe Andrews (of Dubai College), Eliza Petricola, Holly Guerin, Yasmin Craig, Caitlin Gowdy (Dubai English Speaking College), Claire Janssen, Cristiana Morall (Jumeirah English Speaking School), Tessa Mies (Jebel Ali School), Mila Morgan (Cranleigh Abu Dhabi).

Neymar's bio

Total club appearances 411

Total goals scored 241

Appearances for Barca 186

Goals scored for Barca 105

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Need to know

Unlike other mobile wallets and payment apps, a unique feature of eWallet is that there is no need to have a bank account, credit or debit card to do digital payments.

Customers only need a valid Emirates ID and a working UAE mobile number to register for eWallet account.

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

Getting there

Etihad Airways flies daily to the Maldives from Abu Dhabi. The journey takes four hours and return fares start from Dh3,995. Opt for the 3am flight and you’ll land at 6am, giving you the entire day to adjust to island time.  

Round trip speedboat transfers to the resort are bookable via Anantara and cost $265 per person.  

if you go

The flights

Flydubai flies to Podgorica or nearby Tivat via Sarajevo from Dh2,155 return including taxes. Turkish Airlines flies from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Podgorica via Istanbul; alternatively, fly with Flydubai from Dubai to Belgrade and take a short flight with Montenegro Air to Podgorica. Etihad flies from Abu Dhabi to Podgorica via Belgrade. Flights cost from about Dh3,000 return including taxes. There are buses from Podgorica to Plav. 

The tour

While you can apply for a permit for the route yourself, it’s best to travel with an agency that will arrange it for you. These include Zbulo in Albania (www.zbulo.org) or Zalaz in Montenegro (www.zalaz.me).

 

The Details

Article 15
Produced by: Carnival Cinemas, Zee Studios
Directed by: Anubhav Sinha
Starring: Ayushmann Khurrana, Kumud Mishra, Manoj Pahwa, Sayani Gupta, Zeeshan Ayyub
Our rating: 4/5 

TWISTERS

Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Starring: Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos

Rating: 2.5/5

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Directed by: Shaka King

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons

Four stars

Salah in numbers

€39 million: Liverpool agreed a fee, including add-ons, in the region of 39m (nearly Dh176m) to sign Salah from Roma last year. The exchange rate at the time meant that cost the Reds £34.3m - a bargain given his performances since.

13: The 25-year-old player was not a complete stranger to the Premier League when he arrived at Liverpool this summer. However, during his previous stint at Chelsea, he made just 13 Premier League appearances, seven of which were off the bench, and scored only twice.

57: It was in the 57th minute of his Liverpool bow when Salah opened his account for the Reds in the 3-3 draw with Watford back in August. The Egyptian prodded the ball over the line from close range after latching onto Roberto Firmino's attempted lob.

7: Salah's best scoring streak of the season occurred between an FA Cup tie against West Brom on January 27 and a Premier League win over Newcastle on March 3. He scored for seven games running in all competitions and struck twice against Tottenham.

3: This season Salah became the first player in Premier League history to win the player of the month award three times during a term. He was voted as the division's best player in November, February and March.

40: Salah joined Roger Hunt and Ian Rush as the only players in Liverpool's history to have scored 40 times in a single season when he headed home against Bournemouth at Anfield earlier this month.

30: The goal against Bournemouth ensured the Egyptian achieved another milestone in becoming the first African player to score 30 times across one Premier League campaign.

8: As well as his fine form in England, Salah has also scored eight times in the tournament phase of this season's Champions League. Only Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, with 15 to his credit, has found the net more often in the group stages and knockout rounds of Europe's premier club competition.

Winners

Best Men's Player of the Year: Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Maradona Award for Best Goal Scorer of the Year: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

TikTok Fans’ Player of the Year: Robert Lewandowski

Top Goal Scorer of All Time: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Best Women's Player of the Year: Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)

Best Men's Club of the Year: Chelsea

Best Women's Club of the Year: Barcelona

Best Defender of the Year: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/Italy)

Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG/Italy)

Best Coach of the Year: Roberto Mancini (Italy)

Best National Team of the Year: Italy

Best Agent of the Year: Federico Pastorello

Best Sporting Director of the Year: Txiki Begiristain (Manchester City)

Player Career Award: Ronaldinho

Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier

UAE results
Ireland beat UAE by six wickets
Zimbabwe beat UAE by eight wickets
UAE beat Netherlands by 10 wickets

Fixtures
UAE v Vanuatu, Thursday, 3pm, Zayed Cricket Stadium
Ireland v Netherlands, 7.30pm, Zayed Cricket Stadium

Group B table
1) Ireland 3 3 0 6 +2.407
2. Netherlands 3 2 1 4 +1.117
3) UAE 3 1 2 2 0.000
4) Zimbabwe 4 1 3 2 -0.844
5) Vanuatu 3 1 2 2 -2.180

Abu Dhabi GP schedule

Friday: First practice - 1pm; Second practice - 5pm

Saturday: Final practice - 2pm; Qualifying - 5pm

Sunday: Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (55 laps) - 5.10pm

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Iraq negotiating over Iran sanctions impact
  • US sanctions on Iran’s energy industry and exports took effect on Monday, November 5.
  • Washington issued formal waivers to eight buyers of Iranian oil, allowing them to continue limited imports. Iraq did not receive a waiver.
  • Iraq’s government is cooperating with the US to contain Iranian influence in the country, and increased Iraqi oil production is helping to make up for Iranian crude that sanctions are blocking from markets, US officials say.
  • Iraq, the second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, pumped last month at a record 4.78 million barrels a day, former Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi said on Oct. 20. Iraq exported 3.83 million barrels a day last month, according to tanker tracking and data from port agents.
  • Iraq has been working to restore production at its northern Kirkuk oil field. Kirkuk could add 200,000 barrels a day of oil to Iraq’s total output, Hook said.
  • The country stopped trucking Kirkuk oil to Iran about three weeks ago, in line with U.S. sanctions, according to four people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because they aren’t allowed to speak to media.
  • Oil exports from Iran, OPEC’s third-largest supplier, have slumped since President Donald Trump announced in May that he’d reimpose sanctions. Iran shipped about 1.76 million barrels a day in October out of 3.42 million in total production, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
  • Benchmark Brent crude fell 47 cents to $72.70 a barrel in London trading at 7:26 a.m. local time. U.S. West Texas Intermediate was 25 cents lower at $62.85 a barrel in New York. WTI held near the lowest level in seven months as concerns of a tightening market eased after the U.S. granted its waivers to buyers of Iranian crude.
Marathon results

Men:

1. Titus Ekiru(KEN) 2:06:13 

2. Alphonce Simbu(TAN) 2:07:50 

3. Reuben Kipyego(KEN) 2:08:25 

4. Abel Kirui(KEN) 2:08:46 

5. Felix Kemutai(KEN) 2:10:48  

Women:

1. Judith Korir(KEN) 2:22:30 

2. Eunice Chumba(BHR) 2:26:01 

3. Immaculate Chemutai(UGA) 2:28:30 

4. Abebech Bekele(ETH) 2:29:43 

5. Aleksandra Morozova(RUS) 2:33:01  

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone