25 2021

The Words of My Father: Love and Pain in Palestine

12:00PM - 1:00PM  


Contact Leigh Casson

Virtual event via Zoom Webinar presented by Jewish Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, and Community Partners’ 10th Annual Israel Today Series!


Yousef Bashir’s story begins in Gaza, on a verdant ten-acre farm beside an Israeli settlement and military base. When the soccer-mad Yousef was eleven, the Second Intifada exploded. Ordered to leave their family home, Yousef’s father refused, even when the Israeli soldiers moved in, seizing the top two floors. Despite this, Yousef’s father—a respected Palestinian schoolteacher whose belief in coexisting peacefully with his Israeli neighbors was unshakeable—treated the soldiers as honored guests. His commitment to peace was absolute. At fifteen, while standing in his front yard with his father and three United Nations observers, Yousef was shot in the spine by an Israeli soldier, leaving him in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down for a year.

While an Israeli soldier shot him, it was Israeli doctors who saved Yousef and helped him eventually learn to walk again. In the wake of that experience, Yousef was forced to reckon with the words of his father. And like the generous, empathetic man who raised him, he too became an outspoken activist for peace. Bashir's story and the ideals of peace and empathy it upholds are a soothing balm for these dangerous and troubled times, and a reminder that love and compassion are a gift—and a choice.


Yousef Bashir is a Pales­tin­ian Amer­i­can from the Gaza Strip who made his way to the Unit­ed States, where he earned a BA in inter­na­tion­al affairs from North­east­ern Uni­ver­si­ty and an MA in co-exis­tence and con­flict from Bran­deis Uni­ver­si­ty. Now liv­ing in Wash­ing­ton, DC, Bashir has worked on Capi­tol Hill, and served as a mem­ber of the Pales­tin­ian Diplo­mat­ic Del­e­ga­tion to the
Unit­ed States. Yousef is an accom­plished author, a vig­or­ous advo­cate of Israeli-Pales­tin­ian peace, and a much sought-after pub­lic speaker.


Free! For more information and to register for the event, click here.