The Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project and Colorado Palestinian Club are presenting Palestinian Cultural Day this coming Saturday, May 14th at the Museum of Boulder. Nablus, Palestine is a Sister City of Boulder that fosters relationships through cultural education, and inspiring lifelong friendships, which will support prosperity and peace through person-to-person citizen diplomacy. The celebration will offer live music performed by Catrene Malshy, a Lebanese born Palestinian singer who also teaches Debke Dancing, accompanied by Thauma, a middle eastern music band of diverse musicians: Oud player, George Sepmeier, clarinet and flute player, Erik Johnson, and James Messerich on Dumbek.
Among other offerings, a solidarity area hosted by Jewish Voice for Peace will display books, art and cultural outfits and sentiments. Iman Jodeh, Colorado’s first Muslim and Palestinian legislator will be onsite to kick off the event.
Nablus became Boulder’s eighth Sister City after Palestinian Boulder-ites and members of Boulder’s Jewish community gathered for nearly 2 years to celebrate each other’s cultures and set the path for Nablus to become Boulder’s Sister City. KGNU’s Rossana Longo-Better speaks with organizer Julia Halaby, a Palestinian born in Boulder who remembers how, initially, the idea of Nablus becoming a sister city of Boulder was not well received by the wider community.
“May 15 is a challenging date for Palestinians in the diaspora. It is the day we commemorate the Nakba, which is the catastrophe that depopulated nearly 500 villages and refugees nearly 1 million Palestinians in 1948…. So rather than focusing on the catastrophe, we wanted to celebrate culture and what it means to be Palestinian and share that with the community,” says Halaby.