Edmonton Heritage Festival is denying the right of “Palestinian Culture” to be represented

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According to the news published by "Dustin Cook" in July 31, 2018 (6:11 PM MDT) in the Edmonton SUN, the well-known newspaper in the City of Edmonton:

The Palestinian community represented by The Canada Palestine Cultural Association has received a rejection letter regarding their application for a pavilion for a third time and their rights has been denied to be part of the annual local major event, Edmonton Heritage Festival, which its main purpose is to emphasis multiculturalism in the highly diversified City of Edmonton. The association’s secretary and the spokesman of the association, Mr. Mousa Qasqas, has asked for clarification from the festival organizers and was told the application was declined because pavilions are reserved for countries and Palestine didn’t qualify.

 

First, the reason that has been brought up by the festival organizers is totally wrong, unacceptable and it reflects a clear discrimination against an old and well established culture that came from an old country, which currently under occupation. Palestine is recognized by UN as sovereign state (read this article by Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-palestinians-statehood/palestinians-win-de-facto-u-n-recognition-of-sovereign-state-idUSBRE8AR0EG20121201). Also, UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) recognizes Palestine as a Country (Check this link: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/worldwide/arab-states/Palestine/). Accordingly, the reason that festival organizer has brought up is neither right nor acceptable.

Second, Edmonton Heritage Festival is a local major event that represents cultures among the City of Edmonton, which Palestinian culture is part of it. It’s not an international festival that invites Countries from all over the globe to be “politically” represented in the event.

Politics divide people, while culture enriches better understanding and bring people together in peaceful civilized way. As a strong believer in the role of Edmonton Heritage Festival to embrace culture diversity and unite the citizens of the city of Edmonton, I urge you to sign this petition to send a strong message to the festival organizers: “We must see, experience and enjoy Palestinian Culture in the next Edmonton Heritage Festival in 2019 among all other cultures that empower our City”.

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