Keep proper journalism alive. It's time to Back the Cable
The Bristol Cable

Listen: Bristol Unpacked with Salma Najjar on experiencing the Gaza war as a Palestinian in the UK

Salma, a lawyer who spent her childhood in Gaza, shares the ‘dystopian’ experience of life under occupation and knowing your family are in a war zone, as well as discussing happier memories and pro-Palestinian activism in the UK.

Listen: Bristol Unpacked with Neil Maggs

Content warning: contains graphic descriptions of war and violence

Salma Najjar is a young trainee solicitor who spent her childhood up to age eight in Gaza, where decades of oppression and violence have been succeeded by a return to the horrors of all-out war.

In the latest episode of Bristol Unpacked, the last of the current run, Salma offers a devastating personal perspective on the war – which has taken the lives of some of her loved ones – and on the “dystopian” experience of living under occupation. She reflects on happier memories of the beauty of Gaza – its beaches, its food and its community – and on the pain and loss of being separated from home, and the desire to return one day.

Salma, who has now lived in Bristol for five years, also discusses her love for the city, the solidarity she has found, including from Jewish friends, and the value of activism in changing public opinions – and holding politicians’ feet to the fire.

With the International Court of Justice recently demanding measures to reduce the suffering inflicted on Palestinian civilians – and continuing to weigh a genocide case brought against Israel by South Africa – pressure for a ceasefire in Gaza is continuing to mount.

But under what conditions can such a deal take place? Do the court’s actions go far enough? And are there any grounds for longer-term optimism around an end to Israeli-Palestinian conflict and progress towards a two-state solution?

Join Salma and Neil Maggs for a sometimes harrowing but always thought-provoking finale to the winter season of Bristol Unpacked – and with elections on the horizon, be sure to stay tuned for the team’s next moves during the spring.

Subscribe to The Bristol Cable on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your audio.

Join 2,500 Cable members redefining local media

Your support will help the Cable grow, deepening our connections in the city and investigating the issues that matter most in our communities.

Join now

What makes us different?


Post a comment

Mark if this comment is from the author of the article

By posting a comment you agree to our Comment Policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related content

‘Speaking is a political act’: Bristol artists push Arnolfini for action over Palestine controversy

The prominent gallery has apologised for cancelling two events from the Palestine Film Festival in November – but an emerging artists-led campaign says it doesn’t go far enough.

Listen: Inside Bristol’s ‘murder factory’ arms facility, with the activists on trial for occupying it

Palestine Action activists are on trial for smashing into an Elbit factory that ships weapons technologies to Israel. But at the heart of this case is the history and tragedy of Israel’s operations in Gaza, and how Bristol’s facility plays a role in the death and destruction.

Darin J Sallam on what shaped her creative life, her film Farha and the controversy it sparked from the Middle East to Bristol

Sallam’s film has been praised for its bravery in choosing to tackle the events of the Nakba – one of very few films to do so – but was also heavily criticised by Israeli authorities and prompted a boycott campaign

‘Silence is complicity’: director of landmark Palestinian film slams Arnolfini for cancelling screening

In a move that sparked outrage and protest, the Bristol gallery claimed hosting the showing of Farha would risk breaking charity rules on political activity.

75 years since the Israeli occupation, three Palestinian women speak out about their struggle

Back in March, the Cable met three women from Palestine who visited Bristol to talk about life in the occupied West Bank. Two months later, we catch up on the 75th anniversary of the Nakba.

Jews in Bristol protest Israel’s violence and oppression in Palestine

British Jews have gathered across the country to call for justice for Palestinians.

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter

Get our latest stories & essential Bristol news
sent to your inbox every Saturday morning