Opening of the ‘The Long Journey’ exhibition - Welcome by Jozias van Aartsen
- 04 October 2016
- 21 November 2016
Welcome at the opening of the ‘The Long Journey’ exhibition, 3 October 2016
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the atrium of our city hall.
I am delighted that The Long Journey’ exhibition is now on show here.
Here, in the heart of our international city of peace and justice.
Since 1949, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East has been helping and supporting Palestine refugees.
Sixty-seven years definitely deserves to be called a “long journey”. Which is why it is an appropriate title for this exhibition, which documents the fate of Palestine refugees over seven decades. And the way in which the refugees have tried to build a life for themselves and their children during those years.
The photos and videos on display here come from the archive of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. That archive impressively documents the way of life of the Palestine refugees, the ‘defeated’, to quote the Palestine poet and laureate of the Principal Prince Claus Award, Mahmoud Darwish. It is rightly written into the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
This atrium is also called the ‘living room’ of The Hague. Every day, hundreds of people come here. City residents as well as visitors. The exhibitions on show here can always rely on a big audience.
And that’s why it’s so good that, having been around the world, “The Long Journey” has now come to The Hague. Because this exhibition as well as the fate of the Palestine refugees deserves wide attention. I therefore hope that many people will come and see it in the next few weeks.