Faisal Saleh

Museum of Palestinian Culture to Open in Connecticut

A museum devoted to the art and culture of the Palestinian people, the Palestine Museum US, is scheduled to open over the next few weeks in Woodbridge, Connecticut, writes Ed Stannard of the New Haven Register. The museum’s director, Faisal Saleh, who was born in Ramallah on the West Bank, hopes the institution will provide a richer sense of Palestinian culture to American audiences. “The mission of the museum is to preserve Palestinian history and celebrate the artistic achievement of Palestinians in the US and Palestine and tell the Palestinian story through art and literature and other forms of artistic expression,” said Saleh.

The Palestinian people are stateless. About 40 percent of the world’s 10.3 million Palestinians live on the West Bank of the Jordan River and the Gaza Strip, which has been occupied by Israel since the end of the Six-Day War in 1967. Though the creation of a two-state solution is supported by the United Nations and the US, it has yet to happen. Faisal says the nonprofit museum will not be openly political but will expand upon a narrative of a people who have experienced a great deal of hardship over the past century. She noted that Palestine’s “history will be presented through photographs and art. It will not take any political posture and political position on issues.”

Judy Alperin, chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, also based in Woodbridge, said, “We see it as a further opportunity for us to build better friends and relationships between our two communities and maybe even more of a cultural exchange. It’s a great opportunity for us to show what’s possible . . . that we can not just peacefully coexist, living side by side, but we can extend a hand in friendship.”