“Amongst the believers are men who fulfilled their covenant with God. Some of them have paid their vow and passed away, and some of them still are waiting ; and they have not altered in the least.” (The Holy Qur’an, 3:23)
It is with a deep sense of loss that Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, mourns the passing away of Ali Kased. A devoted son of Palestine and a long-time activist for Palestinian rights, Kased passed away in the early hours of Sunday, April 3, 2005 at the age of 62. Throughout his life, Kased epitomized the best in the Palestinian struggle for liberation and return. His commitment to the cause of Palestine and its people was matched only by an equally unshakable fidelity to the principles of freedom and justice for the oppressed world-wide.
Kased was born in a village near Ramallah, Ein Yabrood, on May 27th, 1942, six years before Al-Nakba, or â€œthe Catastropheâ€. The mass expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians was an event that defined Kased’s life, prompting him to devote his life to struggling for the return of Palestinian refugees and exiles to their homeland.
As a teenage activist, Kased was exiled to Egypt, where he obtained a degree in economics and political science from the American University at Cairo. It was during his stay in Egypt that he became a member of the Nasserite Arab Nationalist Movement (ANM). A few years later, Kased relocated to Puerto Rico, where he obtained his Master’s Degree
Kased’s unique style of community organizing stands out as one of his everlasting legacies. Though versed in a myriad of political discourses and analyses, Kased possessed an enviable ability to organize and mobilize the various sectors of the Arab and Palestinian-American communities.
Kased was a consistent supporter of Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition. His guidance was instrumental in the establishment and development of Al-Awda’s NY chapter. He was one of the keynote speakers at Al-Awda’s 2003 annual international convention. Despite his failing health, Kased attended the two-days long conference in NYC, where he gave a brilliant and sobering analysis of the decades-long Palestinian struggle for national liberation.
Kased is survived by his strong and loving wife of 29 years, Fatma; four daughters, Arwa, Khulood, Rama, and Reem; two sons, Jamil and Hakim; one granddaughter, Fatma; and three grandsons, Ali, Wajih, and Adam.
Rest in peace, Ali Kased, for your sacrifices were not in vain. You, along with many Palestinians of your generation who fell so that Palestine may rise again, have planted the seeds of determination to return to Palestine in the hearts and minds of young Palestinians for generations to come.
The struggle continues.
Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition