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Dr Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid
  • 3 mins read time
  • Published: 23rd May 2024
  • Blog by Kate Brayden

Oxfam met with Palestinian Ambassador as Ireland recognises the state of Palestine

It was a monumental day on Leeson Street Upper in Dublin, as Oxfam Ireland visited the embassy of the State of Palestine on Wednesday.


It will be renamed officially on 28 May. This follows years of campaigning by the Mission of the State of Palestine in Ireland and the Palestinian diaspora living in this country – plus Irish activists. In 1980, Ireland became the first country in the EU to call for an independent Palestinian state.

“All of our ambassadors, our government, our 13 million people around the world have been struggling for recognition of our right to self-determination since the Nakba,”
— Palestine’s Ambassador to Ireland, Dr Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid

told Oxfam Ireland’s Director of Public Affairs, Bríd McGrath. “Fighting for this right within the UN alone, thousands of resolutions have been adopted, but not implemented.

“Freedom will never be given on a plate,” the ambassador, who assumed her role in 2019, comments.

“You have to fight for it. We’ve been fighting peacefully for so long to be able to get there. Our aspiration is to get full membership at the United Nations. I hope this will push the United States to realise that they should be on the right side of history, by allowing our right to self-determination.”

On 10 May, 143 out of 193 UN Member States – 80% of those present and voting – voted to determine that the State of Palestine is qualified for membership in the United Nations in accordance with the Charter of the UN.

Announcing the move on Wednesday morning at a press conference, Taoiseach Simon Harris, confirmed the joint move with Spain and Norway – referencing Ireland’s own break away from Britain’s colonial rule over a century ago.

“We cannot ignore the fact that we are taking this decision as Palestinians in Gaza are enduring the most appalling suffering, hardship and starvation,” Taoiseach Simon Harris also noted at the press conference on Wednesday.

It marks a bittersweet moment for Ambassador Abdalmajid and the Palestinian diaspora residing in Ireland. A joyful, long-awaited recognition is marred by the catastrophe taking place in Gaza and the Occupied Territories, most notably the crisis in Rafah – where almost half a million people have been displaced.

“It will be very difficult to celebrate with the things that are going on in our hearts,” Ambassador Adbalmajid tells Oxfam. “I hope that we can celebrate together with our people when this genocidal war stops, and when the state of Palestine will be on the ground among other nations, enjoying peace and security with its neighbours. That’s the real celebration. For now, the celebration is in my heart. As a Palestinian from Gaza, it will be very hard to rejoice.”
— Ambassador Adbalmajid tells Oxfam.

Dr. Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid already has the new sign for the front door of the embassy ready to go for May 28th, which will be a hugely symbolic occasion.

Palestinian ambassador to Ireland Dr. Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid shares more about what the recognition of the Palestinian state means for her and the people of Palestine. “Thank you for being on the right side of history, thank you for seeing us, not leaving us alone. Thank you Irish people for protesting for justice and the human rights of Palestinians”