World Bulletin / News Desk
A speech by 15-year-old British-Palestinian Leanne Mohamad has gone viral after the video was removed by the speaking competition’s organizers. Leanne has won a 2015-16 Speak Out Regional Challenge held in London following a moving speech about the Nakba and its effects on Palestinian society. She will now be in the national finals.
Leanne, from Al-Burj Al-Shamali refugee camp in Lebanon, is currently a student at Wanstead High School in London. She joined the Speak Out Challenge with a speech entitled “Birds not Bombs”.
In the speech Leanne spoke about the suffering of the Palestinian refugees since 1948 and how they are discriminated against no matter what age they are. In the speech she made reference to how a one year old baby died because he could not receive proper treatment for his cancer due to travel restrictions imposed by Israel.
The video was then removed from the competition website after UK-based supporters of Israel claimed her presentation was “anti-Semitic”.
The decision to expel Mohamad, made by a Speakers Trust and Jack Petchey Foundation judging panel, was based on her breaching two rules: that “the speech must have a positive and uplifting message”, and that “a speaker should never inflame or offend the audience or insult others.”
In response, Mohamad then sent out a tweet: “Why is it called a “Speak Out Challenge” when I am then silenced?”
The website has put out a statement saying:
Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Haziran 2016, 11:47
Following temporary suspension to safeguard a minor, we are now able to reinstate the video of our Redbridge Regional Final champion Leanne Mohamad, with authorisation from her family. Please see here for further information.
Leanne Mohamad of Wanstead High School was crowned the winner at the 2015-16 “Speak Out” Challenge! Redbridge Regional Final with a speech entitled ‘Birds Not Bombs’ – Congratulations!