To most Palestinians, 1948, the year of al-Nakba, is the formative year of their lives. This is true irrespective of age, background, or occupation, or whether the person is a refugee or not, or lives in Palestine or the diaspora. On this fiftieth anniversary of al-Nakba, JPS asked a number of Palestinians of different generations and walks of life to write short pieces on what this event has meant to them. In JPS's letters of invitation, the "guidelines" suggested were to avoid political and historical analysis in favor of personal reflections. The following are the results.