Campus group shares the story of the ongoing struggle in the West Bank
THE SANTA CLARA
May 7, 2015
Students passing by the library on Monday encountered a green, 8-foot tall mock border wall, covered with a mural adorned with Arabic, a bomb with rainbow sparks and other symbolic artwork regarding the conflict currently taking place in Palestine.
Following in the spirit of last week’s Immigration Week put on by Santa Clara Community Action Program, Students for Justice in Palestine put on Santa Clara’s first ever Palestine Awareness Week.
“It was meant to represent the separation wall … that is being built across the West Bank to keep out Palestinians from accessing Israel,” said Nhada Ahmed, vice president of the club. “The main point was for people to see and for it to disrupt their routine and make them hopefully come over and ask questions.”
The wall contained symbolic artwork that depicted the solidarity between the conflicts in Ferguson and Palestine, according to club vice president Afreen Hassan.
On Tuesday, Students for Justice in Palestine teamed up with another club on campus, Creating Progress at Home, to present a discussion on the similarities between Palestine and Mexico, as well as how the United States is deeply involved in the issues surronding the conflicts.
The presentation delved into the histories, economics, militarization and lack of democratic values surrounding the borders in these two places.
As the representative from Creating Progress at Home, Sergio Olmedo Ramirez explained to the group that with the historical shifting of borders between the United States and Mexico, as well as with Palestine and Israel, citizens of those lands saw themselves become “foreigners in their own homeland … (They) didn’t cross the border, the border crossed (them).”
Other events for the week included a film screening, a presentation by University of California, Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian.
While the school administration set up an ad hoc committee to oversee the events, and the club received several emails from students expressing opposition to the project, Ahmed said the Office of Student Life and many other students have responded positively to the week’s events.
“It is especially important for students to be involved, because we are the ones who are learning about how to shape the world and what our place in it is,” Ahmad said. “We are going to be leaders in the U.S. – we have to know where the money is going, and we have to be able to make the choice to remove ourselves from any complicity somehow.”
Contact Maura Turcotte at firstname.lastname@example.org.