CT Students commemorate land day
CONNECTICUT STUDENTS COMMEMORATE LAND DAY
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs; May/Jun2001, Vol. 20 Issue 4, p96, 1/5p
Americans in Connecticut joined Palestinians throughout the world to observe Land Day on March 30. A banquet on April 7 attended by more than 250 people, including students from Yale, Wesleyan, University of Connecticut (UCONN), and Connecticut College, raised money to benefit the Palestine Children Relief Fund and the Palestine Right to Return Coalition. Attendees came to see a Palestinian exhibit and a children's mural, buy books and CDs, bid on some donated items, and listen to human rights groups discuss Palestine and local activism. Attendees dined on Middle Eastern food, and enjoyed a debke (folklore dance) by the Yale Arab Students' Association, and music by Nadim Mouja'es and his brother. In all it was a wonderful night of friendship and camaraderie, and raised more than $5,500.
The most poignant moment for many participants was when everyone stood in a moment of silence and remembrance to the victims of the Israeli occupation and oppression. Six Palestinians had been killed that day.
The following day Columbia University in New York had an all-day program on the history and future of the Palestinian struggle for liberation titled: "Freedom and Justice for Palestine." This was sponsored by Qanun, Columbia Law School, and the North African and Middle Eastern Club, and endorsed by several groups, including the Al-Awda committee in NY/NJ. It was an uplifting gathering with speakers, panelists and other activists talking candidly and strategizing.
Participants learned about the divestment campaign started at the University of California in Berkeley, whose endowment invests more than $6 billion in companies with direct ties to Israel. It was touching to see activists for Palestinian rights who are of all races, colors, religions, and persuasions. It was not unusual to see brainstorming on activism strategies by activists who are Japanese Americans, Indian, Hasidic (Orthodox) Jews, secular Jews, Christians, Muslims, and many, many others. The sight of such diversity and commitment brought the slogan to life, "The people united can never be defeated."
By Mazin Qumsiyeh