“The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.”
While the state of Palestine is ruthlessly grasped by the hands of oppression, the culture is vibrantly alive. We see the culture dressed in attire that ranges from the black-and-white-checkered keffiyehs (a scarf that represents Palestinian resistance) to the embroidered thobes (traditional Palestinian dresses) our grandmothers, mothers, daughters and sisters wear. We see the culture in our olive-oil-smothered food, in our music and dance, in our poetry and film. We want to show the University of Florida this welcoming and colorful way of life. We want the remarkable resiliency of Palestine and its people to be portrayed through the unique beauty of culture.
“A person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.”
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has led to the demolishment of Palestinian homes and left over 6 million Palestinian refugees worldwide. It has led not only to a blockade in Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank and Golan Heights, but also to excessive checkpoints, loss of employment, mental health deterioration, physical disabilities, water shortages, etc.
We are activists who want to show the struggle and culture of the Palestinian people. We want to prevent the destruction of villages. We want to hold senators, the U.S., and the international community accountable. We want the UF and Gainesville community to be simultaneously informed and empowered. We do this by sharing knowledge via speakers, documentaries and articles. We hold events that appreciate, rather than appropriate, culture. We plan to simulate checkpoints and barriers so the Gainesville community can navigate life through the lens of a Palestinian citizen.
We welcome all activists for the cause: Palestinians, Arabs, Israelis, Jews, Americans, community members, world citizens, human beings. Each of us has the capacity to transform this situation in a positive way, and it starts by getting involved with projects that promote justice and fairness in the region.
We are students who embrace Palestinian culture and expose war crimes being committed daily.
We are students with motivation, an action plan and a goal.
We are students who see value in creating solidarity among all oppressed groups.
We are students who want to see the end of a cycle that perpetuates human suffering.
We are Students for Justice in Palestine. •