Lighting the way: students hold vigil for Gaza
January 29, 2008 8:45 PM
A crowd of 30 students circled peacefully in Malcolm X Plaza on the night of Jan. 29 in support of Palestinian residents, shielding their candles from the wind and speaking in turn about the country’s recent turmoil.
“Imagine this kind of weather with no heating systems,” said Loubna Qutami, the event’s 22-year-old organizer.
Qutami said that the 30-minute vigil was to mourn the Sunday death of George Habash, founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and to protest Israel’s increased restriction of vital resources traveling into the country, Qutami said.
With a handful of phone calls that morning, Qutami, who studied and worked in Palestine for six months last year, encouraged a group of friends to join her for the event. “Word of mouth” handled the rest, she said.
“It’s damn near impossible to live in Palestine,” said Ramsey Elqare, 25. Elqare, the son of Palestinian parents, was one of the first to hear about the proposed vigil and spent the day asking others to attend.
Five students spoke during the gathering, including a musical poem performed by Saji Abuomar.
“We know these candles don’t do much,” Qutami said, “but it reminds ourselves of where we come from.”
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