Friday, October 4, 2013

Aziz Abu Sarah Comes to Saint Mike's.

Saint Mike's frequently hosts speakers and presentations on campus during the academic year, typically on topics such as politics, social justice, the sciences, and the arts. These events are always open to the public, and lively debate engaging both the community and students is not uncommon.
Wednesday evening, the Peace and Justice speaker series hosted Aziz Abu Sarah, a Palestinian peace activist who splits his time between Jerusalem, the George Mason University, and touring around the world. In his lecture, he recounted stories from hsi childhood in both occupied Palestine and Jerusalem, and how his engagement in the conflict shifted from aggressive confrontation to peaceful dialogue.

This speaker was especially interesting at this point in my semester because two of my four classes are exploring the Palestine-Israel conflict right now. In my Political Science intro class, we're reading Once Upon a Country, in which a prominent Palestinian figure recounts his experiences and the experiences of his family both before the occupation, and throughout the last several decades of it. In my Anthropology class, we've just finished reading a report in Human Cargo on the asylum speakers displaced by this conflict, and the adversity they face in quasi-permanent settlements in bordering countries, such as Lebanon. It's truly one of the most challenging issues facing our global political system right now, and a tragedy besides that.
The talk he gave was was informal yet powerful, and the Q&A following was informative (although I had to cut out a lil early--sorry!!!). Below is a National Geographic special featuring Abu Sarah:
Thanks for reading!

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