Laurier Brantford held its first ever Israeli Apartheid Week event last Tuesday. The get-together focused on the conflicts between Israel and Palestine, bringing to light issues that many Palestinians deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Laurier Brantford students Deanna Budgell and Lin Abdul Rahman organized the event with the aim of bringing the issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to public and especially to university students’ awareness.
“We want to make people more aware,” says Budgell.
She hopes that the Israeli Apartheid Week will help Canadians push for a more peaceful foreign policy.
The event, which was open to both the public and members of the university, consisted of two lectures and a photo exhibition by Ahmed Mesleh, a Palestinian photographer.
The first speaker was Alan Sears, a professor at Ryerson University. His lecture sparked a discussion on what can be done to help Israel and Palestine become more peaceful. He also explained the history of the conflict as well as the experiences that he has learned about in his research.
But Sears says that for those who do not understand what is happening in Palestine, they aren’t alone, but rather a part of a large sub-section of the public in the dark about the circumstances surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict.
“It is very possible to know very little about the situation of Palestinians,” says Sears.
The second speaker was Hannah Carter, who is part of a group called “Because We Can.” The group consists of four girls who plan to bike across Canada to raise awareness about the injustices of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Carter, who has visited Palestine three times, says that the reason she wants to help is simple.
“The reason I do what I do is because I see the hope in the people when I’m there,” says Carter.
Israel Apartheid Week originated at the University of Toronto and York University in 2005 and this year’s week consisted of events in over 77 cities around the world.
To learn more about Israeli Apartheid Week, visit http://apartheidweek.org/.