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Refugees line Campanile Walkway

by Staff

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Antonio Zaragoza / Staff Photographer

By Alejandra Paz, Contributor

Last week, Campanile Walkway looked a bit different after 16 refugee camps set up along the pathway.

The refugee camps were built by Students for Justice in Palestine and stayed erect overnight to raise awareness about the current circumstances in Palestine.

SJP is an organization at San Diego State that works to address the struggles in Palestine.

According to SJP President Lorain Rihan, the event gave students insight into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rihan also mentioned the more than 750,000 Palestinian refugees forced to leave their homes because of the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

“The purpose of this event is to raise awareness about the Palestinian diaspora,” Rihan said. “Palestinian refugees are the largest and longest-suffering group of refugees in the world.”

The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has been a long-standing issue.

At the event, SJP provided refugee fact sheets detailing the number of Palestinian refugees, their rights and how they became refugees.

On Oct. 11, peace talks were discussed and the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said he would compromise when Palestine recognizes Israel as a Jewish state.

“I will say this publicly now,” Netanyahu said, as reported by CNN. “If the Palestinian leadership would say to its people that they recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, I would be willing to gather my government and ask for an additional suspension.”

SDSU student Kavon Iraniha said it is important that SDSU students join and come to the event to see both sides of the story — the Israeli and Palestinian sides.

“There will be good debates,” Iraniha said. “Usually other clubs arrive and spark up a nice debate so people look at both sides of the stories at the same time.”

On the last day of the event, Dr. Farid Abdel-Nour, political science professor and coordinator for SDSU’s Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies, lectured about the Israeli and Palestinian conflict and answered questions provided by students.

SJP meets every other week on Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. at Calmecac in Lower Aztec Center.

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