The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Multiple CSUN organizations come together to hold vigil for Palestine

Praying sections were held after the vigil at the University Library Lawn on April 3rd, 2024 in Northridge, Calif.

As the conflict in the Middle East continues, a vigil for Palestine was held Wednesday, April 3 in front of the University Library Lawn.

The vigil was held on the twenty-fifth night of Ramadan and ended with the breaking of the fast for those in observance, as well as praying sections after sunset. Ramadan gives an opportunity for those in observance to connect with the displaced Palestinians who cannot celebrate.

Different cultural clubs at CSUN, including the the Faculty for Justice in Palestine (FJP), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Middle Eastern North African Club (MENA), Asian American Studies Pathways Project (AASPP) and Lebanese Student Association (LSA) held the vigil as a space to hear poetry and testimonies from students, staff and faculty who want to learn more about how to help Palestinians.

Although this was the first gathering of the newly formed club of FJP, they hope for more throughout the semester. They want to host more educational and awareness-raising events such as panels and film screenings, as well as partner with more clubs/organizations.

Rana Sharif, a lecturer of gender and women’s studies, expressed similar sentiments as the FJP.

“This is the first of many to really invite the campus community to join us in recognizing the insurmountable Palestinian life that has been targeted and killed,” Sharif said.

Before the vigil, volunteers placed rows of Palestine flags on the ground representing the number of Palestinians killed in Gaza. There were 330 flags placed into the ground, each of which represented 100 Palestinian lives lost.

The total number of people killed is 33,000 thus far according to the UN Secretary-General, and more than 70,000 injured.

“It is really important because I think oftentimes our communities that are most marginalized don’t get an opportunity to really tell, express and share their stories,” Sharif said. “We want to encourage students to come and connect to have difficult, but important conversations.”

During the event, CSUN alumni, faculty, staff and representatives from the cultural clubs shared their experiences and observations about being affected by the conflict. CSUN staff also shared that just like Palestine, Northridge and other occupied lands have endured the impact of colonialism.

Anmol Walvekar, a CSUN student attending the event, shared her feelings about the conflict in the Middle East.

“Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have died from the occupation, not just in the past six months, but also in the past 75 years of the occupation’s existence,” Walvekar said. “So I think it’s really important for us to have to face the reality that there are martyrs in Palestine.”

Joshua Dullano, a Filipino-American CSUN student, expressed why he came to show his solidarity with the Palestinian people, as his country has also dealt with violence.

“A lot of the same weapons that are being used to bomb Palestinians in Palestine are also being used in the countryside in the Philippines as well,” Dullano said.

Before the event concluded, community members passed out flowers and fliers of different organizations that remain active in aiding Palestine. The fliers included different organizations to join, follow, engage with and donate to that support boycotting pro-Israel organizations, divestment and sanctions.

Those in attendance were encouraged to take a Palestine flag to remember the lives which have been lost.

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