Middle East studies in the News
Students Are Called to Urge Reform at Home and Abroad [incl. Hatem Bazian]
Speakers at political discussion encourage students to protest large and small issues
by Annie Sciacca
The Inquirer (student newspaper of Daiblo Valley College)
March 23, 2010
Whether it's fighting for education or calling for justice in the Middle East, people cannot wait for change to happen – they must bring it about themselves.
That was the message delivered March 17 to a packed crowd in UC Berkeley's Student Union at an event sponsored by DVC and UC Berkeley's Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine.
The focus was the United States' position on Israel and Palestine and how the latter is getting an unfair deal.
Richard Becker, West Coast coordinator for ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and Racism), one of the two featured speakers, said: "It'll keep going there until there's a people's movement that's strong enough to force a change. And that's the only thing that will start a change."
Hatem Bazian, a senior lecturer in UC Berkeley's Department of Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies, spoke about the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but emphasized its connection to U.S. citizens, especially students.
"Localize your action," Bazian urged. "Start at universities, make it happen in here. Silence never makes change; you need to speak truth to power."
Before the program started, students from the DVC and Berkeley Muslim groups bustled around the Tan Oak room on the fourth floor of the Student Union, laying out Middle Eastern appetizers and hanging up signs in support of Palestinian liberation and in protest to the current level of U.S. support to Israel.
"As Muslims, human rights is a very big thing," said Fatima Mekkouai, a member of the DVC group and a student and youth coordinator for ANSWER. "And with all the crimes that are being committed in Palestine, all the children who are being aimlessly killed, the women who are being harassed, and all the other very shameful acts, it is our responsibility to increase awareness to the problem."
A writer on Middle East affairs, Becker said people must not compartmentalize their view of reform efforts so that everything looks like a different issue.
Referring to the March 4 student protests at DVC and other campuses statewide, Becker said such call for change is a necessary startup for real reform.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
receive the latest by email: subscribe to campus watch's free mailing list