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International Day of Solidarity with Palestine

by Chloe Ranaldi November 29, 2016 0 comment
International Day of Solidarity with Palestine

Montreal Palestinians celebrated and shared their culture

The International Day of Solidarity with Palestine was organized by the Diversity, Social, Tolerance, and Transparency (DSTT) Culture to commemorate Palestinian heritage.

Some 100 people marched from outside of Concordia’s JMSB building to Phillips Square to raise awareness about the ongoing social injustices in Israel.

DSTT Culture is a non-profit organization based in Montreal that promotes the integration the of Palestinians in Quebec and Canada.

“Our event celebrated the diversity of Palestinian heritage,” said Tarek Taha, a DSTT member and the one of the organizers of the event. “We [want to] promote the integration of Palestinians with Quebec and Canadian culture.”

The event featured various types of entertainment at Phillipe Square, such as face painting, henna body painting and Palestine Dabke heritage dance performances, following the march.

DSTT Culture is a non-profit organization based in Montreal that promotes the integration the of Palestinians in Quebec and Canada.

“Our event celebrated the diversity of Palestinian heritage,” said Tarek Taha, a DSTT member and the one of the organizers of the event. “We [want to] promote the integration of Palestinians with Quebec and Canadian culture.”

The event featured various types of entertainment at Phillipe Square, such as face painting, henna body painting and Palestine Dabke heritage dance performances, following the march.

The event showcased the world’s largest Palestinian-Quebec-Canadian flag, which was 128 meters long.

“One thing that’s important to the Green Party is to defend human rights, even when it’s sometimes difficult. There are a lot of human rights violations in Canada that are supported by all parties, but unfortunately the rights of the Palestinian people are not one of them,” said Alex Tyrrell, Leader of the Green Party of Quebec.

“It is very important for Canadians to take a stand and really make sure that Palestinian human rights are respected around the world.” Tyrrell added.

Another event was held by Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) at Concordia on Nov. 25. SPHR hosted a Christmas party on the seventh floor of the Hall building, where students were invited to taste traditional Palestinian cuisine. SPHR is a cultural and political club at Concordia that campaigns for equal human rights for Palestinians in occupied Palestine, said Aouatif Zebiri, SPHR’s general coordinator.

The end of semester Christmas event offered falafel, hummus and crackers to the dozens of students who came by.

“We wanted to bring more diversity to the club and other students,” said Zebiri. “Our association raises awareness for human rights violations and [highlights] the biased legal systems in Israel towards Palestinians.”

She described instances of Israeli police detaining Palestinian children and refusing them a right to a trial as an example of human rights violation experienced by Palestinians.

“Palestinians are suffering from modern day colonialism,” said Rami Yahia, the internal affairs coordinator for the Concordia Student Union (CSU), and former president of SPHR. “We hope that Palestine will one day be recognized as a state,” he told The Concordian.

“There are strong economic restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza,” he explained. “There are military checkpoints that last for hours and settlements are built dividing both areas from one another.”

Yahia discussed the importance of recognizing the current apartheid policies in West Bank.

“Many Arab schools in Israel are under-funded,” said Yahia. “Villages in the Negev desert have been demolished to build new Jewish settlements, now recognized as Israeli land,” he said.

“In 1948, many Palestinians, who were forced to leave their homes, thought that they would return,” Yahia said.

Yahia discussed the various civil liberty violations faced by Palestinians and how hundreds of thousands have been forced into refugee camps in neighbouring countries.

“Conditions in the refugee camps are [inhumane],” Yahia said. “We see people being born, raised and dying within them.”

The International Day of Solidarity takes place every year on Nov. 29.

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