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Group: Ali Suliman, Polina Isakova, Faizan Mahmood, Ahmed Rezwan, Rishi Jumani

Raising Awareness for the Palestinian Plight

The main focus of our campaign is to increase awareness of the oppression that Palestinians have continually been put through. Our target audience is the Hunter College student body.

Palestinians are not only constantly neglected in all major media outlets, and news sources, but they’re always portrayed as villains and terrorists. They continue to face misrepresentation and scrutiny in the media daily. Major news sources like FOX, CNN, and the BBC consistently portray stories demonizing the Palestinians and in a way have monopolized the thoughts of the majority. Our goal is to expose the truth to at least Hunter College.

One idea was to create a video that’d showcase not just footage of the oppression Palestinians go through, but that’ll consist of facts and statistics, as well as interviews of students to show just how misinformed of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict Hunter College is.

Another idea is to jointly work with the SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine) of Hunter College to form an event that’d increase the awareness of students on the conflict. We haven’t fully thought what this idea out, but we are excited about it. We will film all our activities and interactions with people, and compose a final short documentary about our whole campaign.

Since 1948, the Israeli occupation of Palestine, has led to the indigenous Palestinians being the most oppressed people on the whole globe. They’re constantly under attack by the Israel Defense Force, homes have been demolished by the bulldozers, their Olive trees (only marketable resource) have been up rooted, and they’re continually treated as inferiors for being Palestinian, just as the indigenous South Africans were from 1950-1990. Palestinians have been forced out their own homes, and forced into refugee camps. Israel has cut off all resources from entering Palestinian settlements like the Gaza Strip, Hebron, and the West Bank. The apartheid, systematic, and heinous crimes that Israel daily commits against the indigenous Palestinians has not only been ignored by the world, but are being supported with American tax dollars. Obama pledged 30 billion dollars to AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) when he ran for office in 2008. More recently in 2008, during Israel’s attempt to siege the Gaza strip from the Palestinians, white phosphorus cluster bombs were dropped from the sky by Israeli jets onto innocent Palestinian schools, and hospitals. During this siege, airstrikes killed “over 1,300 people and injuring over 5,300 more (with 70% estimated to be civilians), during the ensuing military phase of the 22-day siege through January 18th, 2009 — the highest death toll in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in decades.” 

These Palestinians have been given absolutely no support by any of the superpower countries. Instead, they are laughed at, made a mockery of, and then FOX news and other major media outlets portray these Palestinians as terrorists. The world has waited and watched much too long to not take action. We need to spread awareness, raise funds, and build up resources to help the Palestinians. The media has not shed any light on the oppression that these Palestinians go through. I believe that by supplying people with more information, and educating them about this critical issue, that we can unite, and put an end to Israel’s ever lasting reign of terror on the Palestinians.

SOURCE

-Ali Suliman 008

The symbolic meaning of jeans has greatly changed over time, especially in the last couple decades. In the 1900’s, jeans were uncomfortable, “ill fitting”, and wore by mostly the blue collar workforce. They were a sign of lower economic, and social class. But as stitching, and sewing patterns changed, jeans became more comfortable, and started to become worn more casually. Jeans went from being a sign of lower class, to becoming a signature sign of several subcultures. During the emergence of the punk rock scene in the 80s, tight legged, skinny jeans became the style of those involved in the punk scene. Baggy jeans became the renown look for a hip hop b-boy in the 90s and early 2000s.

Jeans have always possessed a strong symbolic value in society. I’ve worn jeans my whole life. To work, to school, to hang out. I went from wearing baggy jeans, to regular normal fitting fitting jeans. As I grew up, matured, and my personality changed, so did my jeans. However for as long as I could remember, I’ve always worn Levi Jeans. Since the day I came to America when I was two years old, I can’t remember wearing anything but Levis. In a way, Levis Jeans represent the Americanization of myself.

 

-Ali Suliman 008

I think this picture represents Keepers of Knowledge. Centuries ago, the only people who were fit to be keepers of knowledge were those of great wealth, or higher economic or social class. In today’s society, anybody with access to a computer and internet is capable of becoming a keeper of knowledge. The internet has become the ultimate source of knowledge, as it consists of billions of databases about all different sorts of things. So basically, anybody with a computer that’s internet accessible, is capable of being a keeper of knowledge.

-Ali Suliman

The biggest part of overcoming oppression is realizing that you are oppressed. Frankie Mae, Frederick Douglass, and Jose Yglesius all came this realization, and dealt with their oppression in different ways. Frederick Douglass was a slave, who was in a way lucky, owned by a master who had initially taught him to read. However, soon after he was taught to read, his master had restricted him from literature because it was a privilege for white’s only. This injustice and restriction of literature only fueled Douglass’ desire for reading, and he continued to read in secret behind his master’s back. Literature became a tool of enlightenment for Douglass, and it helped him come to the startling realization of the oppression he was living under.

Jose Yglesius was an oppressed exploited worker during the Great Depression, who’s job was to hand-roll expensive cigars. As he worked, he would listen to readings from some of the greatest writers. Yglesius always knew that he was oppressed, but once his boss restricted him and others from listening to these readings, the workers came together and revolted. Frankie Mae was young ambitious girl, who’s only dream was to get an education. However, once young Frankie came to the tragic realization that she’d never have any rights even if she was educated because she was black, she became so depressed. She lost all desire to live, and died soon after. Douglass, Yglesius, and Frankie Mae all dealt with their oppression in different ways. Mae lost all passion for life, while Douglass and Yglesius used literature in their own favor and fought against their oppressor.

In the 21st century, Literature and media have always been a mean of connecting people together, and enlightening society about the oppression in which some of us live. The Arab Spring of 2011 is a prime example of how media can inform masses of people about their oppression. This is especially relevant when talking about the Egyptian revolution, where social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook were significant tools in spreading news to each other. We saw first hand images, and stories being spread on these websites. The whole world watched as Egyptians would tweet where protests would be organized, and they all gathered together and successfully evicted their cruel president. The people used media as a tool to unite together, and fight against the oppression they lived under.

 

Ali Suliman –008