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Muslim Student Association Hosts Truth Based Crash Course: Palestine 101

April 26, 2009

By Amador Salazar 2/01/09

The Muslim Student Association at UTSA, held a very heart warming, informative, event at the Retama Auditorium, that went by the name: Palestine 101 – A Humanitarian Crisis. They had a guest speaker by the name of Fady Qaddoura, who is a human rights activist.

A member of the Muslim Student Association, Nadijah, offered the invite to me, and I assured her that I would definitely make it. Walking into the auditorium I could sense the humility in the air; that sent me on a voyage of nostalgia when I would walk into that Old Catholic church that I would regularly attend by, since my parents are staunch Catholics, back in Rio Grande City.

When I sat there waiting for the presentation I really did not know what to expect, but I knew that it would be a very enticing topic. Fady Qaddoura walked up to the mic and greeted us with a common Arabic greeting that I tried to write down, but immediately forgot because it was too foreign for me.

He immediately started going into the history of the disputed area of land, and how back in 638 A.D.; Jewish, Christian, and Muslim peoples lived together in this area of conflict in harmony. At the time the land was called Sham, which means a land full of rich agricultural productivity.

Qaddoura also briefly addressed the history of US involvement in the Middle East and the consequences it has had. For example, he mentioned how the US supported the Taliban in the 70s to fight off the Soviets, how in the 80s the US helped Iraq develop its chemical weaponry, and he also mentioned how the US gives roughly 3 billion dollars to Israel.

To think that none of these actions have not had an effect on the situation in the world today would be to turn a blind eye to what is the truth. Fady Qaddoura spoke on acknowledging what is the truth. He challenged the audience, by saying that if we are true contributing citizens of the United States, we must, “stand for the truth with open hearts and open minds.”

He also briefly spoke on how Zionists are influencing the involvement of our government in the Middle East since 1948, when they allied themselves with us. Despite several UN Resolutions that should have been in favor of Palestine, no action has been taken by Israel to change the current situation. Which brought up another great point that he had. Fady went on to say that it is obvious that the UN is a highly biased council, who would obviously favor one side over the other. This claim could be backed by the fact that despite all of the resolutions such as UN Resolution 194, which calls for Israel to allow the refugees to return, and UN Resolution 242 that calls for Israel to withdraw from occupied territories, Palestine still remains in great turmoil.

All in all, the event was filled with great discussion and friendly discussion. Fady Qaddoura, also made the point that if we continue to look at conflicts through a religious spectrum there will be conflicting ideas, but from a humanitarian approach it is easy to see how people do not deserve to suffer the way people in Palestine currently are. Before I left, one of the members of Muslim Student Association began singing a call to prayer. I immediately realized that with enough faith and determination, these people will be able to grasp the truth and justice they deserve.

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