May 2007

Palestinian Flag Flies at Rutgers University

On March 9, 2007, Palestinian students and their supporters at Rutgers University-Newark celebrated a victory with “Palestine Celebrated,” an event that drew a large crowd to the Multi-Purpose Room at Rutgers-Newark, marking the addition of the Palestinian flag to the numerous flags adorning the ceiling of the room. The Palestinian American Organization of Rutgers University - Newark, a new undergraduate student organization, petitioned for the Palestinian flag to be added to the room’s display of flags. Initially, the PAO students faced opposition from the administration at the university, the North Jersey campus of the State University of New Jersey. One administrator stated his doubts that Palestine was a country. However, after months of student petitioning and a presentation to the administration, the Palestinian flag took its rightful place in the display of flags in the Multi-Purpose Room. At the March 9 event, PAO members presented about Palestine and their organization, while the Long Island debkeh troupe of the Ramallah Club performed, and Afif Safieh spoke as the evening’s keynote speaker. The evening - and the flag - serve as a strong victory for the Palestinian students at Rutgers -Newark to celebrate Palestinian identity, culture and activism.

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