From: Mazin Qumsiyeh <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

Subject: [AM] Update on Palestine



1) Al-Awda/PRRC received as of today checks and donations through Paypal
totaling $2778 for the emergency fund for Palestinian families with
demolished
homes.  At the end of this week or early next week, we will write a check to
the
ICRC to send to the Rafah aid and other home demolitions.  If you have not
donated yet, please do so.  For details, see
http://al-awda.org/rafah_fund.htm

2) Mai Masri's excellent film about children under occupation ("Frontiers of
Dreams and Fears") at Yale Thursday night attracted 70 students and was very
well received.  Congratulations to the Yale student organizers.

3) I attended the dinner honoring key donors to ANERA (American Near East
Refugee Aid) in Washington DC Friday night.  The dinner was attended by 300
people and we were able to network with some very nice and key people.
ANERA
has a field staff of 33 employees in the West Bank and Gaza.  For details on
ANERA, see http://www.anera.org/

4) The lectures by Father Simon Harak (on Iraq) and Dr. Zahi Damuni (on
Palestine) Saturday at Yale were excellent.  The attendance (26 people) was
not
as much as we would like to see but all who attended were impressed and
inspired.  Thanks to Middle East Crisis Committee and Al-Awda Connecticut
for
sponsorship.

The article below from the New York Times summarizes other activities from
studens.  Kudos to all and keep-up the good work.  These three quotes are
perhaps appropriate:

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are
evil,
but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were
to
success when they gave up."  Thomas Edison

"You will find, as you look back upon your life, that the moments that stand
out
are the moments when you have done things for others." Henry Drummond

And yes, actions do speak louder than words.  Thank you for your actions and
let
us push to the next level.

In solidarity,

Mazin Qumsiyeh, Ph.D.
National Treasurer of PRRC
Co-coordinator, Media Committee
___________________
Arab Students Rediscover Voices Silenced on Sept. 11

By DIANA JEAN SCHEMO

The New York Times
January 28, 2002

WASHINGTON--When hijackers rammed jetliners into the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon, Arab students at Johns Hopkins University were in
the middle of plans to remember the intifada's start in Israel's
occupied territories and the 1982 massacres of Palestinians at Sabra
and Shatila.

A national group, Students for Justice in Palestine, was organizing
an investment divestiture campaign against Israel, similar to the
one that had isolated South Africa under apartheid. But on campuses
across the country, the carnage and shock of Sept. 11 silenced
political activism among Arab students, and it is only now returning
to the forefront. This weekend, hundreds of Arab students from
around the country gathered here for their first post-Sept. 11
meeting to pick up their banners again.

The roster of causes students are organizing around has expanded in
the interim, from opposition to Israel to newer issues of
discrimination in housing and jobs, the profiling of Arab men at
airports and due process for an unknown number of largely
unidentified Muslims being detained by the Immigration and
Naturalization Service. The students worry about new rules for
student visas and the escalation of hostilities in Israel and the
Palestinian territories.

Students and panelists at the conference, which ended today, said
that while issues demanding their attention might have grown, so had
the hesitation among students to be identified with Arab causes.
Several students expressed concern that working for Arab or Islamic
causes could hurt their chances for employment, and they wondered
whether they should avoid mentioning their passion for those issues
in job interviews.

Heba-Alla Nassef, a senior at New York University who is majoring in
political science and Middle Eastern studies, recalled watching the
planes fly into the twin towers and praying that Arabs were not
involved.

"We had to cancel some of our events," she said. "A lot of people
were worried about getting involved, saying they were Arab. I was,
too."

Angela Migally, a law student at the University of Pennsylvania,
said the war on terrorism had "a chilling effect" on donations to
Palestinian causes. She said that her group at Penn wanted to
contribute to a charity that said it built playgrounds in Bethlehem
but that students feared the foundation might turn up on a list of
terrorist fronts and that contributors might draw unwelcome
attention.

"There is no transparency in how they're going about tracking these
organizations," Ms. Migally said. "I think they're just really
trying to hit hard on anything with Islam in the name. It's more of
an appearance of trying to crack down on terrorism."

She added that students had no way to investigate charities and
ensure that donations were not diverted for terrorism, and, she
said, an explanation of the government's criteria for labeling a
charity a terrorist front would help students.

"We are so-called profiled people," Ms. Migally said. "How can we
help our country reduce terrorism? It's very difficult."

Samar Malek, a senior majoring in civil engineering and president of
the Middle Eastern Students Association at Johns Hopkins, said her
group was just getting around to an intifada teach-in. "I think we
put it off too long," Ms. Malek said. "Everyone had to put on this
defensive nature after Sept. 11. We were afraid. Hopkins is not
hostile, but when we have had speakers, they've been hissed down."

At N.Y.U., the Arab Student Union recently held a membership
meeting. Ms. Nassef, its president, said the meeting drew attention,
but not the kind she feared. Non-Arab students turned up, she said.
"They want to learn about Arab culture." Middle Eastern studies
programs have also reported heightened interest among students.

To a student who asked whether championing her people's causes would
keep her from finding work in a post-Sept. 11 job market, Alia
Malek, a lawyer for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division,
said it might. Ms. Malek, a panelist, said she was not speaking for
her agency but as "a mad Arab."

Ms. Malek, who once worked documenting accusations against Israeli
settlers in the West Bank, said some prospective employers
"crucified" her for the project. But at the Justice Department, she
said, "A Jewish lawyer interviewed me and he loved, loved, loved,
that I worked in the West Bank. He thought it showed that I was
really committed to civil rights."

"I don't really want to work in a place where being principled will
be an obstacle to me," she said.

http://www.nytimes.com

GRAPHIC: Photo: Arab students held a conference over the weekend in
Washington. Alia Malek, left, and Carol Khawly, lawyers, talked
about civil rights issues. (Linda Spillers for The New York Times)



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