Students assemble on Quad to reflect on Gaza conflict

By Patrick Wade

Students wielding both Palestinian and Israeli flags could be seen on the Quad Tuesday afternoon as groups gathered to educate passers-by of the Gaza conflict via megaphone and song.

Ahmed Taha, a research programmer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and a lead organizer of the event, said this is one of a series of events planned this week to educate others of the situation overseas.

“This is a right of everyone to present his or her point of view, so long as it’s peaceful and civilized,” Taha said.

Students passing to and from classes could see the assembly on the south side of the Illini Union, and some stopped to listen to what the ralliers projected.

Trevor Montavon, senior in ACES, said he was listening to Rage Against the Machine on his music player when the group near the Union drew his attention.

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“They have a humanitarian goal in mind, and that is what I’m interested in,” said Montavon, adding that allegiances to any side had no bearing on his attraction to the event.

Taha said that recent events like these have been well-received on campus and in the Champaign-Urbana community, and that the goal is to educate – not persuade students to one side or the other.

“The outcome of this rally today is awesome, it’s wonderful,” Taha said. “We found a very positive response.”

Keep checking for updates on this story.