UW students raise awareness for Palestine outside Memorial Union

'The main purpose of it is having people see our scarves and ask about it,' SJP board member says

· Apr 3, 2022 Tweet

Students gather outside Memorial Union for Keffiyeh Thursday in support of Palestine
Phoenix Pham/The Badger Herald

Thursday, a group of University of Wisconsin students gathered outside Memorial Union, wearing Keffiyehs as part of a movement to raise awareness for Palestine.

The students, who are members of the Students for Justice in Palestine, meet every Thursday as part of the Keffiyeh Thursday movement. SJP board member Sara, who has family in Palestine, spoke to The Badger Herald on the condition of anonymity for safety concerns.

“Keffiyeh Thursday is a day of the week where we all wear Keffiyehs, a Palestinian-inspired scarf that has black and white on it,” Sara said. “It’s a scarf that symbolizes solidarity and resilience of Palestinians.”

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The Keffiyeh Thursday movement began at Harvard University and UW soon followed, Sara said. The purpose of the movement is to spread awareness of the current situation in Palestine by educating people who ask about the Keffiyehs.

“The main purpose of it is having people see our scarves and ask about it, and we can tell them more information about it and talk about the Palestinian cause,” Sara said. “[The cause] is the discrimination against Palestinians and the Israeli apartheid regime which is being committed against the Palestinian people.”

This Keffiyeh Thursday comes after Palestinian Land Day on March 30, a day dedicated to protesting the Israeli regime in Palestine and recognizing Palestine’s stolen land, Sara said.

The Keffiyeh Thursday movement has been effective in spreading awareness for Palestine, Sara said.

“When I wear it in classes, a lot of people will say ‘oh that’s an interesting scarf,’” Sara said. “As soon as someone brings up the topic I’ll describe the Palestinian cause. I’m Palestinian, so this has been ongoing to my family and I love sharing the stories so more people can be supportive of the cause.”

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More people have been attending Keffiyeh Thursdays every week and buying more Keffiyehs, which supports local Palestinian businesses, Sara said.

The week of April 3, the SJP will be hosting “Justice for Palestine Week,” which will be a week full of several events that demonstrate solidarity with Palestine and spread awareness, Sara said.

“I think the most important thing is being aware and showing your solidarity,” Sara said.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated April 3 at 3:27 p.m. to remove a source’s last name due to safety concerns.


This article was published Apr 3, 2022 at 12:05 pm and last updated Apr 3, 2022 at 4:41 pm


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