I am a graduate student in Arab Studies. I am writing because the quotes attributed to me in the news story “Taking a Stand, Lying Down” (The Hoya, Jan. 16, A1) significantly misrepresent what I said when asked for comment.

I do not in any way wish to suggest that Arab Studies students have “more information” or “special” information. The supposed quote (“[Americans] identify themselves with one group or another. Because we are in the Arab Studies program, we have a lot of information.”) implies exactly the opposite of what I feel: A great variety of information has been made available on the Gaza conflict. I do not claim to have the “truth” of what is currently going on in Gaza, but the American media make it appear as though there is one “truth” while every other view is dismissed.

As a student of Arab Studies, the current crisis is a situation of importance to me, among many other important crises around the world. I am not a Palestinian-American or a Jewish American (perhaps this explains the “not taking sides” quote). But I am a concerned American who sees that many lives are being lost with the American government’s consent, as Gazans have suffered a humanitarian crisis due to Israel’s actions in the past few weeks. It is imperative that awareness is raised here about the extremity of the situation for Gazans.

As the story quotes Olivia Moseley as stating, the purpose of our demonstration was to show solidarity with “the people of Gaza who have been under attack and suffering from the Israeli blockade for years.” We wore the names of Palestinians and two Israelis whom have recently been killed. I wish for awareness to be raised and the perspectives of those who are silenced to be available. Over 1,000 Gazans have recently reached the greatest silence of all: death.

Lucy Thiboutot (GRD ’09)

Jan. 22, 2009

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