Emory Students for Justice in Palestine (ESJP) held a memorial on Friday in honor of the Palestinian lives lost in the Israel-Hamas conflict, which is now entering its 120th day. Students placed red, black and green flags with the names of those killed on Emory University’s Quadrangle in the shape of a Palestinian flag.
The Israel-Hamas war began on Oct. 7, 2023 with Hamas’ incursions into Israel and has resulted in over 27,000 Palestinian deaths.
A member of ESJP’s executive board, who requested to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, said that she hoped the display would help Emory community members visualize the amount of lives lost in the Gaza strip since the Oct. 7 conflict outbreak,
“The impact that I hope happened today was that people would just look at the flags and understand this isn’t everybody who has been martyred so far,” the member said. “Understand that even with such little flags that we have today, this is a lot of deaths. One death is still a human being.”
ESJP previously hosted a vigil honoring the Palestinians killed last October.
Another ESJP executive member, who also requested anonymity due to fear of retaliation, said that the group aims to promote Palestinian culture and hold similar memorial events in the future.
“As Palestinians, we’re not angry people,” the member said. “We are who we are, we fight for injustices because it’s in our nature. We hope that, in the future, we’ll be able to have more memorials, more demonstrations like this that can continue to bring the Emory community together.”
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Adjunct Associate Professor Jane Yates watched the memorial as it was put together. She called the event “meaningful” and hoped demonstrations like it would continue.
“It gave me hope and inspiration that maybe with continued attention, that there can be a peace of a different sort in the Middle East,” Yates said.
Jack Rutherford (27C) is an Assistant News Editor at the Emory Wheel. He is from Louisville, Kentucky, majoring in Economics on a pre-law track. When not writing for the Wheel, he can normally be found with the Emory Rowing team or at a Schwartz Center performance. In his free time, Rutherford enjoys listening to classical music or opera, or is out walking in Lullwater.