Palestinian supporters protest for awareness


By Marissa Novel

Red, black, white and green litter the sidewalks as car horns blare loudly. Arms are raised with signs reading: “Honk for Peace”, “Drop Books Not Bombs” and “Stop Killing Innocent Women and Children”.

More than 100 demonstrators lined Main Street near the intersection of Illinois 13 in protest of the siege on Gaza Friday.

Deborah Gates-Burklow, of The Old School Community Center, said one of her employees, Marwa Omran, originally approached her about a demonstration the previous Monday after Omran showed her videos and pictures the violence in Gaza.


Gates-Burklow said most of the Muslim community members were already meeting at the mosque for the end of the Ramadan Friday, and traveled straight from the mosque to the demonstration location.

She said The Old School Community Center is very involved in the international community and is very passionate about the crisis in Gaza.

“All of us are very passionate about raising awareness as to what’s happening because I think at times we as Americans don’t pay attention,” she said. “Not realizing our community members our neighbors are apart of it. They have family over there that are suffering”

Currently Orman has family living in the West Bank. She said she hopes awareness gains more visibility through other outlets other than traditional media.

“Hopefully the media shows more and more what’s going on,” she said. “But thank God there is social media and people are actually seeing more things on the Internet and they’re not blinded anymore they can see other sides too”.

Orman’s daughter, Reem Khader, a 16-year-old at Carbondale Community High School, also said the mainstream media is showing a one sided version of the situation.

“War is not the appropriate word for what’s happening right now,” she said. “They call it war but it’s not a war. You can’t have one side that has over 3 billion dollars in military aid”


Khader said the siege on Gaza is still being recognized as “defense from Israel” even though organizations like Hamas are using homemade missiles and rockets against tanks, fire jets, and heavy artillery.

“You can’t put those two up against each other and call it war. It’s not war, it’s murder. It’s genocide”

She said she helped spread the word about the demonstration through the Muslim Youth of North America and other media outlets.

Marissa Novel can be reached at [email protected] or @marissanovelDE.