By Laura Sanchez
The Philosophy Club at the University of Michigan-Dearborn hosted an informative discussion titled “An Unknown History: Palestine Then and Now” on Thursday, Oct. 16, which was focused specifically on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Speaking at the event were two UM-Dearborn professors, Dr. Stockton from the political science department and Professor Skrbina from the philosophy department. Also speaking were two members from student organization, Students for Justice in Palestine, Amanda Ghannam and Fiana Arbab.
According to one of the events’ organizers and Philosophy club co-founder, sophomore Karsten Szajner, the purpose of Philosophy club is to encourage students to look at issues with open minds.
He explained, “Through this event, we were hoping that the audience could challenge the ideas they held about Palestine and Israel, and could try to look at the issue from a different perspective. This event is beneficial to the UM-Dearborn community because it gives us the opportunity to become more aware of the world around us, even if this information isn’t displayed on the front page of the news.”
The event was divided into 30 minute intervals, with each speaker using their time to explain the situation in Palestine within specific contexts.
Dr. Stockton, the first speaker, explained about the historical factors that contributed to today’s conflict in Palestine. Afterwards, Professor Skrbina also cited historical examples and quotes from a philosophical standpoint. He also elaborated on the conflict today and what the audience present could do to help those abroad.
The next speakers, from Students for Justice in Palestine, explained their stance on the conflict abroad, to raise awareness, and give the audience information on how they could support those Palestinians affected.
The final 30 minutes of the event were used to have a question-and-answer session, in which audience members could ask the speakers any specific questions they had about the situation in Israel and Palestine.
Speaker, Fiana Arbab commented that this event was beneficial to the campus community because, “It truly opened people’s eyes to what is going on in Palestine right now, and begin to understand WHY it is the way it is, thanks to the wonderful historical backgrounds given by the speakers.”
Arbab finished, “Only through understanding can we even hope to bring a change to the situation, and yesterday’s event was definitely the right start.”