Gaza and the US Student Demonstrations

Mustapha MuhammedBlog, Gaza, Israel, JWE news, Palestine, Podcasts, U.S. media, U.S. policy, U.S. politics

Zarefah Baroud, a Palestinian American with family ties to Gaza, embarked on a life-changing journey when she visited the coastal enclave in 2022. Little did she know that her trip would be marked by tragedy, loss, and a deeper understanding of her role as a Palestinian in the diaspora.

Zarefah’s connection to Gaza runs deep. Having lost multiple family members during ongoing genocide on Gaza, including her missing uncle, the realities of life in the besieged territory hit home.

Campus Encampments and Advocacy

Back in the United States, Zarefah found herself at the intersection of activism and academia. As a PhD candidate at the University of Exeter’s European Centre for Palestine Studies, she grappled with questions about her identity, her family’s history, and the ongoing struggle for justice in Gaza. Campus encampments became spaces where she could engage with fellow students, share her experiences, and advocate for Palestinian rights.

Zarefah’s academic pursuits led her to research American aid programs to the Israeli military during her Master’s degree studies at the University of Washington. She witnessed shifts in public opinion and political discourse within the US, as more people began questioning the status quo. The growing awareness of the Palestinian cause and the impact of grassroots movements fueled her determination to contribute to change.

Through her writings, Zarefah Baroud has amplified the voices of Palestinians and shed light on the realities faced by those living in Gaza. Her articles have appeared in publications such as CounterPunch, Common Dreams, and Socialist Worker, providing a platform for critical analysis and advocacy.

As the world continues to grapple with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Zarefah’s journey—from Gaza to US campuses—serves as a testament to the power of personal narratives and the importance of solidarity across borders.

In this special PalCast episode, available on Apple & Spotify, Yousef Aljamal, Helena Cobban, and Tony Groves engaged in a thought-provoking conversation with Zarefah Baroud. As a Palestinian in the diaspora, Baroud shared her experiences and insights, particularly in light of campus encampments. The discussion delved into her role as an advocate, the challenges faced by Palestinians, and her perspective on the evolving landscape in the United States. Through this dialogue, listeners gain a deeper understanding of the intersection between personal narratives, activism, and global solidarity.