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Conflict hits home for Palestinian student

October 30, 2015

Cristian Corbett - The Courier

A spike in violence in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict is being closely and sadly followed by a Monmouth College student from the region. Angham Jaradat is a Palestinian who recently learned that one of her closest friends had been shot in the chest during a confrontation with Israeli soldiers. The 20-year-old conflict has worsened in the past month.

“Both sides are not doing great,” explained Jaradat. “Israeli soldiers are shooting Palestinians, so what they do in reaction is throw stones or stab the soldiers. There have been a lot of cases where Palestinian civilians have not actually stabbed anyone, but Israeli soldiers use that as an excuse to shoot them anyway.”

This issue literally hits close to home for Jaradat, who has family still in the country, which adds an incredible amount of stress.

“It’s bad because I’m not there and I don’t know what actually happens,” said Jaradat. “Yesterday there were Israeli soldiers at my house, just searching through the house, so it’s very scary because I don’t really know what’s going on and I don’t have a direct way to find out if they’re okay or not.”

Jaradat is from Palestine, and was born in Bethlehem. She moved to a city called Ramallah at a young age. Growing up, Jaradat witnessed everyday conflicts and soldiers marching through her town. Jaradat described growing up in her village as an intense experience, constantly having to run away from soldiers. She would occasionally be late, or even forced to skip school because of the conflicts going on. When Jaradat was 12, she moved to the big city, which was much safer than the village she previously lived in.

Jaradat is the youngest of six, with three sisters and two brothers, most of which still reside in Palestine. She came to Monmouth after searching for schools that welcomed international students.

“I didn’t expect it to be this small actually,” Jaradat admitted. “I think that it’s better than a big school, but it was still hard to adjust.”

Jaradat loves to play sports and is very good at chess. She plays soccer for the Fighting Scots and was on her country’s international chess team. She is the only Palestinian student on campus. Jaradat still keeps in contact with her family, and talks to her mother every few days.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rooted in a dispute over land claimed by Jews as their biblical birthright and by the Palestinians, who seek self-determination. Despite constant attempts to end the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, no peace settlement is expected to come soon.

Cristian Corbett
News Editor

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