UW- Madison’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) concluded their first semester of Keffiyeh Thursdays on May 5th.
The weekly event began as an effort through Harvard’s Palestinian Solidarity Committee (PSC) to show solidarity with Palestine using keffiyehs, a common symbol of Palestinian reistance. Harvard’s PSC then reached out to similar organizations across the country, including UW’s SJP.
General board members, Sara and Ayah, have helped organize the event every week in Madison.
Sara explained why they both felt it was important to bring the event to campus, “This is something that we want people to be aware of. Keffiyeh Thursdays are about being open and spreading awareness.”
Beginning in February, students would gather each Thursday at 5pm at Memorial Union, donning Keffiyehs, holding signs, and taking pictures to share on platforms such as Instagram.
“We decided to do it in an open space where a lot of people pass to increase visibility,” said Ayah. “And also, it kind of brings in a different crowd than people that usually come to our events. So if people [come] that don’t really know about the Palestinian cause, or if they’re open to learning more, it can start new conversations.”
At the beginning of the semester the event was limited to club members, however Sara explained that as the weeks went on and popularity grew, members eventually were bringing extra keffiyehs to lend to the group.
With so much support in the first year of the organizations restart since the COVID-19 pandemic, SJP hopes to continue the event in the future.
“It’s just a way to have this consistent representation of the Palestinian cause on campus, which is often neglected. It’s also a fun way to be able to advertise our other events to people. We do movie nights, informational sessions, things like that. So it’s definitely been beneficial” said Sara.
To stay updated on Keffiyeh Thursday’s and other activities hosted by the organization, information can be found at @sjpuwmadison on Instagram.
Written by: Camila Trimberger-Ruiz