Voices from the Cornell Encampment: Yomna

In early May, pro-Palestinian activists at Cornell voluntarily took down their "Liberated Zone" solidarity encampment. In this series, we'll listen to some of them explain why they participated and what they learned.

Yomna is a PhD student:

"I have been here since minute one. We were in October in front of..in Ho Plaza—a few of us, and we kept increasing by time people kept seeing what's happening. And it has been refreshing, you know? This is my first time to feel that I truly belong. You know, I have always [felt] alienated. I feel that there's something wrong in the institution. And when the genocide started in October, I felt so alienated because very few people, like, where we're coming to the protests, but I was coming to feel that this shared grief, shared anger, and that I'm not alone. So the encampment have mean...Like if someone came to me in January or like February and told me that this would happen across the country, across the world, I would have say they are insane. But it did happen. And this brings a lot of faith in humanity and, and brings a lot of faith in a possible change."

"I have been an undergrad in Egypt during the revolution. And I was in the student movement there. And I know that organizing is not easy. It takes a lot of like special characters in special strengths for people to be the faces of the movement. And one thing that was like very grounding to me when the students got suspended, they stood here that they was staff, faculty, other grad students and undergrads, and they reminded everyone that it's not about the suspensions, it's about Palestine. To organize is an acquired skill, right? No one is born with it. So what these spaces have done is these undergrads 17, 18, 19 years old kids who will go through the world now having that skill.. So it's the promise that of a better future because these kids will go through the world with this spirit, with these skills, and they will keep fighting."

Find more voices in this series as they become available.

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