I Fell in Love This Week

I didn’t think it could happen to me, especially here. I came here to learn from readings, professors, and classmates. I came here to explore career options, to get a degree. I came here to have some accomplishment under my belt.

But I didn’t come here for this. I never saw it coming. On Monday, Nov. 19 at 7 P.M., I fell in love at Rutgers University.

I fell in love with so many people, all at once. People of different backgrounds, colors, faiths–but there was one thing they all had in common. They all had voices–voices already powerful alone, but more powerful united. Passionate voices speaking out for what they believe in, making their presence known. Their eyes glimmering with light despite the dark, their voices demanding justice and hearts beating in one place–Gaza–these brothers and sisters, man, I fell in love with all of them.

Students from Rutgers University and beyond gathered at the steps of Brower Commons Monday evening to show their support for Gaza at a rally organized by Rutgers Students for Justice in Palestine.

I saw some tweets and texts about the rally, and figured I’d stay for it. I was curious. What would it be like? I hardly go to events on campus, and I was told more than once to get involved because time goes by so fast at college. Afterward, it won’t be as easy to participate in these things. Too often, I let that advice slip to the back of my mind. This event really grabbed my attention, as did the 140 characters I’d been seeing over the weekend with numbers that were heartbreaking to read and digest. Civilians–men, women, children…babies–were and are dying in Gaza. How could I drive away after hearing about the rally, knowing full well I had the next days off, no immediate homework to write, nothing to do but sit at home alone and wonder what was going on at the steps I hurried down as the Students for Justice in Palestine were setting up?

So, I stayed and had the opportunity to be a part of this:

Protesters rally to show solidarity with Palestinians from Targum Editor on Vimeo.

Standing with these people–my brothers and sisters in humanity–was such an inspiration. It was an adrenalin rush. I felt my heart truly beat and my voice shake while I stood with them holding up a provided poster that read “End the occupation in Palestine, now!” The rally was an effort to raise awareness about the situation in Gaza and remind people that those who’ve been killed all have names and ages. Those names and ages were read aloud, and it was chilling to hear the numbers, many 25-years-old and below, some only a few months.

They were real people like you and me, like the people I fell in love with on the steps of Brower Commons Monday evening who were determined and passionate in their efforts to reclaim human rights for every citizen of the world.

J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks tweeted a picture of a quote Friday morning. I believe it’s a popular quote on the Internet, but it was my first time reading it:

“I fall in love with people’s passion, the way their eyes light up when they talk about the thing they love and the way they fill with light.”

I favorited and retweeted Smith’s picture instantly, not knowing how true it’d prove for me just three days later.

Palestine
Photo from AlJazeera.com
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4 thoughts on “I Fell in Love This Week

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