Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Remembering the past and looking to the future

In mid-March, Georgetown University students held a candlelight vigil in memory of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians who have died since the beginning of the Iraq war. EPIC's Director Erik Gustafson delivered a message of unity to the crowd that was brought together by the Arab Studies Graduate Program and the College Democrats. He said, "Many people forget the human cost of war. A life lost, whether it be an Iraqi civilian or American soldier, is a life cut too short."

Vigil Organizer and EPIC member, Marwa Alkhairo, echoed Erik's sentiments in Georgetown's The Hoya, "Pain of loss, pain of death…pain of losing a loved one is blind to religion, blind to race, blind to ethnicity. Tears of an Iraqi mother are the same as tears of an American mother."

This vigil marked the beginning of Iraq Remembrance Week at the University. The goal of the week-long events was to educate students on the effects of war, putting a human face on suffering. Events included film screenings and panel discussions with active government officials and scholars.

EPIC friend and Ground Truth Project Interviewee, Laura Poitras, screened her Oscar-nominated film, My Country, My Country. While the film played, Laura and I grabbed coffee and discussed her up-coming project on Guantanamo Bay's detention camp. She told me about her experience interviewing several detainees and learning the heartbreaking stories that brought them to the camp. Laura hopes to complete this film in 2008.

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