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Peace Protest
br>After the painful events that occurred in certain universities, the HU students felt they were challenged to do something in that regard. They issued a communiqu? calling the university population to stay away from violence and maintain the communication lines with each other no matter the depth of differences.
Furthermore, the HU student body felt they needed to disseminate awareness and campaign for peace both among the students as well as the public at large.
After several extensive meetings and brainstorming sessions they decided to grasp the opportunity of April 13, the notorious day that symbolized the starting of the war in Lebanon.
The security authorities welcomed the idea and helped in the paperwork needed for such a public act and to get it going.
A logo was designed that incorporated the HU shield, the halved cedar of Lebanon, and the name of the project, Vision. It was written in Armenian, Arabic and English. A pamphlet was drafted that included the student's vision of the Lebanon. Pins, white ribbons, pickets, placards of photos of the war, T-shirts, and a huge banner were prepared. A plan was drafted for the action. The students were divided into several groups of distributing pins, ribbons, flyers, interviewing those who were witnesses of the terrible war. Others were to take care of the logistics. A group was to handle the media. The students publicized and advertised their action on campus to recruit volunteers. It paid off. Large numbers of students wanted to participate. However, for security reasons the number was cut down to fifty.
The message was loud and clear. 1975 Never Again.
On April 9, the students slept over on campus, made the final arrangements and set on to their plan the next morning.
The students had chosen strategic venues, which symbolized the agonies of the war. The first stop was at the Tayoune Roundabout. Then they headed for Sassine and eventually to Sodeco Square where they hanged the banner on one of the notorious buildings of the war era that bears the deep scars of the infamous war.
In their public action, the students made their point about the Lebanon they aspire. It is the Lebanon of dialogue and peaceful coexistence, creativity and teamwork, knowledge and constructive criticism, the Lebanon of modern society, economy and institutions, of diversity and unity, and of enhanced democracy. The Lebanon that is free of clientelism, ignorance, corruption and depression.
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