The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

IC students organize pro-Palestine walkout on the Pentacrest Friday afternoon

In attendance were also city residents who continued to call for a ceasefire in the war.
Ava Neumaier
A student protestor holds up a “Free Palestine” sign during a demonstration on the University of Iowa campus to demand more support for Palestinian students and anti-apartheid causes, and for University administrators to be held accountable for providing resources to Israel. The demonstration began outside of Jessup Hall and then marched to President Barbara Wilson’s house on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2033.

Iowa City high school students and residents gathered on the Pentacrest on Friday’s chilly afternoon to protest the Israel-Hamas war.

The protest is one of many in Iowa and nationwide regarding the ongoing Israel-Hamas war that started in early October. 

Roughly 50 protestors gathered on the Pentacrest holding pro-Palenstine signs, waving the Palestinian flag, and wearing keffiyehs. Keffiyehs are a type of scarf worn in Palestine and have been adopted by many protestors in recent weeks to show solidarity.

Jinann Abudagga, 17, a junior in the Iowa City Community School District, organized a school walkout that ended at the Pentacrest. Abudagga is from the Gaza Strip and has family in the area, including her cousins and grandparents, which is under Israeli occupation. 

Abudagga said it is extremely frustrating not being able to contact her family in Gaza and know if they are alive. 

“All my hope is through random social media posts,” Abudagga said. “I sit on my phone, scroll, refreshing my page hoping to hear some news if my cousins are alive, hoping they could send one small text message a day to be able to check in.”

The protest was Abudagga’s way of sending a message to West High School that the large Palestinian body at the school needs to be heard. 

“I’m sick of hearing many people disregard the Gazan lives,” she said. “I was sick of people not doing anything about it. So I was like, ‘Why not me? Why don’t I do something about it?” 

Protestors called for a ceasefire in the conflict, chanting among other things “Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israel’s crime.” 

Another chant commonly used was “From the rivers to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a chant that has different meanings to Palestinians and Israelis, and has been at the forefront of calls for the resignation of members of the University Democrats of Iowa after they used it in a statement.

Among the attendees were Ed Flaherty from Veterans for Peace, Iowans for Palestine Coordinator Pat Minor, and Newman Abuissa, chair of the Arab American Caucus in the Iowa Democratic Party. 

RELATED: Pro-Palestine students present open letter to UI President Barbara Wilson, walk out of classes

Also in attendance was Jawa El-Shanti and her 13-year-old sister who are Palestinian and have family in Palestine. 

“We feel sick every day, we cry, we are mourning every day, and then we’re angry,” El-Shanti said. “We text our family every morning and every night, ‘Are you alive?’ We need to hear that they’re alive, and that’s if they have cell service, that’s if they have internet. So yeah, we’re constantly mourning.”

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About the Contributors
Roxy Ekberg
Roxy Ekberg, Politics Reporter
Roxy Ekberg is a first year at the University of Iowa. In the Honors Program, she is double majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in Spanish. Prior to her role as a politics reporter, she worked news reporter at the Daily Iowan and worked at her local newspaper The Wakefield Republican.
Alejandro Rojas
Alejandro Rojas, News Editor
Alejandro Rojas is The Daily Iowan's news editor. He previously worked as a news reporter covering Johnson County and was the summer executive editor in 2023. He is a senior, double majoring in journalism and political science.
Ava Neumaier
Ava Neumaier, Photojournalist
Ava Neumaier is a first-year student at the University of Iowa, majoring in English & Creative Writing. She was the Editor-in-Chief of her high school yearbook in New York, and has interned for a New York Times photographer. She enjoys taking pictures of performances and student life.