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Arab and Jewish students at Colorado high school stand in solidarity amid conflict in the Middle East

Some Northfield High School students are focusing on respect, working together
Some Northfield High School students are focusing on respect, working together 02:17

Students from the Arab American Heritage Club and Jewish Student Alliance at Northfield High School are learning to show respect and appreciation for one another.

More than 2,000 students currently attend Northfield High School in Denver. Among those students are the Arab American Heritage Club and Jewish Alliance members who have expressed feeling invisible and misunderstood. 

Salma Hanine is the president of the Arab American Heritage Club. She says it wasn't until the two groups came together for a potluck that she began to feel heard and seen. 

"A lot of the differences and all of the xenophobia that has been happening has brought us closer together where we can say, we see each other and we stand as one force," said Hanine. 


As they stand as one force, finding commonalities amid the conflict in the Middle East is important in order to understand one another. 

Charles Easley, with the Jewish Alliance Club, says people often do not understand what is happening, but still form opinions based on little knowledge.

"A lot of people choose a side without educating themselves first and then people have arguments," said Easley. 

Hanine agrees and shares that this has led to a lot of the ignorance and violence seen in many communities.

"A lot of that ignorance has also caused a lot of harm to our communities, with derogatory signs," said Hanine, "A lot of things being told to actual people that's very insulting or hurting."

After their Breaking Bread Potluck, students expressed feeling more understood. Some even shared about encountering racism. 


"I have been told things like terrorists or that I wanted to bomb people because I am Muslim or I am Arab," shared Hanine. 

Easley says though he hasn't personally been attacked, he has noticed the disrespect.

"There have been derogatory symbols drawn in the bathroom and it's really heartbreaking and it needs to stop," said Easley. 

Their "Breaking Bread" event, a potluck created by students, served as a way to come together and put their differences aside, but most importantly listen to one another. 

This led students to learn they have a lot more in common than they think they do. 

"We are not that different, we have cultures and we accept them and we have lots of history, even though history is different and we treasure different things," said Hanine, "We are still the same people and we are still human beings that care about each other."

As this school year comes to an end, students say they plan on having another lunch together, next school year.

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