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UoA Stands in Solidarity: Flag at Half-Mast Commemorates Lives Lost in Middle East and Ukraine

Embracing the Pursuit of Truth and Compassion in the Face of Global Strife

By Nour Elshenawy

By Gustave Monnier

In a poignant display of solidarity and empathy, the University of Aberdeen has announced its decision to fly the university flag at half-mast above Kings College. This symbolic gesture is a powerful acknowledgment of the profound suffering caused by the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine. The university extends its thoughts and unwavering support to those affected by the loss of life and the persistent humanitarian crises, emphasizing the need for compassion within its academic community.

The decision to lower the university flag was prompted by a collective desire to recognize the gravity of the situation in the Middle East, where the conflict has exacted a devastating toll on civilian lives. This act of remembrance resonates with the university's foundational value, "dedicated to the pursuit of truth in the service of others." It serves as a visible manifestation of the institution's commitment to the principles of empathy and global solidarity.

Tomas, a key organizer behind this initiative, expressed his satisfaction with the university's decision. "I am very pleased with the university’s decision to fly the university flag at half-mast which is a traditional mark of respect and mourning. It is a strong institutional symbol that is in line with the university’s foundational value. The only undeniable truth in this conflict is that peace always better than war."

The university recognizes the broader geopolitical context, acknowledging the ongoing war in Ukraine and its impact on the global community. By extending support and compassion, the institution affirms its dedication to fostering an environment of mutual care during these challenging times.

The decision to lower the flag also prompts reflection on a recent pro-Palestinian protest outside the Sir Duncan Rice Library, during which pro-Hamas sentiments were expressed. In response, a university spokesperson emphasized, "Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by the loss of life and ongoing humanitarian crisis, including those in our university community who have lost family members or colleagues. In a global community marked by heightened tension, we underscore the importance of mutual care and compassion."

The spokesperson also addressed the broader issue of protests on campus, stating, "The university respects the right to a peaceful and lawful protest and does not condone any illegal activity. Our campus should be a safe space for all, and we have been clear that incidents of harassment or discrimination related to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East will not be tolerated."

The University of Aberdeen's decision to fly the flag at half-mast stands as a testament to its commitment to fostering a supportive and respectful environment during these challenging global circumstances. This symbolic gesture not only honors those affected by the conflicts but also serves as a call for peace and understanding in an increasingly interconnected world.


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