This website previously contained outdated information, including names of former board members. As such, many 2023 graduates and students from last year’s board have been wrongfully included on lists and articles circulating on the internet and social media. These former board members were in no way involved in MENALSA’s affairs as of this 2023-24 school year, including as signatories to any statements issued by MENALSA.
STATEMENT BY HARVARD MIDDLE EASTERN & NORTH AFRICAN LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
October 9, 2023
The unfolding events in Israel and Palestine make clear the need to dismantle systems of apartheid, siege, oppression, and occupation. We grieve the civilian lives lost and our hearts are with the families of those affected.
As law students, we forcefully condemn all violations of international law and human rights. Deliberate killing of civilians, hostage-taking and collective punishment are heinous and unacceptable crimes. In the same breath, we recognize the decades of suffocating and dehumanizing conditions that lead us here. We condemn anti-Palestinian hatred, anti-Muslim rhetoric, antisemitism, and calls for further violence and ethnic cleansing. We ask all students to join us in amplifying calls for a just and enduring peace that lifts the siege on Gaza and respects the fundamental human rights and equal dignity of all.
On Saturday, the Harvard Middle Eastern and North African Law Students Association signed onto the Palestine Solidarity Committee’s statement without a full democratic endorsement from our membership and executive board. We withdrew from the Palestine Solidarity Committee statement, and we regret that the statement has been interpreted as tacit support for violence and terrorism. As a law student organization, we forcefully condemn all violations of international law and human rights.
To ensure that MENALSA’s stance on the condemnation of violence and violations of international law by terrorist organizations is clear, we asked the Palestine Solidarity Committee to retract our signature from the statement. We deplore ongoing attacks on civilians and our hearts are with those trapped in the midst of escalating conflict.
The Middle Eastern & North African Law Students Association (MENALSA) is an affinity group created to serve and bring together Middle Eastern and North African students at Harvard Law. MELSA’s mission is threefold: (1) to build a cultural community amongst Middle Eastern and North African law students and alumni, (2) to further the professional and academic development of its members, and (3) to organize around political and legal issues that impact Middle Eastern and North African communities.
Founded in 2017, we hope to welcome and support Middle Eastern and North African law students during their time at Harvard, both by connecting members to academic, professional, and community mentors and by promoting a better understanding of the cultures, communities, and legal institutions of the countries represented by our membership. We strive to improve diversity and increase the opportunities available to Middle Eastern and North African legal scholars both at Harvard Law and in the legal profession.
MELSA provides programming to serve Middle Eastern and North African law students and the broader community at Harvard, ranging from discussions and lectures, to dinners and parties, to networking and mentorship events, to films and other cultural activities. No matter the event or the issue, MENALSA serves as a forum in which members can form and foster a community!