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Volume 84, Number 21
March 14, 1997
Rice hosts Arafat
Assoc. News Editor
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat spoke of his commitment
to the peace process in the Middle East in front of a large gathering of
students, faculty and Houston community members on March 5. Despite a two-hour
delay in Arafat's arrival, approximately 1,000 people packed into the Grand
Hall and surrounding overflow rooms.
In his brief speech, Arafat emphasized the importance of the peace process for
the future of both the Israeli and Palestinian people.
"We are completely committed to the peace process," Arafat said. "And in spite
of all the difficulties we are facing, it is a noble target, not for us, not
for Israelis, but for our children. A very noble target."
In the same speech, however, Arafat also condemned Israeli plans for a housing
project in East Jerusalem, citing it as dangerous and illegal.
Shon Agarwal, a sophomore at Will Rice College, felt that Arafat was difficult
to understand because of his poor English. She also felt that the speech itself
was insubstantial, although the event was an important one for Rice.
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