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  • Zara Nybo

AVI/HRC Campus Media Fellow op-ed on weak National Canadian Identity causing Democratic values to backslide published in the Algemeiner

On July 3rd, 2024, University of British Columbia student Zara Nybo, a proud ally and Israel advocate, was published in the Algemeiner for her piece expressing that a weak sense of national Canadian identity Is leading to democratic values backsliding, and thus an increasing trend of supporting and excusing Hamas brutality – the antithesis of democracy.

“I hypothesize that so many of our younger generations have fallen for terrorist propaganda because we lack rootedness in a national backbone,” writes Zara. 

“If we don’t fight for our Canadian democratic values, we will be flattened by external forces. It is time to build and cultivate a strong national backbone that holds us accountable for upholding our country. Maybe we will one day be able to look back with humor on this dark period in academic spaces that have allowed this ideology to foster. Until then, we must fight for our country to remain the 'True North, strong and free.' If we stand for nothing, we will fall for everything.” 

To read Zara's inspirational piece in its entirety, please click here.

We would also like to mention Zara's incredible speech at Vancouver's “Bring Them Home NOW” rally, where she spoke about her own experience of de-radicalization.

“It’s easy to live in our own echo chambers and believe in any ideology that fits a black & white narrative. It’s a lot harder to re-educate ourselves,” says Zara. 

“Through self education I came to realize the narratives of colonizer/colonized, oppressor/oppressed, racism/indignity, etc didn’t fit the frameworks I previously believed the Israel/Palestine conflict fit in, now also the Israel/Hamas War. [...] I’m living proof that education can change minds and there is hope for de-radicalizing students.”

Click here to listen to Zara's speech.

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