“Brothers in Humanity and in Pursuing Knowledge.”
Students at Baghdad’s Technology University know something about the horrors of random violence. Concrete barriers ring the campus to keep suicide bombers out. Students are searched when they enter campus. Cell phones are banned because they can be used to trigger explosives remotely. Across Iraq, more than 200 university professors have been killed in the past few years, and thousands have fled the country.
So when news came to Technology University that a crazed student at Virginia Tech rampaged through the campus killing 32 of his fellow Hokies it is easy to assume that the tragedy would barely register to these besieged Baghdadis. You would be wrong. Earlier this week students unfurled a giant banner on campus, it read: “We, the students of Technology University, denounce the attack at Virginia Tech. We extend our condolences to the families of the victims who faced a situation as bad as Iraq’s universities do. The sanctity of campuses must be protected around the world.”
And in this moving gesture they remind all of us of the meaning of solidarity.