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The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

Hidden Headlines: The silent tragedy of Super Bowl Sunday

Smoke+fills+the+air+after+Israeli+airstrikes+on+Rafah%2C+Gazas+southernmost+city%2C+October+8%2C+2023.
Atia Mohammed
Smoke fills the air after Israeli airstrikes on Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, October 8, 2023.

*GRAPHIC CONTENT INCLUDED*

Approximately 123.7 million viewers tuned in to watch the LVIII annual Super Bowl on Feb. 11, as innocent children and civilians were dying at the hands of Israel’s bomb strikes directed towards Rafah, a city at the southernmost border of Gaza.

An updated timeline of the events within the Israel-Palestine Conflict. Credits of timeline to The Hawk Newspaper. (Allie Miller Zach Podolnick)

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, initially known as the Arab-Israeli War traces its roots back to 1948. It erupted when five Arab nations invaded territory that had been part of the Palestinian mandate. This followed the announcement of independence by Israel. The conflict stemmed from the perceived unfairness of the partition resolution, which aimed to divide Great Britain’s former Palestinian mandate into separate Jewish and Arab states. The Arab nations felt the resolution favored the Jews and left the Arab population in what would become Jewish territory at a disadvantage.

The war has continued since then, but it has recently gained the most attention in the media, particularly in light of the events of Oct. 7, 2023. On this day, Hamas (a Palestinian Sunni Islamist political and military movement currently governing parts of the occupied Gaza Strip) launched an attack on Israel, for its occupation of Palestinian lands, and its alleged crimes against Muslims, including the desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. This attack killed at least 250 Jews and injured 1,500. Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, declared war on Hamas, launched deadly rocket attacks on Gaza, and initiated a ground assault. By Nov. 8, over 1,000 people had died in Israel and over 10,000 in Palestine; 240 Israelis were still being held captive in Gaza. As humanitarian concerns have grown, about 1.4 million Palestinians have been displaced in the first month of the conflict.

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While Americans on the other side of the world were enjoying the game, Israel began bombing aimed at the site of the Rafah border crossing. About 1.4 million Palestinian civilians, or nearly half of Gaza’s population, have made Rafah their last resort. Many of them fled the area after hearing from Israel’s military that they should move south for their safety, as forces advanced into the northern section of Gaza.

The tragic death of 12-year-old Sidra Hassouna, in which her body was pinned to a wall to hang after her limbs were cut off, provoked voices across the world to speak up and call for peace. The tragedy exposed the toll that this war is taking on innocent civilians caught in the crossfire of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“It’s horrible, a 12-year-old girl… just think about it. She should be in sixth grade right now, learning math and English, not hanging outside a building with parts of her body missing,” said an unnamed CVHS senior.

Image of Sidra Hassouna, the 12-year-old girl killed in the bombings on Rafah. (Mai Dinh)

The images of her mutilated body as well as photos of her when she was younger have been circulating the internet. Her story has been widely spread across social media, in an attempt to call attention to the brutality and violence faced by these people, and especially children, in these danger zones. Those speaking up against the IDF forces that ordered the strikes that hit Rafah have continued their demands for peace, justice and accountability. Yet even still, stories like Sidra’s lack enough awareness, and even students at some of the best schools in their countries have little knowledge of conflicts such as these.

“Yeah I feel like I am educated on the conflict, but the story is always changing and social media distorts them,” a CVHS junior discussed. “Some people rely on social media for the news and sometimes you can really tell.”

In today’s world, social media has become more and more prevalent in teenage life and it can be a source for news stories and happenings around the world. However, social media has a certain algorithm, immersing you into ideals that you have already interacted with, so you are only aware of one side of the story.

A poll was conducted on the contents of this article to try and grasp how much knowledge CVHS students have on recent events. Over 50 percent of students who took the survey reported that they would rate their knowledge of the current Israeli-Palestinian as 5 out of 10 or less. When asked if they’d heard of the recent bombings that hit the Rafah crossing, 75 percent of students answered that they either hadn’t heard of it or that it sounded familiar but they knew little to nothing about it. When asked how aware students were about the tragic story of Sidra Hassouna, 75 percent of students answered they had never even heard her name. 

In a school that prides itself so greatly on having very high-achieving and well-rounded students, it seems evident that students are more academically inclined than they are aware of real-world conflicts. It is just as important to be informed of the world’s conflicts and strife as it is important to be ready for an upcoming exam. Even the entirety of the United States struggles with this problem. Society was so focused on the Super Bowl, they weren’t aware of the tragedies happening at those very moments on the other side of the world. Their cries ring out, begging for other voices to speak up for them because they cannot. It is important to ensure that tragedies such as these do not go silent again, and it is the duty of humanity, even students at schools like CVHS, to speak up and raise awareness.

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About the Contributors
Adelynn Rubio, Staff Writer
Adelynn Rubio is a sophomore at CVHS and likes to watch movies and write about them in her spare time. Some of her favorite movies are Beautiful Boy, Hereditary, LaLa Land, and Little Women, to name a few. Her hobbies include cross country, playing the guitar, and spending time with her little brother. Her favorite place to travel is anywhere with a beach, as she loves to swim and collect shells. Creative, ambitious, and determined, she is excited to improve her writing skills with newspapers and wants to write stories that will pique the interest of the students of Carnegie this year.
Anushka Ghimire, Staff Writer
Anushka is a junior at Carnegie Vanguard High school. She loves daisies and orange tabby cats. On her ideal day, she would be curled up in her bed with a new fantasy book and a caramel iced coffee. Her favorite part of news writing is getting to know new people and learning about how their perspectives are relevant to their community.
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