Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights University of Ottawa (SPHR) is a student run, non-profit organization that advocates on a strong social justice platform to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people in the face of human rights violations and all forms of racism, discrimination, misinformation and misrepresentation.

July 16, 2007

The Logo

In order to represent and symbolize SPHR's mission and objectives, the organizers were looking to come up with a concept for a logo which could easily be associated with the Palestinian struggle both by the Palestinian community itself and the general public.

Amongst the suggestions for logo ideas, a few stood out and provoked an important series of debates; Handala (a cartoon figure created by Najil Ali to symbolize the Palestinian bitterness towards the Occupation), an olive tree and a Palestinian flag. There were arguments presented for and against all options.

In the case of Handala, while it is known that the general Middle Eastern societies would identify with this image as being a symbol of the Palestinian struggle, people in the Western world would have no idea who Handala is. On the other hand, it was decided that the olive tree on its own was not sufficient to represent the Palestinian struggle, as it is a symbol used by most Mediterranean cultures.

The option of the Palestinian flag was equally rejected because, just as any other flag, it holds a nationalist aim diverting attention away from a true struggle for human rights.

In the end, the final decision fell on the dome of the rock, an olive branch and barbwire. Organizers agreed to use the dome of the rock as it suggests a connection between the Palestinian struggle for human rights and the right to their native land, drawing attention, amongst other things to occupied Jerusalem. It was also decided to include the barbwire representing the struggle for human rights and dignity as inspired by the Amnesty International logo. As for the olive branch, it has been known throughout history as a symbol of peace and hope.

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