Zajel Organizes Korean
Over sixty Korean students came and visited the University. They
were volunteers from InterSIA, a Korean organization that
promotes cross cultural exchange and understanding. Mr. Ala
Yousef, Coordinator of the Zajel Youth Exchange Program of the
Public Relations Department, gave presentation about the Zajel
Program. The Korean guests were then given a tour around both
the old and new campuses of the university. They visited the
Korean Palestinian IT Institute of Excellence, the Faculty of
Art, the Faculty of IT and the Turki Bin Abdul Aziz Theatre.
They also received an informative discussion about the Right to
Education Campaign at the university. They walked around the
campuses and interacted with the local students. This gave the
students of An-Najah National University the opportunity to ask
questions and get to know them better.
next day students of An-Najah National University enjoyed the
National Korean Festival held at the old campus. The day started
off with an opening speech by Dr. Nabil Alawi, Director of the
Public Relations Department. Dr. Alawi spoke of the importance
of cross-cultural cooperation between students from different
backgrounds. He stressed how honored he was to have the Koreans
visit the campus, despite the difficulties of being in Nablus.
“It gives us hope for a better future.” He then spoke about the
great relationship that the university has with the Korean
Embassy. He highlighted the importance of the Korean Palestinian
IT Institute of Excellence donated by the embassy and how it has
greatly helped over 1000 students at the university. He ended
the speech by reiterating the importance of cultural exchange
and how he hopes that these activities will create lasting
friendships that will encourage future exchange.
This was then followed by an opening speech by Hyejil Lo-No,
Coordinator of InterSIA student interchange. Mrs. Lo-No spoke of
the importance of Asian international leadership. She felt it
was important for the Korean students to come to Nablus instead
of speaking to the local students by videoconference. “This is
important because it allows us to forge personal relationships
with each other.”
Mr. Yousef, then gave the Korean guests a short presentation on
Palestinian history. He started the presentation by giving a
short history about the British occupation of Palestine. He then
gave an informative speech about the plight of Palestinian
refugees and their desire to return to their homes. He ended the
presentation with an overview of the affects of the 1967 war.
The Korean students were given the opportunity to perform
traditional Korean music and dance. Several of the students
demonstrated how to play Samulnori, a mixture of drum and gongs.
This was followed by a beautiful demonstration of Buche Chum,
traditional Korean dance.
The student performances were followed by an informative
presentation about Korean society. Cho Hye, Coordinator of
InterSIA, spoke about Korean life, economy, education, history
and climate. This was a very useful presentation for the local
students. It gave them the chance to further enhance their
knowledge of other countries and cultures. This is desperately
needed in a region where most students aren’t allowed to travel
and experience different cultures firsthand. At the end of the
presentations Dr. Alawi and Mrs. Hyejil thanked each other by
The presentations were immediately followed by a series of
discussions at the library. Both the Korean and local students
were able to come together to talk and learn more about each
other’s cultures. Students discussed a wide array of topics
including music, culture, language, and religion. This is an
important part of any cultural exchange program because it gives
both sides the chance to learn more about each other.
The Korean guests were then given several hours of free time.
This gave them the chance to interact with the local university
students on a more personal level. The Koreans organized many
fun activities such as Tai-Kwon-Do, water balloon fights, and
painting Korean words on the local students. This created a
relaxing environment that encouraged the local students to come
and get more involved. Several of the students acted out an
amusing drama show. A quick walk around the campus clearly
showed how well the students interacted together. Every part of
the campus was filled with local students trying to learn more
about the Korean guests. Cultural exchanges such as this are
vital for the local students. It allows them to get a taste of
other cultures and beliefs. It also gives them the opportunity
to speak to foreigners about their hardships and frustration.
The festival ended with a friendly match of basketball and
soccer between the Koreans and local students. It was a
wonderful way to end the day’s events. Both the Korean and local
students got to play hobbies that are popular in both countries.
It was a great way for them to bond. The events and activities
that were organized throughout the day truly did help forge
personal relationships between the Korean guests and local