Youth Exchange Program (Zajel), came as the result of a dream. The
dream was to develop an exchange program that would assemble
youth from diverse backgrounds to interact with Palestinians,
and to learn about Palestinian society and political realities.
The Zajel program is based at
An-Najah National University in Nablus
is the Arabic word for a carrier
pigeon: a symbol of communication and a symbol of peace. The
Zajel Program offers a peaceful way by which Palestinian youth
can be part of their cause. We seek to answer the
misunderstanding and unawareness of people in the West, by
representing Palestinian youth in a positive way and by acting
as ambassadors for the Palestinian cause.
intention is to provide international youth and university students
with a venue to create a type of symbiotic
relationship that will surpass what other exchange programs have
To promote peace and further the Palestinian cause through
cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Palestinian
youth and the rest of the world.
on three main ideas:
-To challenge the
stereotypes about Palestinians that exist in the West,
this is accomplished
by making our students aware of these misconceptions and
providing them with the historical and cultural
education needed to counter this.
international communication and intercultural dialogue,
to empower our students to accept and deal with different
opinions, religions and cultures by bringing them into
contact with people from across the world.
-To involve the Palestinian youth in
organizing activities that
serve their community; this builds the self confidence and
experience of students, which will help them play a larger
role in the future building of a Palestinian state.
How do we bring
these ideas into practice?
Voluntary work placements
allow international volunteers to help our efforts in a
variety of ways, for instance: teaching English and establishing
contacts internationally with youth organizations from
across the globe.
Summer work camps
are organized annually for a period of three weeks: volunteers from all over the world are brought together to
work at the university and local refugee camps, This camp aims to foster a lasting relationship
between the international volunteers and the Palestinian
aim to engage lecturers and students from Palestine and the
rest of the world in an open dialogue about important and
controversial topics within the Middle East.
Study visits allow
participants to see another side of the conflicts in the
Middle East. Study Visits last for one or two days, and include
workshops, lectures and meetings with leaders of the
community, giving invaluable insight into this complex
The Palestine Information Unit
promotes Palestinian culture, tradition, history and news.
It gives a voice to those usually overlooked by a media that
focuses solely on the conflict conflict.
Zajel Youth Exchange program was founded at An-Najah National
University in 2001 through the ideals of a Palestinian NGO called Nashama..