Palestinian Scholars Successfully Conclude USA Visit

Center for Arab American Studies Connects Jerusalem and Dearborn

Palestinian Scholars Successfully Conclude USA Visit



Dearborn-Michigan. The Center of Arab-American Studies (CAAS) at the University of Michigan-Dearborn (UMD) concluded a 13-day Institute on American Studies and Arab American Studies on Monday October 23, 2006, during which 8 Palestinian and 8 U.S. emerging scholars interacted with senior scholars, community leaders and advocates, artists, poets, and students in San Francisco Bay Area and Detroit Metropolitan region. 


Culminating a two-year joint project with Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, Connecting Jerusalem and Dearborn: Developing Arab American and American Studies Curriculum in the U.S. and the Arab World” was funded with $100,000.00 federal grant by the Higher Education for Development (formerly the Association Laison Office) in September 2004.


The Dearborn Institute held October 15-23, 2006 followed the Jerusalem Institute held June 4-8, 2006 in Jerusalem. Sixteen scholars and emergent scholars from the USA and Palestine participated in this academic bridge-building endeavor. Participants represented various college and university campuses in Palestine and the United States. The Institutes program included lectures, workshops, and field trips aimed to develop epistemological, conceptual, and methodological skills, cultural programs, and creative reading and writing. 


The participants of the Dearborn Institute attended the American Studies Association [ASA] conference held in Oakland-California, October 12-15, 2006. In Detroit, in addition to the lectures and workshops, participants had an opportunity to get acquainted with important cultural and historical aspects of the city such as the Ford Rouge Plant, Arab-American and Afro-American Museums. Dr. Rabab Abdel-Hadi, Director of CAAS and co-coordinator of the Institute commented: “This was an important step in creating a synergy between American Studies programs in Palestinian Universities and their counterparts in the USA.” Dr. Fadwa Al-Labadie, the Co-coordinator from Al-Quds University pointed out that the visit gave the Palestinian participants the opportunity to experience first hand what they had learnt in their American Studies program back in Palestine. 


Ala Yousef, the Coordinator of the Zajel Youth Exchange Program of the Public Relations Department at An-Najah National University participated in the institute besides the other Palestinian students, he said that his participation in the Institute was a great opportunity to learn about the American society and its culture. 


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