Scholars Successfully Conclude USA Visit
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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