Zajel Participates in the Euro-Arab
"Let us talk about the future"
For six days, delegates of Zajel Youth Exchange Program of An-Najah National University
participated in the Euro-Arab Youth Workshop "Let's talk about
the future" held in September in Poland’s capital Warsaw. They
joined 38 other young people from seven European and Arab
countries, Germany, Greece, Poland, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria and
Palestine. Zajel volunteers, representing Palestine, had the
opportunity to discuss youth issues, learn from others and
present the Palestinian point of view on different topics such
as religion, society, women and traditions, and introduce
participants to the activities and goals of Zajel.
The workshop that was
sponsored by the European Union Program Youth in Action and the
UNESCO office in Paris focused on the cultural and folkloric
features of each country through storytelling, calligraphy and
language sessions, and dancing and singing festivals.
Participants also visited classes of a primary school in Warsaw
where they gave presentations about their countries and taught
children traditional games and dances.
also enjoyed learning about Polish culture and history. They
visited the old city of Warsaw which was reconstructed after its
total destruction in World War II, and they listened to a
lecture by Professor Boguslaw Zagorski from the Ibn Khaldun
Institute on the Muslim Tatar minority in Poland, giving the
participants an insight to Polish history and the different
nations that influenced the country's culture.
Ahmad Nimer, one of Zajel
delegates and a student at the Information Technology Faculty of
An-Najah National University, described his participation in the
workshop as an event that increased his awareness and
knowledge. Ahmad explains, ‘Such participation is essential in
bridging the gap between East and West. It gives us the voice
to communicate with other nations and pass on the message about
Palestine, its people and their cause.’ Dr. Nabil Alawi,
Director of the Public Relations Department, commented on
Zajel's participation noting that the University works hard to
activate its involvement in more workshops abroad hoping to
strengthen the cultural exchanges between Palestinian youth and
their counterparts abroad. He stressed that such contributions
which encourage intercultural dialogue could greatly help in
countering the negative propaganda and stereotypes that have
been distorting the image of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims.
Worthy of mention is the web
portal ARABIA, which is the largest in Poland dealing with Arab
issues. It came into existence in 2002 in Warsaw and covers
different types of information about Poland targeting mainly
Arabic readers. Its team consists of students, graduates and
professors from the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at
Warsaw University, Lodz University and Warsaw School of
Economics, in addition to PhD students, sociologists, political
scientists, intercultural relations experts and people with a
passion for Arabic culture.