Zajel Concludes its Work Camp 2009
An-Najah National University concluded its International
Voluntary Camp that was organized by the Zajel Youth Exchange
Program of the Public Relations Department. The camp lasted for
three weeks with the participation of 20 international
volunteers from different countries accompanied by 20 local
student volunteers from An-Najah. The closing ceremony was held
at Zafer Al-Masri Auditorium at the Old Campus of the
university. It included poetry recitations and photography
slideshow of the camp activities.
The international camp activities included daily voluntary work
at the Community Development Center of Askar refugee camp,
cultural lectures, and field trips to Palestinian cities.
The volunteers participated in many psychological debriefing
activities that targeted the kids from the camp through drama,
music, sports, languages, physical therapy and Arts. The
Administration of the center, represented by its Director Amjad
Rifa'i, supervised the activities of the camp to insure its
The camp focused on several cultural exchange themes that
introduced the international volunteers to different social,
cultural, historical and national issues related to Palestinian
identity and traditions. The volunteers attended lectures on
academic and humanitarian issues delivered by Palestinian
intellectuals from different fields.
This camp comes as part of An-Najah National University's
efforts to enhance cultural and academic exchange between
students of the university and their peers from different parts
of the world and to develop strong bonds between them based on
friendship and humanity
Siba Fadda, a student at the Faculty of Engineering of An-Najah
National University, said that her participation was an
exceptionally rewarding and useful experience, since it helped
the local volunteers develop and practice leadership skills.
Siba also noted that the local volunteers’ ability to organize
such international camp was greatly enhanced.
International and local volunteers toured several Palestinian
cities. They visited Hebron and its old city including the
Ibrahimi Mosque where they met with local citizens who talked
about the hard conditions they are living under. They also
visited Bethlehem city, the Nativity Church, the markets, and
Aida Refugee Camp.
The tours also included Ramallah were they visited Late
President Yasser Arafat mausoleum.
They finally visited Qalqilia city and met with its Governor Mr.
Rabi'eh Khandaqji who briefed the guests on the situation in the
city and its surrounding villages. He talked about the impact of
the wall on the economic, agricultural, environmental and social
life. The tour in Qalqilia was concluded with a visit to the
Apartheid Wall that is encircling and choking the city.
Mr. Saed Abu Hijleh, Lecturer at the Geography Department of An-Najah,
presented a workshop on the political geography of the
Palestinian Question, the major historical stages of the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and the future prospects for the
creation of an independent Palestinian state.
Mr. Abu Hijleh also talked about the importance of international
solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle to
attain their national rights and achieve a just and durable
peace for the region.
Mr. Jamal Jum’a from “Stop the Wall Campaign” gave a lecture on
the different phases of Palestinian national struggle up to the
present time. He also focused on the political, economic,
demographic, and environmental problems resulting from the
construction of the Separation Wall in the West Bank. He used
detailed maps to show the far-reaching dreadful effects of the
wall on Palestinian society.
Local and international volunteers organized a cultural day
called "Global Village", where each volunteer gave a small
presentation on his/her country, culture, history, heritage, and
music. This event was organized to enhance the feeling of
belonging to global cultures and challenges.
A visit was organized to Balata Refugee Camp where the
volunteers met with the Director of Yaffa Cultural Center, Mr.
Fayez Arafat, who briefed them on the historical, social,
cultural, educational and health conditions in the Camp, and the
history of Palestinians before their Diaspora in 1948. They also
met with some eyewitnesses of Nakba (Palestinian Catastrophe of
A visit was organized to the Samaritan neighborhood on top of
Jerzim Mountain in the south of Nablus, where volunteers had
further knowledge on the Samaritans, their ancient traditions,
habits and rituals that are followed in all social occasions and
which date back to 3000 years. They also toured the Sacred
Jerzim Mountain accompanied by the Samaritans and knew more
about the religious and historic landscape.
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