Conclusion of the International Exchange Project of the Imperial College London


On September 28th 2010, in cooperation between the International Youth Exchange Program (Zajel) of the Public Relations Department at An-Najah, Al-Lud Charitable Society in Nablus and the Students Council at the Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, the events of the two-week International Youth Exchange Project were concluded on Sunday September 26th 2010. During the project's period, international volunteers carried out several activities, events and training workshops through which they aimed to train An-Najah students on discourse skills, communication skills, enhancing their English skills and building up their personalities and self-confidence.

More than 50 students from An-Najah participated in the project's workshops and events which gave them the chance to interact with internationals and develop their proficiency in English and use it to deliver strong discourse. The volunteers from the Imperial College also took part in activities in Asker Refugee Camp where they organized recreation events that included drama, sport, handicrafts and many other activities which aimed to give the children the chance to relieve themselves, enhance their skills and enjoy their time.

Mr. Hakeem Abu Aisha, Head of Al-Lud Charitable Society in Nablus, said that the volunteering activities have contributed to the reinforcement of cultural dialogue and understanding between internationals and locals. Children in the Camp had the chance to interact with others from a different culture which was extremely useful for them. Matthew Cutler, one of the volunteers from the Imperial College, said that his volunteering in the project and his visit to Asker Camp helped him create a different image of the Palestinian people. He added that his participation has brought him much closer to the life of the Palestinians and the reality of their situations on ground.

Children from Asker Camp mentioned that the project was very interesting and exciting for it enabled them join other people in entertaining activities and useful programs. The 13-year old Razan Ardis who participated in the program said "The program enabled me to take part in team work; I have learned a lot; I learned how to use the computer, how to speak in English and how to participate in drama and handicrafts". Other children expressed their happiness to participate in such events and mentioned that international volunteers were extremely cooperative and helpful to them which made the whole project run smoothly.

Gloria Ahmed, a student form the Department of French at An-Najah, commented on her participation in the project by saying "I have benefited a lot from my participation in the discourse skills training courses. The trainers have trained us on how to develop our discourse skills and use English properly in public speeches. Through these workshops I was able to build up my self-confidence and linguistic skills in a way that gave me the strength to stand in front of a large audience and speak. I encourage all students to take part in similar events in the future because they are chances to develop one's skills and experience."

As part of their participation in the exchange project, the British volunteers also visited the different faculties, departments, facilities and centers at the New and Old campuses. They also met with people in the Old City of Nablus, and the Samaritan Village in addition to visiting a number of sites in Hebron, Bethlehem and other Palestinian cities.



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