Conference with Jaume University, Spain
Zajel Youth Exchange program organized a video conference on the
Middle East Conflict on the 4th Dec.2003 with the University of
Jaume, in Spain. The conference brought together students
participating in an MA of Peace and Development Studies at Jaume,
with students from An-Najah National University to discuss
different aspects of the Israeli occupation in Palestine. The
topics mainly focused upon the issues that students in Palestine
deal with on a regular basis.
Mr. Sami Al-Kilani, the Director of the Public Relations
Department at An- Najah, opened with an introduction to An-Najah,
and outlining some of the difficulties that the university
community faces, and stressed the Palestine right to education, as
clearly defined in international law, and the determination of
Palestinians to continue their education, in spite of all
obstacles caused by the occupation.
was followed by a presentation made in Spanish by Professor Musa
Abdulmoti from the Journalism Department, outlining the major
impacts of the occupation, and especially the hard ships faced
during the current intifadah. A number of An-Najah students talked
about specific aspects of the occupation that effect students.
Mira, an active volunteer in Zajel, talked about her own
experience during the Israeli invasions into the city of Nablus,
the effects of the curfews, and the Israeli soldiers’ repeated
violation of students’ rights. She also talked about the
importance of volunteering in programs like Zajel, which give
students both the chance to express themselves, as well as to
participate in a constructive way to the betterment of Palestinian
student, Kamilia, addressed the impact of the Israeli check points
and road blocks. Tasneem explained the problems with the Israeli
settlements on Palestinian farms and villages. Additionally,
students talked about the apartheid wall, the damage to the
economy, the destruction of homes and olive trees. Finally, the
Israeli policy of extra-judicial assassinations was discussed by
Rana, whose brother was killed in this way by the Israelis.
Dr. Patrick Daly, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts,
moderated the conference. In addition, he discussed the impact of
the Israeli occupation upon higher education in Palestine. As part
of this he talked about the direct closure of schools and
universities, as well as the psychological and financial impacts
of the siege on students, and faculty members.
second half of the conference was devoted to an open question and
answer session, in which An-Najah students addressed questions by
students from Jaume.
The conference ended with a word from the head of the MA of Peace
and Development Studies program whom encouraged Palestinian
students to apply for two scholarships at their university.