Video Conference with
Youth Exchange Program organized a video conference on the Middle
East conflict with Maine University in America on Tuesday, 27th
April. The conference was organized to encourage dialogue
between Palestinian and American students and to narrow the gap
between their perspectives.
Fifty Palestinian students and a similar number of American
students and instructors at Maine University, attended conference
which focused on the Israeli occupation and its impact on the
Palestinian academic process; the psychological and financial
impacts; the war against Iraq; the events of 11th of
September and the American elections.
French delegation attended and one of its members spoke about her
impressions of the suffering of the Palestinian people. An
American professor teaching at Najah described his experience of
his life in Palestine, in particular about the disruption caused
by the numerous roadblocks and the violent treatment of
Palestinians seeking to go to pass through to go work or to
Palestinian students clarified some of the biased language used by
the media about the situation: for instance, Palestinian
resistance fighters were called terrorists while Israeli soldiers
who killed Palestinian civilians and children were just
“soldiers”; the apartheid wall was celled a security fence.
Students and instructors of Maine University asked questions about
peace possibilities, the Road Map, America’s image, and the Iraq
students asked questions about the American media, stereotypes,
the American elections, and the Palestinian right of resistance.
The video conference lasted for two hours. Both sides showed
flexibility and maturity in debate and discussion. Prof. Edward
Jadalah, the Coordinator of the video conference in Maine
University, expressed his thanks for this exceptional opportunity.
He said to Palestinian students: “You are insightful and honest
people who have clearly presented the Palestinian cause with
respect and dignity. I was extremely proud and appreciative of
your questions and knowledge.”
This conference is the 4th in less than a year. Zajel
organizes such activities to narrow the gap between Palestinian
students and their fellows abroad. It is one of Zajel`s goals to
show the Palestinian perspective and the Palestinian on what is
happening in the Middle East.
PS Richard, an English volunteer in Nablus, says: “It was a
good discussion. I think you should make a video film with a
tough editor in which students tell the stories and make the
comments which they made at the conference. On the film they would
have more time to describe what happens and to develop their