Diaspora Palestinians visit Birzeit University, promise to 'spread the message'
Eighty members of the American Federation of Ramallah visited Birzeit University’s campus as part of a tour of Palestine on July 3, 2018.
The group met with members of the Public Relations Office who briefed them on the history of Birzeit University, its current academic offerings, and the difficulties – and triumphs – of education under occupation.
The team also highlighted Israeli violations against Palestinians’ right to education, which ranged from the 15 closures of the university’s campus (the longest of which lasted 51 months) to the constant harassment and arrest of students and professors. Sixty Birzeit University students are currently detained in Israeli prisons.
Hanada Kharma, director of the Palestine and Arabic Studies Program, introduced the attendees to the program, its aims, and its teaching methods. “The program is a wonderful opportunity to embed yourself in Palestinian culture,” she told the members. “We offer a unique mix of interactive tours of Palestinian towns and villages, immersive Modern Standard Arabic courses, and the chance to engage with lively Birzeit University students.”
Kharma called upon members of the federation to convey the Palestinian message and spread awareness of the Israeli violations. “In 2018, Birzeit University was ranked, for the second time in a row, as the top Palestinian higher education institution and one of the top 3 percent of universities worldwide,” noted Kharma. “All of these achievements were accomplished despite the Israeli Occupation. Imagine what heights the university would reach if there were no occupation.”