Palestine and Arabic Studies Program welcomes 37 new students for the summer semester

Thirty-seven students — internationals and diaspora Palestinians from the United States, Japan, Peru, and many other countries — joined the Palestine and Arabic Studies Program at Birzeit University for the 2019 summer semester.  

The students were welcomed by the staff and administrators of the program in an orientation session held on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. 

Rasha Kassis, the administrative and financial coordinator of the Palestine and Arabic Studies Program, explained the course structure, registration procedures, university regulations, and program bylaws. 

Hanada Kharma, director of the program, introduced the students to the philosophy behind teaching Arabic employed during course instruction and discussed the extent to which it is a process of learning intertwined with the political and cultural dimensions of the Palestinian community.

Additionally, the presenters introduced students to accommodation options in Ramallah and Birzeit, upcoming tours of the two towns, and the conversational partner program – which brings together native Arabic speakers and international students to exchange language skills and knowledge. 

Two students were awarded the President's Palestinian Diaspora Grant, which covers the tuition fees of any two courses in addition to all the administrative fees for students seeking to enroll in the Palestine and Arabic Studies Program. The scholarship is aimed at Palestinians living in the diaspora and offers them the chance to learn Arabic in their homeland.

A team from the Public Relations Office familiarized the students with Birzeit University’s history, its current academic offerings, and the difficulties – and triumphs – of education under occupation. 

The team highlighted Israeli violations against the Palestinians’ right to education, which ranged from 15 closures of the university’s campus (the longest of which lasted 51 months) to the constant harassment and arrest of students and professors. More than seventy Birzeit University students are currently detained in Israeli prisons.