The cost of this war will not only be felt in Gaza

Ghassan Khatib 9 Nov 2023
  We can neither process nor prevent the horrific loss of civilian lives and fierce confrontations that began on October 7 without understanding their political context. United Nations Secretary General António Guterres was correct to admonish that the events of October 7 did not happen in a vacuum.   What we are witnessing now in Gaza, as the death toll rises past 10,000, is Israel resorting to the tired security logic that it uses to solve all its problems. However this approach has not worked—and will never work—precisely because it neglects the political context: decades of...
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Letter protesting Israeli Troops’ Invasion of Birzeit University and Assault on Palestinian Students 10 Feb 2022
From Committee on Academic Freedom, Middle East Studies Association of North America. Prime Minister Naftali Bennet et al… Fax: +972-2-5664838 Dear Prime Minister, Ministers, Brigadier-General, and Chief Clerk, We write to you on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) to protest the Israeli military’s 10 January 2022 storming of the gates of Birzeit University, arrest of five students and firing of live ammunition on university grounds. We condemn in the strongest terms this horrifying escalation of ongoing assaults...
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The latest brutal Israeli attack on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, May 2021: What needs to be known, remembered, and acted upon.

Rita Giacaman 20 May 2021
I was on the phone yesterday with Dr. Khamis Essi, our colleague and friend, a doctor living in Gaza City. I call him, just like other friends and colleagues once in a while to check on him and his family, given the brutal and terrible situation in the Gaza Strip. We exchange the latest information about the unfolding events there as well as here on the West Bank and East Jerusalem where new protests, demonstrations, and confrontations with the Israeli army and illegal settlers on Palestinian land are taking place. We talk about the injuries, disabilities and death – we discuss the fate of...
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In Memory of Albert Aghazarian: The Alleys of Jerusalem Will Miss You

Nazmi Al Jubeh 18 Nov 2020
I was a third-year student when Albert Aghazarian arrived at Birzeit University in the late 1970s, a tall, solid young man, with a trimmed beard and a pipe jutting from his mouth, beaming with life and energy. Although I was not required to take any of his classes in the Middle Eastern Studies department, I attended several that he taught on the History of Modern and Contemporary Arab Thought to learn the ideas of this new lecturer. I found him to have a brilliant mind and a passion for the seventies revolutionary spirit, challenging dominant and traditional concepts. Most interesting for...
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Birzeit University responds to Coronavirus

Ahmed Abu Hanieh 17 May 2020
In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus, Birzeit University was one of the first Palestinian higher education institutions to implement distance online teaching. The first priority of the university administration and teaching staff is to keep all students healthy and to help them to protect themselves and their families from this pandemic by staying home as long as possible. For that reason, the university encouraged the faculty and staff to start giving distance courses to students using Moodle, with either BigBlueButton or Zoom software. The university swiftly adopted these two...
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Triple Captivity: Palestinian Women under Israeli Military Rule in the Time of COVID-19

Rita Giacaman 11 May 2020
When universities and schools went into lockdown in Palestine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Birzeit University shifted to a virtual education model. What was a difficult beginning eventually became a routine that both teachers and students looked forward to. Rita Giacaman, a professor at the university's Institute of Community and Public Health and her TA, PhD candidate Rula Ghandour, often checked in with their students in the Masters of Public Health (MPH) program about their well-being as well as their studies. It quickly became apparent that the students—all women, some of whom worked...
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Food Insecurity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Reflections in Light of the COVID-19 Lockdown

Weeam Hammoudeh et al 2 Apr 2020
by Tracy Kuo Lin, Rawan Kafri, Weeam Hammoudeh and Tiziana Leone Food insecurity continues to have far reaching impacts on the lives, health and wellbeing of people throughout the world, particularly in countries experiencing conflict and/or high levels of poverty. Conflict has been shown to be a key driver of severe food crises. Not only are 60 percent of those living with chronic hunger located in countries experiencing conflict, but also the prevalence of undernourishment in conflict-affected low and middle-income countries is between 1.4 to 4.4 percentage points higher on average than...
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Coronavirus, King’s Maker

Ghassan Khatib 27 Mar 2020
RAMALLAH, March 26, 2020 - This pandemic that the world is facing is having a powerful impact on politicians and political situations—but with entirely contrasting results. For some, it is a gift from God for their fortunes, but for others, an existential threat. Leadership capability and the nature of the political regime seem to be the most important overarching factors.  Here in Palestine, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has so far been able to leverage this health crisis into a political opportunity. Admitting our lack of resources to adequately confront the spread of the disease, he...
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Trump’s “Deal” reminds us that all politics is local

Ghassan Khatib 1 Feb 2020
The unveiling of the long-awaited American “peace plan”—the “Deal of the Century”—did not produce any surprises for Palestinians. In fact, the document appeared to us to be a compilation of the positions adopted by the U.S. administration since President Donald Trump’s election. Or, one could say that it reads rather like an English translation of right-wing Israeli rhetoric hurled at Palestinians ad nauseam: occupied East Jerusalem is to remain part of Israel, no evacuation of illegal Jewish settlements, no withdrawal from the Jordan Valley, no return of refugees—not even one!—and the...
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Why PAS Program?

Tagreed Abed 19 Nov 2019
Throughout your tour at Birzeit University campus (BZU) or its website visit, you might notice the acronym “PAS”. Have you ever asked yourselves what it represents? Or, why is it beneficial to join PAS Program? Have you ever wondered if it is vital to speak Arabic? If not, please think seriously about these questions. This essay will hopefully help you find proper answers to these questions. Well, PAS refers to the Palestine and Arabic Studies Program. PAS is a comprehensive program that does not only teach Arabic, but it also comprises social science courses The principal mission of...
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