Joint Friends of Birzeit University and student union officers' statement in support of the Right to Education for Palestinians
26 Mar 2018
Following the storming of the university and abduction of the President of the Student Council,
Birzeit University, the Right to Education in Palestine and Palestinian students have called for the support of students and academic communities worldwide to stand up in defence of their right to education.
Please join us in showing your solidarity at this critical moment.
On Wednesday 7th March in the mid-afternoon, armed IDF units in civilian clothing forced their way onto Birzeit University campus. One unit detained university security guards, confiscated their weapons and began firing...
Education, and Decolonization: On Not Reading Ibn Khaldun in Palestine
16 Dec 2017
Western hegemony, colonization, imperial and neocolonial domination over the Third World has been sustained through knowledge production that has become hegemonic on a global scale since the rise of western modernity.
I argue that settler colonialism in Palestine took place and has been maintained through that structure. Formal independence of previously colonized countries has not led to real decolonization, not only because these countries continued to be economically and otherwise dependent on Western powers, but also importantly if not more so, due to dependency on knowledge produced...
Social Suffering, The Painful Wounds Inside
21 Feb 2017
As I write these lines, I think about the survivors of war in Aleppo, Syria, enduring desperate conditions. What is it like to witness the destruction of homes, the world, history, and identity, and become refugees or displaced persons? How does this social suffering caused by war manifest itself in health and well-being?
My colleagues and I at Birzeit University, supported by discussions with Lebanese, Syrian, and Iraqi academics from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the American University of Beirut, have developed an understanding of the effects of war on health, grounded on the...
The Two-State Solution’s Silver Bullet
16 Jan 2017
If the international community cannot come to recognize the State of Palestine before Trump takes office, the State of Palestine may ultimately be reconstituted from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
By Sam Bahour
If the international community, led by the U.S., is serious about preserving the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the upcoming French-hosted international peace conference is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reframe the way forward. Recognizing the State of Palestine would politically contribute to ending Israel’s nearly 50-year...
Education as a Political Practice Towards Gender Equality and Social Justice
9 Jan 2017
Women activists neither pause nor wait nor neglect available opportunities or openings for change. They use them, expand them, or create alternative spaces through their daily coping and resistance strategies. Women’s struggles against colonialism, patriarchal domination, discrimination, violence, and exploitation extend from home to work, passing through economic, social, legal, and political systems of discrimination, confronting structural as well as cultural obstacles, by opening new boundaries that make opportunities for positive change a reality for all.
As a founding member and...
Palestinians enter a new challenging era
20 Dec 2016
It is no longer possible to ignore the impact of three important developments that have ushered the Palestinian cause into a new, more challenging and less suitable political environment - one that requires a radical review of the mechanisms of Palestinian political action.
The first is the uncertainty in or the collapse of the Arab political system; the second are recent radical transformations in Israel; and the third is the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.
The crippling changes in the Arab world have made it immeasurably less capable of providing support for...
SYRIAN AND IRAQI REFUGEES: A PALESTINIAN PERSPECTIVE
21 Nov 2016
It is heart wrenching to see images of Syrian and Iraqi refugees, including Palestinian refugees of the 1948 Nakba (catastrophe) who became refugees for the second or third time, desperately searching for safety from the nightmare befalling them. Although the welcoming support of ordinary Europeans who could not tolerate seeing these distressing images (especially the image of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi found dead on a Turkish beach) is heartwarming, the contrast with xenophobic reactions of some groups, governments, and border closures are inhumane and outrageous. Many in our region point...
The Palestinian Authority: Unsettling Status Quo Scenarios
14 Nov 2016
Though the Palestinian Authority (PA) appears to be at the center of Palestinian politics, it has brought few real changes to the way the West Bank is governed over its 22 years of existence.
In part due to the Palestinian Authority’s weakness, the two-state solution has failed. The only alternative, however, is not the one-state solution, but variations on the current status quo – all of which lead to a more intensified condition of apartheid.
In time, with a more amenable regional and international atmosphere, a different scenario – revolutionary in nature – may become...
Palestinian Universities on the Frontline
8 Oct 2016
Palestinian universities are fighting an uphill battle on two fronts, one being the Israeli military occupation, and more recently, the other being the Palestinian government. Although each poses two very different sets of challenges, one outcome is clear. If immediate and decisive intervention is not forthcoming, the structural damage that will set back entire generations of Palestinian students will haunt Palestine’s developmental capabilities for many years to come. That is, if the damage has not already been inflicted.
Prolonged Israeli military occupation of Palestine (West Bank,...
Reflections at Nasib A. Shaheen Theatre
24 Feb 2016
Saturday, February 20, 2016 was a memorable occasion as many people from Ramallah and Jerusalem gathered at the Naseeb Shaheen Auditorium at Birzeit University to attend a concert. We were sorry that Naseeb had passed away before seeing this great achievement completed. In fact the auditorium is the fourth building on the campus contributed by the Shaheen family. The young musicians of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music were privileged to join the Palestine National Orchestra and a few guests from the Geneva Conservatory of Music in the last of three performances under the...