Social Suffering, The Painful Wounds Inside

Rita Giacaman (11054) 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...
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The Two-State Solution’s Silver Bullet

Sam Bahour 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...
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Education as a Political Practice Towards Gender Equality and Social Justice

Eileen Kuttab 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...
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Palestinians enter a new challenging era

Ghassan Khatib 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...
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Rita Giacaman 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...
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The Palestinian Authority: Unsettling Status Quo Scenarios

Asem Khalil 14 Nov 2016
Key Points 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...
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Palestinian Universities on the Frontline

Sam Bahour 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,...
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Reflections at Nasib A. Shaheen Theatre

Samia Khoury 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...
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ANALYSIS: Laying out a new paradigm

Ghassan Khatib 7 Oct 2015
The long stagnation in the peace process, where years have passed now since any real breakthrough, and the growing tension in Palestinian-Israeli relations invite analysts and politicians to examine why this has happened, and to suggest fresh ideas and ways forward.One of the most significant trends impacting this stagnation is the rising radicalization in Israeli public opinion. Each Israeli cabinet and Knesset over the last 20 years has been more hardline than the last, save some small fluctuations. This has led to a situation where most Israelis, including the prime minister, believe that...
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ANALYSIS: Succession fever? Is there a cure?

Ghassan Khatib 8 Sep 2015
RAMALLAH, September 7, 2015 - Debate and speculation among Palestinians over who will succeed the Palestinian president have suddenly intensified. Foreign journalists and diplomats are instantly drawn to the topic. Leaks from those in President Abbas’ inner circle that he will resign, and the replacement of Yasser Abed Rabbo with Saeb Erekat as secretary general of the executive committee of the PLO have fed the discussion.The main questions are, what would be the process of succession and will it be smooth Moreover, which one of the various Palestinian leaders has the best chances of...
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