BZU launches Maltese Cultural Day

Celebrating the Maltese culture on campus, Birzeit University students, faculty and staff gathered to experience the Maltese traditions, culture and literature during the “Maltese Cultural Day” organized on March 27, 2017 by the Deanship of Student Affairs and the Palestine Arabic Studies Program (PAS).

The Vice President for Administrative and Financial Affairs Rania Jaber said that the day aims at confirming the importance of exposing our students to different nations and experiences. She emphasized on the strong ties that the university has with Malta, especially through academia.

“We look forward to learn from the extensive experience of Malta’s novelists and poets”, she commented.

The Maltese Representative in Palestine Reuben Gauci expressed his enthusiasm about this distinguished day. “What makes this day more special is having the Palestinian-Maltese writer Walid Nabhan, one of the most prominent writers in Malta. Learning from intellectuals and writers allow students and teaching faculty to pay attention to important cultural, economic, and historical issues. This can contribute to the cumulative knowledge, education and broad thinking of our students.”

Gauci announced that the Maltese government will be offering three scholarships to master’s students.

The professor at the University of Malta Adrian Grama spoke about Malta’s history, language and demography. He highlighted the parallels between Maltese and Palestinian history as reflected in their heritage, spoken language and traditions. “The Geography of Malta between Africa and Europe has enriched its culture and identity. More than 70% of its terms are taken from the Arabic Language, but it is affected by the Italian and European languages.”

Nabhan said that learning the Maltese language was easy because it is very close to the Arabic terms. He talked about his writings in other language, pointing out the he was the first to translate books from the Maltese language to Arabic. He stated that will focus in the upcoming years to writing in Arabic.