Social Science Professors visit, lecture at Belgium university on research implementation in Palestine

Faculty members from the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences visited Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium, giving lectures and workshops to undergraduate and graduate students on the implementation of research in Palestine.

As part of the collaboration between Birzeit University and VUB, the three professors gave a lecture to college undergraduate students on doing research in Palestine, and led workshops for graduate master’s and PhD students on “Qualitative Research in Action: Doing research with communities affected by war, colonization and marginalization in Palestine.” The workshops were organized by a research group called Voicing Youth at Social Risk (VOICE) in cooperation with the Doctoral School Human Sciences (DSh).

The Director of the Institute of Women’s Studies, Dr. Lena Meari, and the assistant professor of social and behavioral science Dr. Said Shehadeh gave a workshop on “Trauma and resilience: reframing trauma in the Palestinian context, focusing on the concept of resilience as experienced and understood by Palestinians living under colonial occupation. They discussed adaptive ways of coping among Palestinians and elucidated the mechanisms underlying their innate capacity for sumud – the capacity to resist and to endure the toxic effects of colonial violence.

The Head of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences Dr. Sama Dawani led a workshop entitled titled “Palestinian adolescent girls’ self-performance through visual narratives”, highlighting her research project with adolescents in their school context, which aimed to learn about the selfhood of Palestinian young people.

The faculty members also met with representatives of the VUB international relations office to discuss future research partnerships between the two universities.