Students, faculty celebrate Italian language week at university museum 

Birzeit University’s students, faculty, and staff members celebrated the Week of the Italian Language in the World with exhibitions and activities promoting Italian culture and heritage in a special event organized by Birzeit University’s External Academic Relations Office, together with the Consulate General of Italy and the Fante Alighieri Society of Bethlehem-Ramallah on Thursday, October 21, 2021.

Hosted at the university’s museum, the Week of the Italian Language is an annual event promoted by a network of Italian cultural and diplomatic institutions in the third week of October to celebrate Italian culture, heritage, and language worldwide.

Attending the event were Italian Consul General Joseph Fedele, Director of External Academic Relations at Birzeit University Dr. Amir Khalil, Director of Birzeit University’s Museum Dr. Rana Barkat, Italian language instructor Roberto Cirelli, and several students and faculty members.  

The event began with an exhibition entitled “Journey through the Italian Language,” followed by a musical performance entitled “Musical Journey Across Italy and the Italian Language Throughout the Centuries,”  which was led by the Amwaj Choir, Bethlehem Strings, and musicians from the Barenboim-Said Center for Music in a special collaboration for the event.  

Prior to the celebration, the consul general met with Birzeit University President  Dr. Beshara Doumani and discussed ways of enhancing cooperation between the consulate and the university, with a focus on teaching Italian language and providing more mobility opportunities for students. 

The Department of Languages and Translation at Birzeit University offers Italian language courses to more than 150 students every semester, and it provides mobility opportunities for Palestinian students in more than nine Italian universities, in cooperation with the External Academic Relations Office.  

In the meeting with Doumani, Fedele praised the long-standing partnership between the consulate and Birzeit University, noting that the university has always been at the center of the consulate’s attention, not only for its academic excellence, but also for having the most lively and passionate student body. 

Doumani noted that Birzeit University, with its students and employees, is not only a reflection of the Palestinian society, but it is also an active part of that community that drives positive change therein. Through close and engaging cooperation with Birzeit’s local and international friends and supporters, Doumani   asserted, the university will be a leading center of creative thought, knowledge production and quality education. 

Khalil, who also attended the meeting, discussed the policies and procedures the university takes to encourage and facilitate the participation of students and faculty members in mobility programs and initiatives, especially in Italy. He added that, with the development and growth of inter-university programs, the university’s partnerships will expand to include more programs, universities and countries.