Students to give back to their communities as part of agreement with Birzeit Municipality

Students enrolled in Birzeit University’s Leadership and Active Citizenship Program “Masari”  will cooperate with Birzeit Municipality to solve social issues that affect the town and the broader Palestinian community as part of an agreement signed between the university, represented by its president Abdullatif Abuhijleh, and the municipality, represented by mayor Ibrahim Saed, on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. 

“Masari” is a three-year program that aims to incentivize students from all majors to plan their lives and engage with their surroundings as integral members of the Palestinian community. The program creatively integrates the experiences of both academics and staff at Birzeit University into a series of distinctive, interactive lectures.

Attending the signing ceremony were Vice President for Administrative and Financial Affairs Mirvat Bulbul, Office of Grants and Contracts Director Amir Khalil, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit Director George Yerousis, and three staff members from Birzeit Municipality. 

In his welcoming remarks, Abuhijleh emphasized the role “Masari” plays in equipping Palestinian students with the skills and expertise they need to effectively lead their communities and advance the broader Palestinian society. 

Saed praised the cooperation between the municipality and Birzeit University, saying that it helps integrate students in their surrounding environments and prepares them for a life of community engagement and development. 

Deployed and administered by Birzeit University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit, “Masari” fosters an active campus of entrepreneurs and innovators – bolstering the university’s internal entrepreneurial ecosystem – and provides an open innovation platform where students, faculty, and staff can co-create and collaboratively work on new ideas and design and implement community initiatives.  
The program comprises three years: the first focuses on self-exploration, self-discovery, self-awareness, and self-management through Personal Competencies and Career Path stations; the second year emphasizes the other and the community by promoting  active citizenship skills – diversity, empathy, and sharing – through Debating and Citizenship stations. 

The program culminates in the third year that focuses on the development and implementation of student-led community initiatives that stem from the students’ outlooks on Palestinian national contexts and priorities. It involves two stations that focus on design thinking and social entrepreneurship.