Students join forces with chamber of commerce to combat social issues

Students enrolled in Birzeit University’s Leadership and Active Citizenship Program “Masari” will cooperate with the Ramallah and Al-Bireh Chamber of Commerce to solve social issues that affect the twin cities and the broader Palestinian community as part of an agreement signed between the university, represented by its president Abdullatif Abuhijleh, and the chamber, represented by chairman Abed Alghani Attari, on Wednesday, August 7, 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. Deployed and administered by Birzeit University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit (IEU), 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 Office of Grants and Contracts Director Amir Khalil, IEU Director George Yerousis, Public Relations Director Lubna Abdel Hadi, IEU Labor Market Relations Coordinator Suhair Morar, IEU Projects Coordinator Atef Shkokani, and several staff members from the Ramallah and Al-Bireh Chamber of Commerce. 

In his welcoming remarks, Abuhijleh highlighted Birzeit University’s efforts in developing an innovation-friendly environment in Palestine for thinkers, tinkerers, and innovators. He added that the university, through its many academic and extracurricular programs, equips students with the skills and expertise they need to effectively lead their communities and realize the Palestinian national development goals. 

Attari lauded the cooperation between the Ramallah and Al-Bireh Chamber of Commerce and Birzeit University, noting that this relationship enables the chamber to support young Palestinian students in achieving their goals and ambitions. 

“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.