In support of Students Fund: more than 3000 celebrate Birzeit Nights Festival

The seventh annual Birzeit Nights festival began on October 3, 2017, at Birzeit University. The two -day festival, held under the sponsorship of the Faculty of Student Affairs, celebrates Palestinian art, tradition, and folklore.

The multi-day festival, which was held annually at the old university campus until 1984, when political turmoil forced it to a halt, hosts prominent Palestinian traditional musicians and performers, along with many exhibitions and activities that serve to illustrate the beauty and variety of Palestinian culture and heritage.

 On its first night, the festival hosted the Palestinian artist Dalal Abu Amneh, and the Juthoor and Funoneyat dabkeh dance troupes, and will feature, on its second night, musical performances by the bands Al-Samer and Birzeit University’s Sanabel, as well as dance performances by the Naqesh, Asayel, and Handala popular dance troupes.

The President of Birzeit University, Dr. Abedellatif Abu Hijleh, commented in his opening speech that the festival was held as “a testament to the power of joy and a tribute to our musical and dancing folklore and heritage.” He added that the art showcased in the festival blends together various aspects of Palestinian culture, a key aspect of Birzeit University’s mission as a beacon not only of science, but also of arts and culture.

The festival is accompanied by six days of morning activities, held on the university campus, ranging from the Birzeit Nights book fair and a traditional handcrafts exhibit, to a poetry recital by the Palestinian poet Faris Saba’ni and a rendition of the play “Steal Less, Please” by the Mawasem theater troupe.

A discussion into the customs and traditions of Palestine, “Let’s Talk,” is also part of the morning activities accompanying the Birzeit Nights festival. An enlightening talk presented by Drs. Shareef Kanaana and Nathmi Jubeh, “Let’s Talk” asks the questions: what are Palestinian customs and traditions? What is local and what is foreign, and how does it all connect to Palestinian heritage and cultural production?

Out of support of, and in belief in, Palestinian unity, the Birzeit Nights festival will be broadcast simultaneously in both Gaza and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

All of the proceeds generated by the festival will go toward the Birzeit University Student Fund, which supports students in financial need to continue their academic journeys.