Swiss Delegation Briefed in Palestinian Development Hurdles

Swiss academics and students visited Birzeit University on October 8, 2016 and were briefed on the obstacles to development in Palestine.

Director of the Institute of Environmental and Water Studies at Birzeit University, Rashed Al Sa’ed, described the financial, socioeconomic and political dimensions of creating sustainable wastewater treatment facilities and effluent reuse schemes in Palestine. He emphasized the importance of solving management issues and creating decentralized treatment options for Palestinian communities.

Tariq Da’na, director of the Center of Development Studies, presented a chronology of events since the British Mandate and how they have hindered the process of achieving sustainable development in Palestine. He described how such events, accompanied by Palestinian Authority neoliberal policies especially after the signing of the Oslo Accords,  has deepened dependency on the  Israeli market and foreign aid.

Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies faculty member Hanada Kharama explained the complex challenges facing education in Palestine. Kharama described the systematic practices of the Israeli occupation that hinder educational progress for universities, particularly their ability to attract international academics and students and the imposition of severe mobility restrictions.