Symposium Explores Horizons for Social Sciences in Palestine

The Office of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences in Palestine held on December 10, 2016 in Birzeit University a symposium on the challenges associated with knowledge production in the field of social sciences.

The symposium aimed to highlight the efforts that are implemented towards empowering the field of social science, and draw attention to the epistemological and research efforts that are done by the Council to support young researches.

The Chair of the Academic Guidance Committee in the council Eileen Kuttab, the Head of the Council's office in Palestine Firas Jaber, and a number of scholars, professors and students attended the event.

Kuttab underscored the importance of Palestine's membership in the Arab Council, where Palestinian researchers can find support and a hub for their knowledge production to be embraced. She pointed out that universities should expand their efforts to improve their support to social sciences, assuring that researches in Palestine can only be valuable if they are connected to the colonization and liberation contexts.

Jaber pointed out to the functions of the Academic Guidance Committee including supporting researchers with ideas and programs that are able to monitor and address scientifically and cognitively the most crucial issues that the Arab states face.

The symposium included three sessions; the first one headed by philosophy and cultural Studies Professor Abdul Karim Al Barghothi. Professor of philosophy and cultural studies Ramy Salameh presented a paper on the challenges of socio-cognitive and knowledge production in the Palestinian universities.

The second session, presented by social and behavioral science professor Lena Meari, highlighted the research ethics that serve to ensure the safe and ethical conduct of research. Professor of Social and Behavioral Science Alaa' Azeh headed the session.

The symposium was concluded with a discussion on the report of the "The Arab Social Science Monitor" which is dedicated to surveying the landscape and assessing the trajectory of social science research in Arab countries as well as following up on emergent research agendas and themes. The session was headed by Kuttab, and included presentations by Mohammad Bamieh, Muhannad Mustafa and Nasser Abu Atta.