My name is Pawel and in January 2015 I was 24 years old, freshly out of the university. Despite that, I was granted an amazing opportunity – and a privilege – to visit the An-Najah National University and teach two classes to students – Journalism and communication skills and Introduction to project management. It was my second time in Palestine, after a short tourist trip to Ramallah in 2013.
Without further ado – whatever I ever thought universities should be – An-Najah was. Whatever I ever hoped cooperation between students, administration and lecturers could be – it was there, at An-Najah. Finally – whatever I thought extracurricular activities at the university might look like – An-Najah was there to surprise me again. From my first day I received a lot of assistance, help and hospitality – both coming from staff and students. Students that attended my classes were curious about the subjects and willing to get to know other perspectives on many subjects. Thanks to that – I hope – my classes were successful and developing, both for students and for me personally.
Outside of the classes, I had a chance to visit Nablus surroundings, discover history of Nablus and Palestine in the Old City of Nablus and witness the struggle of people living in Balata and Askar refugee camps. During my stay I had a chance to make a lot of friends and have many, many interesting conversations that helped me to learn and understand contemporary Palestine. Nowadays, I can share this knowledge with others and invite them to Palestine, country that I now consider as my second home.
During my stay I faced many challenges, one of them being unable to communicate with some people. Therefore, I was forced to learn basic Arabic, to immerse even more into the city. Another challenge was making classes entertaining and meaningful, but with the help of understanding students and An-Najah staff we were able to overcame this challenge too.
I am also glad that my family had a chance to visit the An-Najah university and Palestine in general, with my father being able to share his story regarding Polish history. I do believe it was a valuable and unique experience, both for students of An-Najah and for my parents. I also believe that the Zajel programme is doing a tremendous job in building bridges between different cultures and different people.
I would like to thank the An-Najah university, Zajel programme, as well as all of the students that attended my classes or that I’ve met during my stay. Inshallah we will see each other again!