On September 6th 2012, An Najah National University celebrated the conclusion of the Zajel’s fifteenth international volunteering camp at Martyr Zafer Al-Masri Auditorium on the old campus, which was organized by the Zajel Youth Exchange Program of the Public Relations Department. The 12 day Camp was a complete success thanks to 37 international volunteers who helped the students of the university improve their English and develop new skills. Dr Sam Alfoqahaa, Director of the Public Relations Department, thanked the internationals on behalf of the university for their efforts that they exerted in order for the students to benefit from the workshops at the closing ceremony.
During the camp Prof. Rami Hamdallah, President of An-Najah, received the internationals in his office where he thanked them for their participation and voluntary work to train the local students on the different subjects.
The 37 internationals come from 16 different countries including: the United States, Australia, Belgium, the U.K., Denmark, the Netherlands, France,Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
They represented a number of top international universities including: Kennesaw State University in the U.S.A, Lebanese American University in Lebanon, University of Newcastle in Australia, University of Ghent in Belgium, Sussex University in the U.K., Lancaster University in the U.K, VU University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Catholic Institute of Paris in France, University of Manchester in the U.K., Friedrich-Alexander University in Germany, Central European University in Hungary, Academy of Fine Arts in Italy, University of Bologna in Italy, Insubria University of Varere in Italy, Universita degli Studi di Milano in Italy, Sant’ Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy, Milano Bicocca University in Italy, Kyoto University in Japan, Keio University in Japan, Goldsmiths University in the U.K., Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico, Universitaet Konstanz in Germany, University of Warsaw in Poland, University Nova of Lisbon in Portugal, University Complutense of Madrid in Spain and University of Seville in Spain.
The internationals volunteered daily in the camp through 24 workshops, training the students in a various fields in English including: English conversation skills, public speaking skills, competency building skills, international laws, networking/ blogging and social media.
They also took part in a number of social, academic and cultural activities and events, which aimed to familiarize them with the challenges that the Palestinians face under the Israeli occupation.
In Nablus they visited the Old City of Nablus, Samaritan’s minority village, Joseph Tomb and Balata Refugee Camp where various people talked to us about the various services that are offered to the people living at the camp as well as the challenges that they are facing.
A series of visited were also organized to villages around Nablus including Al Fara, Deir Istya and Sabastia where they met the representatives of village councils who talked about the social and agricultural conditions, the Palestinian heritage and the history of the former detention center.
Two speakers were also invited to talk to the internationals to share their knowledge. Mr. Sa’ed Abu Hijileh, a lecturer at the Department of Geography at An-Najah, delivered a presentation about the history of the Palestinian cause as well as political dimension of this cause. Mr. Alaa Abu Dheer, a former coordinator of Zajel, delivered a presentation on the right to education in Palestine, which he talked through the challenges that Palestine went through over four decades.
Furthermore, as part of the program, the Global Village Exhibition was organized on the new campus. The opening was attended by Prof. Rami Hamdallah, President of An-Najah, Dr. Kherieh Rassas, President Assistant for Strategic and International Affairs and Dr. Sam Alfoqahaa, Director of the Public Relations Department. 17 booths from 17 different countries were displayed to present their traditions, culture and cuisine, which gave a great opportunity to the students to be exposed to the different cultures and to understand history and heritage of other nations and reinforce inter-cultural communication and exchange.
This camp finished successfully as a result of support from the staff from different departments as well as part of the university’s efforts to reinforce and develop the skills of its students and equip them with competency. The 37 internationals were contributed greatly to bridging the gap between local and international cultures and have taken lots of fund memories of Palestine back home, which they will share with their friends and their family members. Zajel Youth Exchange Program will continue to commit to helping to achieve better understanding between people.
English conversation workshop
Group activity in the English conversation workshop
Blog creating workshop
Competency building workshop
Workshop taking place outside
Visit to Governor’s office
Explanation about the former detention centre in Al Fara’
Tour of Deir Istya with the Mayor of Deir Istya
Visit to Samaritan’s minority with the high priest
Visit to Sabastia
Presentation on the Right to Education in Palestine
Visit to YMCA in Beit Sahour
Visit to illegal settlements
Zajel Road to Cosmopolitan Citizens group photo