The International Youth Exchange Programme (Zajel) of the Public Relations Department at An-Najah has recently concluded the activities of its 3rd summer camp for the year 2017. The camp included a series of workshops given by international volunteers and trainers that aimed to enhance students and alumni skills and competency in capacity building and prepare them to the labour market. It also included a training on creating social media contents, producing short films, improving communication skills and overcoming barriers of using English language.
The programme also held a series of lectures about education in Palestine, Palestinian women and the political situation in Palestine. Some of the lectures given by Dr. Tamer Khatib, Assistant Professor, Dr. Hasan Ayoub, Head of the Political Sciences Department and Dr. Sa’eda Affouneh, Director of the E-Learning Centre at An-Najah shed light on energy in Palestine, the political situation in Palestine and the social and economic challenges that encounter women in Palestine respectively.
The programme included a visit to Asira Al-Shamaliya Skate Park to learn about the SkatePAL team work there. In addition, an exhibition on Chinese culture was organized in the Old Campus where two Chinese volunteers from Hong Kong offered information about their customs and traditions. The programme also included a visit to Dar Al-Funoon in Askar Camp to learn about the social and economic conditions there. Moreover, the volunteers and students visited Sabastia town to learn about its history and see the Roman and Ottoman sites there.
A tour was also organized of the old city of Nablus by a number of Zajel volunteers to introduce the international volunteers to its traditions and authentic identity. They went to Salah Khlaf Centre in Al-Far’a camp and visited a number of agricultural companies in the Jordan Valley to see some of the agricultural products which are exported to Europe. They also had the chance to learn about desert life, so they went to Arab al-Rashaydih Village. Then they took a field trip to Battir village to witness the simple rural life and learn about the various plants and vegetables that grow there. They finally went to the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem and visited the old city in Beit Sahour, Beit Jala and Hebron.
The volunteers also met with the Mayor of Jericho who explained to them the economic, political and agricultural situations there. During their trip to Jericho, they visited several places such as the Arab Construction Project where they were introduced to its products such as dairy products and dates. Furthermore, they visited the Russian Museum in Jericho and went to Tal Al-Sultan and Nabi Musa (Moses Tomb).
The programme also included a visit to the city of Jenin where they went to several locations including some settlements and Israeli military camps which were evacuated in 2005, the UNRWA office of Jenin Camp, Burqin Church and Arraba city to see its unique architectural sites and learn about its history.
Student Mo’tasim Selwadi, one of the camp coordinators talked about the importance of students’ participation in the workshops and the camp activities. He said: “The workshops helped to improve students’ experiences in different fields such as developing their skills and competencies, boosting them to communicate in English and overcoming their fear of public speaking. Moreover, students were trained on how to use social media and how to create a proper media content. The fifteen day camp also encouraged cultural exchange between Palestinian students and international volunteers.”