Al-Quds University students and faculty visit campus this week

Brandeis student Saghi Sofinzon '11 (left) talks with Al-Quds student Ban Muwaswas

A delegation of 13 Palestinian students, faculty and staff from Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem is currently at Brandeis visiting classes, hearing special lectures from university faculty and preparing for campus-wide events Nov. 11 and 12.

On Wednesday, Brandeis students have organized a reception featuring multi-cultural performances and food, designed to help Al-Quds students and faculty members understand student life at Brandeis. The event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Inter-Cultural Center.

Thursday’s program, “A Conversation with Al-Quds Faculty Members,” will be held in International Lounge, Usdan Student Center, beginning at 4:30 p.m. At this informal meeting, Dr. Rania Iriqat, professor of Spanish and director of the Al-Quds Language Program, Dr. Asma Imam, professor of public health, and Dr. Eyad Halak, professor of psychology, will answer questions posed by Susan S. Lanser , professor of Women’s Studies, English and Literature, about their scholarly interests, the Al-Quds-Brandeis partnership, and their work in the larger community. There will be an open Q&A period, and refreshments will be served.

The delegation’s visit is part of a partnership between Al-Quds and Brandeis that began in 2003 and has encompassed faculty, administrative, and student exchanges. The project has its roots in a week-long visit by Al-Quds President Sari Nusseibeh to Brandeis in 1997.

The partnership is designed to foster cultural understanding; to provide educational opportunities for students, faculty and staff; and to help build educational infrastructure for a flourishing civil society among Palestinians.

The partnership has been supported by substantial funding from the Ford Foundation. The current visit marks the culmination of this phase of the partnership.

Unlike traditional academic exchange programs that focus on students and faculty, the Al-Quds/Brandeis relationship has three holistic goals:

  • to improve the administrative and infrastructure capacities at Al-Quds, one of Palestine's nascent civic institutions
  • to strengthen academics and offer opportunities for faculty, staff and students at both institutions
  • to educate both campuses about the advantages of cooperation, goodwill and understanding

Brandeis and Al-Quds are jointly documenting the partnership's progress and outcomes through publications, video, and still images. This documentation will help to educate the campuses and the broader communities about the partnership and its benefits.

Editors note: The partnership between Al-Quds and Brandeis ended in November 2013.


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