Wednesday 19 November 2014

Student Meeting

Hi everyone,

yesterday we met some students from different Universities in the CADFA office and we talked about some organizational stuff for the next  student visit in January. Meetings like this really help me to understand how the student  twinning links work and what CADFA has to do, to built them up. Besides this, it is very interesting for me, because I  meet students, who are active in their university. So I also get a overview, how students organize volunteer work in universities. I am looking forward to the second meeting next week and hopefully we will see some new faces!!!


Saturday 15 November 2014

Olive Harvest

Picking olives with Al'Quds University students in Bet Reema near Ramallah.  

Thursday 13 November 2014

Stall at SOAS University

Hi everyone,

On Tuesday we had a CADFA stall in the SOAS University. Our goal was to find students, who want to be involved in our student twinning links. We were not just searching for students, who are already interested in Palestine or are already active for example in the Palestine Society of SOAS. Of course its good to get this people involved in our projects, but it is also very good to meet other people, who don't know so much about Palestine now.

It was sometimes really windy so we had to be careful with our leaflets.However I really enjoyed it, because we got a lot of positive replies and had some interesting chats. We talked about the next visits in December and January and the Al-Quds University in Abu Dis. Also the students were interested in general things about CADFA and how they could twin with Dar Assadaqa.

Student are mostly very busy, so it's hard for them to be involved in a project for as long as 10 days, but we met  a lot of students who are really interested in Palestine and volunteer work, so I am sure that we will have a great group, who will welcome the students from Palestine.



Disruptions to Student Life

Whether its traveling to university or life on campus, students face many disruptions.

Al'Quds University has a very good reputation in Palestine and students travel from all over the West Bank to study here. Abu Dis is surrounded by check points which means that most students will have to pass through one on their way to university. This can cause huge delays to their journeys and can be stressful.

There are also 'flying checkpoints' which the army can place anywhere at anytime. In the last year, 3 students were arrested at a 'flying checkpoint' at the university gates.

On campus, the army might turn up at any time, throwing tear gas and forcing students to run from their lecture halls and laboratories. In the last year over 2000 gas canisters were released on the campus by the Israeli army. On a day in January this year, 40 soldiers ambushed the campus and released over 500 canisters in one attack.

In the last academic year, 60 students were arrested without charge or trial, significantly interrupting their studies.

During an English class at the university, a student shared with us that her brother was arrested 4 years ago. He was taken from her house in the early hours of the morning and later died from neglect in solitary confinement.

Student activities are also affected. A music concert was cancelled last week due to the unrest in Jersualem and the resulting demonstrations all over the West Bank, including Abu Dis.

But life goes on. Here are some pictures of a successful event put on by the university. Mohammad Assaf, the winner of last years Arab Idol, is from Gaza and came to perform at Al''Quds University. It was a great evening for the students and for the whole community.

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Twining links

To make a book with people in the other part of the world (Palestine) its the best example to twinning links. Students started in 2011 taking pictures about the differences to freedom in London and Palestine although they were living far apart from each other. They had decided to be in contact for a long time sending pictures, talking, and discussing about editing a book in London. And they started a very important project.

The "Twining links Project" creates a lot of material, such as books, leaflets, blogs, websites, and campaigns.
The groups in Palestine and the groups in London create different campaigns about student life in Palestine under occupation. For example a street campaign and petitions (Adam & Johar) This and visits from Palestinian students help to raise awareness of the situation in Palestine, this is the best way to reach people who are unaware. The main universities involved are Al Quds University, in Palestine, SOAS, UCL and Middlesex in London.

Student life in the Al Quds University is very different from student life in London. The Seperation Wall around West Bank seperates Jerusalem from the campus of the Al Quds University, so many students have a long and difficult journey to their University. Also tear gas is common in their student life and this causes disruption of their education. This is one of the reasons why student links have been established.

Dunja &  Emilio