جامعة النجاح الوطنية
An-Najah National University

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By: Jamie Doglas

Reflecting on my time spent at An-Najah National University and Palestine is almost ‎impossible. Not because the itinerary wasn't full (it was, and then some more) and not ‎because the people I met were not memorable (there are faces, names, students, volunteers ‎and moments I'll never forget) but because the experiences of one day affected the ‎conclusions I had made the day before.


It's difficult to write about something when your ‎understanding of it changes so regularly. It's even more difficult when these experiences no ‎longer exist in the abstract.‎

More than 20 internationals volunteered in the Camp through more than 160 training ‎workshops that were dedicated to training the students on a wide spectrum of fields including: ‎English conversation skills, public speaking skills, communication skills and capacity building. ‎More than 300 students benefited from the Camp and the training it offered; the students ‎described the experience as both rich and fun and that it helped them acquire new skills that ‎developed their competency and made them better prepared to join the work field.‎

The internationals who participated in the Camp represented a wide range of nationalities and ‎universities including: The University of Cambridge in the UK, University of Edinburgh in ‎Scotland, University of Liverpool in the UK, the University of West Scotland in Scotland, ‎University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, University of Vienna in Austria, the University of ‎Lisbon in Portugal, Kyoto University in Japan, University of East Anglia in the UK, Hambold ‎University in Berlin, University of Manchester in the UK, University of Seville in Spain, ‎University of Bristol in the UK, University of Central Lancashire in the UK, Drexel University in ‎the US, Georgetown University in the US and Coventry University in the UK.‎

Some things, like the standard of facilities and the level of multi-language skills at An-Najah will ‎make my university colleagues very jealous. Other things, like leaving behind a group of ‎friends at a check-point because Israeli 'security' decided no Palestinians enter that day make ‎me wonder how the earth can still turn on its axis.‎

It's difficult to write about something when your understanding of it changes so regularly. It's ‎even more difficult when experiences no longer exist in the abstract. "The Palestinian ‎Struggle" is not some ideological/political/cultural/religious conflict happening thousands of ‎miles away. It is my friend Ahmad not being able to travel to the UK to become an even better ‎dentist or to see the places I am desperate to show him. It is my friend Naser looking after his ‎parents, studying for his degree, and leading two international exchange camps at the same ‎time all so his fellow students know there is life outside the apartheid they live in.‎

‎ I will be going back to what is a comfortable life in Scotland. To a house that will only stop ‎being mine if someone buys it; to a car I can drive on any roads its wheels can touch; to a ‎university that will never be closed by the army in a town I will never have to complete a ‎mountain trek to get to. And to eight hours of sleep I never expect to be interrupted by rocket ‎fire.‎

Will I feel guilty about this when I go home? I expect so. Will I feel ill because these basic things ‎I had never given a second thought to are not certain for the people I learned and laughed ‎with? Every. Single. Day.‎


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