NNU Attends Night of Ideas 2022
An Najah National University (NNU), represented by Dr. Kherieh Rassas, An-Najah's Vice President for International and External Relations at NNU, participated in the Night of Ideas 2022: "Paris and Jerusalem face to face - (Re)building Together" that was held by the French Institute in Jerusalem, in partnership with the Arab World Institute on Mar. 16, 2022.
The event included a panel of guests with various profiles to speak and present inspiring initiatives about building bridges of peace and hope in both Jerusalem and Paris. The attendees on the set at the Arab World Institute (AWI) in Paris were Jack Lang, President of the Arab World Institute, Paul Rondin, Deputy Director of the Festival d'Avignon, Azouz Begag, Former Minister Delegate in charge of promoting equal opportunities, and Researcher in Economics and Sociology at the CNRS, Hanna Assouline, Journalist, and Director of the documentary "Les guerrières de la paix", Eva Tapiero, Lawyer and Journalist, Director of the Publication of ONORIENT.
On the other set, the attendees from the Consulat Général de France à Jérusalem were Brother Stéphane, Director of the Cultural Heritage Department of the Custody of the Holy Land and in charge of the Terra Sancta Museum project, Rachid Arhab, Journalist and TV Host, Rateb Rabi, Director of Intersect Innovation Hub, Tariq Nassar, Founder of the Sinsila Center, Anthony Dutemple, Head of Mission of PUI - Occupied Palestinian Territory, Noha Bawazir, Head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) National Office for Palestine, Bernard Thibaud, Director of the Maison d'Abraham Secours Catholique Caritas France, Luc Pareydt, philosopher and counselor for Religious Affairs at the Consulate General of France in Jerusalem and students.
In the opening speech, the Consul General of the French Consulate in Jerusalem welcomed the attendees and expressed his happiness with the strong local and international participation in the event. He also commended the Arab World Institute’s efforts in organizing such a special event.
The participants emphasized on the importance of rebuilding the world and building bridges of peace and hope after two years of COVID-19 stressing the idea of the event. They also discussed how the COVID pandemic has made the world experience isolation, the limits of digital communication, and the anguish of an improbable future .
They also talked about the current war in the heart of Europe and the oldest conflicts in the world (such as in Jerusalem) which challenge the world to consider justice, the sovereignty of peoples, respect for international law and the future of young people. Finally, they talked about the climate emergency which requires a change in the way we share the world, in the economic and educational models.
During the event, Dr. Rassas answered the question asked by the host, Mr. Pareydt, about her feelings among the youth and the possibility of going beyond fear. She pointed out the mutual message between Jerusalem and Paris in transferring, reconstructing, and rebuilding for future generations, which can be possible because of hope. She described Jerusalem as the house of religions and the home of coexistence between different nationalities, different identities, and cultural diversities, which makes communication with the youth accessible through culture, diversity, music, and cooking. Moreover, Dr. Rassas talked about the role of NNU in supporting culture diversity and education, saying, “We at the University have a special role, especially with higher education when it comes to communicating hope and positive culture among the youth.”
From the set at AWI, Paris, Ms. Assouline talked about the two documentaries she directed on the subjects of the relationship between Jewish and Muslim women and about Muslims that go around schools and open the debate about the prejudices of anti-Semitism.
From the other set at the Consulat Général de France à Jérusalem, a number of projects were showcased by the guests.
During the event, the attendees discussed other topics such as poverty, COVID, hope, the Ukrainian situation, racism, culture, and agriculture.