Al-Quds Bard College Dean’s Letter
A vertical view from a drone capturing AQB and AQU buildings, 2019.
Dear Friends of Al-Quds Bard College,
I am very proud of the many ways that our students, faculty, and staff have responded to the challenge of transition to on-line education at this challenging moment.  Our biology students have undertaken deep and informative research projects on the coronavirus.  Our students have sought ways to build on their student led-initiatives to support one another, such as establishing an on-line meditation group.  Our faculty have been bringing distinguished guests from all over the world into their virtual classrooms, now that the whole world is available.  And our friends and colleagues in the Bard College Network have created a terrific resource of materials to enliven and enrich the online classroom.
We are keeping track of these developments on the AQB Facebook page, Instagram, and LinkedIn. So, in addition to reading the stories in this newsletter, please make sure to follow us there.  And let us know if you have a story or initiative to share . . .
Community is more important than ever at a time when so many of us are physically isolated.  Please keep in touch.
Dr. Daniel Terris, Dean of Al-Quds Bard College
AQB Students Excel in Chess Tournaments
Al-Quds Bard College for Arts and Sciences (AQB) held its first Annual Chess Tournament on February 25th, 2020. The College witnessed a special day, full of excitement, passion, and clean competition. Two Referees from the Palestinian Chess Federation attended the tournament to monitor players, track their points collect points, and announce the results. Forty-four players from several colleges across campus competed for five rounds to accumulate points.
AQB student, Wajd Natsheh competes in the Chess Tournament, 2020.
At the end of the day, AQB was thrilled to present six of its students among the top ten winners. Notably, AQB first-year student, Wajd Natsheh, was declared the champion of the tournament. Natsheh is a talented chess player who is no stranger to competition in chess championships. She was the first Palestinian girl to win the silver medal at the Arab Chess Tournament in Tunisia in 2018, and was likewise awarded the “Woman FIDE Master” title by the International Chess Federation which ranked her as an international chess player. “This is not the end,” said Natsheh, “I am undergoing intensive training to participate in the Arab Chess Tournament that going to take place in the United Arab Emirates in July 2020.” On top of that, AQB student council is preparing for an online chess tournament as a gesture to keep AQB students close from favorite hobby and connected to each other during this quarantine time.
AQB Course Testimonial: IHL is Eye-Opening
By Zain Atik

The past three years have been extremely challenging and exciting. Hence, most of the courses that I had taken in AQB were useful. Currently, I am taking International Humanitarian Law of Armed Conflict class; I believe it is one of the most essential classes that I have taken. Basically, it introduced me to aspects of international law and how it is viewed from a Third World Approach to International Law perspective (TWAIL). Moreover, it sheds the light on various laws, legal, and political concepts in the field of international law and armed conflict that I haven’t known before. For example, The right to use force, the legality of war, and collateral damage.
AQB Human Rights student, Zain Atik, 2019. 
International Humanitarian Law of Armed Conflict (IHL), a course taught by Dr. Brendon Browne, takes an in-depth look at particular laws concerning armed conflict, requiring students to organize debates on the subject matter and use conversion tasks to learn how to apply these laws. Students analyze humanitarian law, where it came from and its principles, thereby allowing students to criticize and dig deeper into the foundation of international law.
Having gone through this course, I was challenged to read more and educate myself using the educational resources that Al-Quds Bard College provides. On a personal level, it has shaped my character to talk about current legal situations that affect my life, such as the Palestinian struggle under the occupation.  

IHL inspired me to pursue my master’s degree in law, LL.M degree. I am now exploring opportunities and making connections where I could apply for my postgraduate studies. While I do not see myself in international tribunal or court halls, I am interested in academia, teaching and doing more theoretical work.   

 Awareness in Times of Panic 

AQB biology student, Samiah Ziadeh, 2019.
By Samiah Ziadeh
In the face of any struggle, uncontrollable fear and panic will always be the most dangerous elements a society can face. This seems to be the case with the recent coronavirus disease pandemic, which has exposed the natural instincts of those that have fallen in the trap of fear. As humans, we pride ourselves in our ability to think rationally and to work together in order to produce effective results. In a time where all of that seems to be lacking, where can people turn for comfort? Who, then, must act as the role models of this generation? 
One of our biggest assets as students is our voice and our actions. As a way to put that to use, my friends and I, both from my university and from other universities locally and globally, have started sharing information about the effects and nature of the virus. This has been a great way to not only stay informed about everything around us, but also a great way to promote intellectual discussion on matters outside the classroom. Right now, it is not the virus that scares us, it is how people are responding to the situation.
It is times like this that have really shown us the importance of community. The transition and changes that we have had to make in the face of the virus have taught us a lot. The most important lesson, however, has been how to be aware. There is a great deal of misconception that can only be resolved by learning how to effectively communicate accurate information from reliable news sources. We are in that period of our lives where we are attaining new information and are constantly learning from one another. It is important that we continue spreading accurate information that empowers our community, not drives it to fear.
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Al-Quds Bard College for Arts and Sciences · Abu Dis · Jerusalem 00000 · Palestine

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