Safely: AQB Students Led Project

In Professor Dalia Najjar's Global Entrepreneurship Class, a group of AQB students came online together to establish the first humanitarian project of its kind. "Safely" is the name of their project, aiming to tackle the modern challenges that the Middle East's refugees struggle. This project seeks to reduce the intensity of hardships that refugees face when they try to move to the West.

Ensuring safe travel for refugees worldwide is always discussed in refugee conventions. Yet, for many reasons, the applied solutions that came were not solving the issue of dangerous illegal immigration. Relying on UNHCR data and a full semester of team research, the project started to take shape. Safely is working on fulfilling a vision where seeking a safe home doesn't end up killing individuals. Safely strives to institutionalize the process of refugees' travel most humanely and possibly. It intends to be a non-profit organization working to provide refugees with transport visa documents to preserve their right to travel safely to their new homes.


SAFELY's Logo. 2021

While AQB students are still in the start-up phase of the project, the Safely team passed a class competition and was eventually selected to participate in a Business Unusual reality show in January 2021. Furthermore, and within this short period, the Bard MBA in Sustainability hosted a competition and Safely was nominated to compete in an international pitch tournament called Disrupt to Sustain 2020. This year, teams have been nominated from five parts of the world, based on their work in Bard's MBA in Sustainability program and the Open Society Society University Network's Global Social Enterprise Practicum.

Safely seeks to represent a Palestinian university as an entirely Palestinian team from Al-Quds Bard College. The team is currently composed of Dana Ghoul, the project manager; Rami Al-Shafei, the finance lead; Ahmad Hijjawi, the technical information; and Nicholas Sous, the marketing lead. 

Judge Navi Pillay Speaks To AQB Students  

The Al-Quds Bard College Human Rights and International Law Program was thrilled to host Dr. Navi Pillay, a distinguished judge and an expert on international criminal law and human rights. AQB Human Rights program frequently welcomes legal experts to address and feature essential topics in the field. During this Zoom talk on December 15th, 2020, Judge Pillay shared her judicial experience as the first and then only woman, to be appointed by the UN General Assembly as a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, relating to the listeners how she and her colleague judges legally addressed the crimes of sexual violence brought before the court. Within her jurisdiction, Judge Pillay communicated to AQB students how Rwanda's Tribunal discussed the crime of rape from a novel perceptive. She extends the definition of the crime of rape under international criminal law to include more victim-categories, such as men and children meeting the statutory legal threshold. Before that, the crime of rape was only limited to describe sexual violence against women.
The AQB Human Rights and International Law Program and Judge Pillay over Zoom on December 15, 2020. 
AQB students and the Judge enjoyed exchanging ideas, comments, and questions on being an international judge. Students share comments and questions on the status of Palestine under international law and what should be done to tackle the legal status quo. Judge Pillay was very generous in sharing her experience and scholarly sources with the students.

AQB Students Intern Virtually in NY City Through BGIA

By Mariam Alqam,
I am a junior at Al-Quds Bard College, majoring in Biology and minoring in Economics. This fall (Fall 2020), I participated in the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program (BGIA), in which students combine international relations courses with an internship for academic credit. I secured an internship with Mission: Cure, a non-profit organization that uses innovative financing and impactful investing to treat cases of Pancreatitis. The semester courses and internship were virtual, and I am grateful for this opportunity as I developed many skills academically and socially. I have met many incredible people and built new connections with students across the Bard network.
AQB Biology student, Mariam Alqam. 
I was hesitant to apply at first because (a) it was virtual, and (b) it was a program in International Affairs, and I am a Biology major. However, BGIA helped me find an internship that suits my academic interests, and the classes I took were so enriching and exciting that they became the highlights of my weeks. I decided to apply because I had heard many praises about BGIA from BGIA alumni at AQB, I like trying new things and putting myself outside of my comfort zone, and because BGIA provided a full scholarship.
Despite not being in person, it was a fantastic experience, and I recommend all students to apply for BGIA, whatever their majors.

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