After completing my B.A at AQB, I envisioned myself pursuing a Master’s degree in . . . .
Al-Quds Bard College's Translation/مشاع Exhibition in Berlin
We were pleased to launch ofthe exhibition / مشاع, which showcased artistic, architectural, performative, multimedia and literary works, relating to “translation” as a practice of invention/transformation, communing, memory-making, (dis-)location, and healing. The in-person exhibition ran from the 8th through the 12th of January, and was based on the works of over 30 individuals who first assembled during the Critical Practice Studio (CPS) / مشاع للممارسة الناقدة residency in the summer of 2021.
Epistemically emerging from Dheisheh, Palestine, and geographically located in the Haus der Statistik, Karl-Marx-Allee 1, Berlin, the exhibition provided a performative space for critical reflections on “translation” as a question that cuts across and undergirds a wide range of realms: linguistic and literal, epistemic and representational, political and social, as well as architectural and artistic. This exhibition—we hope—will become a place of performing radical translations, and weaving and extending rhizomatic connections.
The CPS is an ambitious post-disciplinary and bilingual intensive program conducted in both Arabic and/or English. The term-long pilot program saw three stages materialize in 2021 and 2022: a reading week; a week-long hybrid residency that took place online and in Dheisheh Camp, Palestine; and the in-person exhibition of participants’ projects in Berlin from the 8th to the 12th of January 2022. The CPS seeks to bring together students, scholars, artists, architects, and activists from a local and transnational network of institutions and communities both in Palestine and across the globe.
The project Critical Practice Studio and the exhibition in Berlin were funded by an Open Society University Network grant.
The Only One of Its Kind in Palestine,
AQB Launches Social Thought, Economy, and Policy Program
Al-Quds Bard College has launched the only program of its kind in Palestine – Social Thought, Economy, and Policy (STEP) – on Sunday, November 28th, 2021 with a vibrant launch party at the College. The event was attended by AQB Dean Dr. Daniel Terris, who opened the event and introduced the panel of speakers, which consisted of AQB Assistant Vice President for Finance and Administration, Dr. Sameh Hallaq, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Issa Manasrah, the Head of the Human Rights Program, Dr. Jana Lozanoska, the Head of the STEP Program, Dr. Sobhi Samour, and the Acting Head of the Political Science Program, Dr. Amneh Badran. The STEP program will combine economics, politics, and philosophy into one program. Students will acquire knowledge and critical thinking skills to develop innovative solutions for pressing policy challenges in Palestine, the region and the world.
AQB Social Thought, Economy and Policy Launch Party, 2021.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Terris congratulated ABQ students, staff, and faculty on the milestone of creating a new program that addresses an urgent need in the Palestinian academic arena, and provides a valuable skill set for the Palestinian job market. According to Dr. Terris, “with the launch of STEP, we are excited that our program is connected to Al-Quds University, where AQB students will learn from professors and scholars from various fields in the social sciences. This program is a gateway to many higher education programs for students who are interested in pursuing their postgraduate studies.”
Dr. Sobhi Samour gave a presentation outlining the purpose behind the program and what students are expected to study in it. He explained that, “STEP is for students who are interested in politics and economics, who value critical thinking and have a commitment to social justice.”
Using the problem of global and local inequality as an example to illustrate the advantage of STEP, Dr. Samour explained how inequality has many causes, and would therefore require an understanding and approach derived from more than one perspective in order to solve it. STEP will empower students to understand the world and ask the right questions rather than provide simple solutions. As Dr. Amneh Badran added, “we are here not to give you an answer, but to trigger your mind to think about questions you have not considered before.”
STEP will offer 40 core credits divided over ten courses that interested students must take in order to finish the major requirement. In addition, STEP will offer courses through the Open Society University Network (OSUN), where AQB students can take courses with scholars, professors, and students from across a network that includes more than forty universities and colleges around the globe.
Dr. Samour expressed that the quality of the program and the type of courses offered in it would make AQB students who graduate from it valuable and attractive to the job market in Palestine. Given the variety of skills STEP offers, graduates could work in institutions such as international and non-profit organizations, as well as the public and private sectors. The latter encompasses banks, consultancy firms, and research institutions.
Dr. Sameh Hallaq emphasized the great value STEP can deliver for the next generation of leaders in civil society organizations, economic and political organizations. He stated that STEP graduates will “understand how the economy, policies, philosophies, and social structures are set in a certain way by studying how these areas intersect with each other. The interdisciplinary nature of the program will help students to develop innovative policy solutions that incorporate political, social, and economic realities.” He also added that “understanding a problem from different perspectives is the most effective way to solving it.”
Dr. Issa Manasrah congratulated AQB on this new program, stating that STEP, “provides an outstanding addition to already existing programs at AQB, but with the added benefit that it goes beyond explanations provided in traditional disciplines.” STEP will prepare young professionals to identify social, economic, and political problems and develop comprehensive policy solutions for them.” Dr. Manasrah highlighted that STEP will close an important gap in the labor market as all public and private organizations in Palestine seek employees who are able to develop innovative and comprehensive strategies. In an increasingly fast-moving world, STEP will train students in problem-solving approaches to tackle complex policy challenges.
AQB will open admissions for the STEP program starting in Spring 2022. Current AQB students who are still unmoderated will also be able to major in STEP if they fulfill the necessary conditions.
Al-Quds Bard College's Translation/مشاع Exhibition in Berlin
By Nizar Abu Nimeh,
In such a difficult year characterized by lockdowns and a global pandemic, I successfully earned my Master’s degree from University College Dublin (UCD) in Ireland.
My journey started when I enrolled at Al-Quds Bard College (AQB) in 2011; a few of my friends had studied there and encouraged me to join them. What interested me the most was the idea of getting two degrees from two universities at the same time: one degree from Al-Quds University and the other from Bard College. I also had high hopes of attending Bard College in New York for a semester.
At AQB, I studied Economics because I have been interested in business as well as media since I was a teenager. My experience at AQB was a rich one. I benefited a lot from the vast and exciting teaching methods that most of my professors offered and it also helped me shape my personal and professional self. I cannot thank enough my dearest professors: Mehrene Larudee, Stephanie Saldana, Tala Abu Rahmeh, Abdullah Eriqat, Philip Hopper, Yazid Al-Badrin, Benjamin Balint, and Casey AJ.
AQB Economic and Finance program alumnus, Nizar Abu Nimeh, at the University College Dublin's graduation ceremony, Ireland.
After graduation, I worked in several jobs, starting with a position at JAWWAL Telecommunications Company as a Sales Person, and then in their marketing department. Later, I worked at the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) as a Youth Program Fellow; the project aimed to help the Palestinian youth in different capacities, and it was a very rewarding experience that introduced me to the world of development projects. Since 2018 to the present, I’ve worked as a Diplomat at the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
After completing my B.A at AQB, I envisioned myself pursuing a Master’s degree in Development since it interested me the most amongst other subjects. I had a feeling that this field would kick open the doors in the job market and leave a positive impact on people’s lives.
My educational experience at UCD was very rewarding and very challenging at the same time; learning the new system of Ireland was not easy at first, particularly when espoused with lockdowns. I will not lie and say that it was not frustrating to have all of my classes online. Although I detested learning from the online classes, I didn’t let that affect my learning process, instead I chose to delve deep into my studies and get to know my classmates.
AQB’s Students, Faculty, and Staff Send their Condolences to Dr. Walter Johnston’s Family
A flyer for Dr. Walter Johnston's Memorial Event at Al-Quds Bard College, 2022.
AQB mourns the loss of our colleague, Dr. Walter Johnston, the Head of the Core Division and Director of the Academic Resources Center, and we express our deepest condolences again to Dr. Walter’s family and to all of our community. Dr. Walter Johnston, a full-time Al-Quds Bard College faculty member, passed away on 12 January 2022.
Dr. Walter was a 2002 graduate of Bard College who joined the AQB faculty in August 2020, at the height of the COVID pandemic. Teaching remotely for AQB in 2020-21, Dr. Walter’s excellence in teaching and leadership of English Composition was evident throughout his time at the College. In his role as the Director of AQB's Academic Resource Center (ARC) he led an important effort in extending the reach and effectiveness of the ARC at AQB. In fall 2021, he assumed the additional role as Head of the Core division. Dr. Walter also served as senior project advisor to several AQB students.
Yesterday, 7th of February 2022, the College celebrated, in an open event, the life of Dr. Walter where a short video premiered to the whole community about the contribution that Dr. Walter add to the College. Dr. Walter set a high bar as an excellent teacher who approached his work with diligence and care for his students.