Al-Quds Bard College Graduates the Classes of 2021

Al-Quds Bard College Graduation Ceremony: The Classes of 2021. (Watch the video)

Al-Quds Bard College was honored to graduate its ninth cohort of Bachelor students, and the tenth cohort of Master of Arts in Teaching scholars in a phenomenal ceremony organized on Al-Quds University's main campus, on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.

The ceremony commenced with a 
speech by Dr. Leon Botstein, President of Bard College, who addressed the BA and MAT graduates, acknowledged the outstanding partnership between Bard College and Al-Quds University, which has thrived over the past decade.

Dr. Daniel Terris, Dean of Al-Quds Bard College, delivered a message highlighting AQB’s exceptional show of strength, courage, and creativity in continuing its collective quest for learning and for the application of knowledge to solving the great problems that face Palestine and all of humanity.

Dr. Abdel Raouf Al-Sinnawi, AQU Dean of Student Affairs, and Mr. Ghassan Al-Deek, AQU Dean of Admission and Registration, joined Dr. Terris in congratulating the graduates on behalf of Al-Quds University.

Amani Hmeid, AQB MAT Valedictorian, delivered the AQB MAT graduate speech, followed by Shadin Nassar, who presented for the BA graduating class. The BA Valedictorian was Ramez Hayek.

Entertainment performances were integrated into the ceremony, including the Assail Dabke group who provided an exceptional show of lively, traditional dance for the audience. Moreover, AQB showcased its talented students through performances by two AQB BA first-year students; Shaima Faroun sang and Christina Ansttas played her trumpet.

In closing, Dr. Sameh Hallaq, AQB Assistance Vice President for Finance and Administration, called on the BA and MAT graduates to walk the stage and receive their degree holders and take photos with the deans.
Assail Dabke group, traditional dance for the audience, at AQB Graduation Ceremony 2021.

AQB Entrepreneur Student Wins a National Title After Taking AQB/OSUN Network Course

Ahmad Hijawi, second row, 6th person from the left. The photo has been taken during the CleanPalCo participation in the national contest for the Best Student Entrepreneurial Company in Palestine for 2021. 
Ahmed Hijawi, a rising junior at Al-Quds Bard College majoring in Economics and Finances, with a minor in Computer Science, decided to tackle the problems of industrial stone waste and scattered tires in the West Bank-Palestine. With his team, he created useful alternatives to construction bi-products and won a national entrepreneurship competition. Civic engagement has long been a key pillar of the College and it was the AQB/OSUN Social Entrepreneurship course, taught by Prof. Dalia Al-Najjar in 2020, which triggered Ahmed to creatively think and develop a project that would impact his community. 
Through this network course, Ahmed Hijawi discovered the details and components critical to creating projects as part of “unusual businesses.” He had the chance to meet Dr. Alejandro Crawford, an MBA professor at Bard College and the cofounder CEO of RebelBase, which is a platform for entrepreneurial thinking and finding solutions. RebelBase introduced Ahmed to several tools that he utilized in his own project, “CleanPalCo.”
CleanPalCo is an entrepreneurial start-up company formed in order to address two problems: 1) the mounds of stone from quarries caused by stone sawdust mixed with water, and 2) used car tires. Ahmed and his team at CleanPalCo participated in the national contest, the Best Student Entrepreneurial Company in Palestine for 2021, and during the final round, CleanPalCo has announced the winner, coming in at first place. Ahmed says, "[a]s a result of this award, our project will present Palestine in the regional competition that will be held in Qatar on 30 November 2021, with the competition of nearly 14 other countries from the Arab world.”

AQB Student Launches the First Taco Truck in Palestine


AQB junior student, Dana Abu Kosh, working at her Taco Truck.

By Dana AbuKosh,

The students that know me at AQB will probably remember me for being the biggest nerd that’s always prepared for class. Before COVID, college was my whole life and it was a fulfilling and dynamic experience every day. Then, as online learning took its toll on me and on everyone else, I felt like life was getting boring and that college was no longer a crazy, dynamic experience in my daily life. I decided I wanted to do something different and I set my heart on it. After all, who doesn’t love tacos? There are so many food trucks and vans in Ramallah, but at the time, not a single taco truck. If you were to travel to the U.S., you would notice that a taco truck is a staple in almost every town. 

While my life is quite hectic balancing between college and work, I’m very happy. I study what I am passionate about and I work to make a difference in my town by simply bringing smiles to people’s faces. What AQB taught us inside and outside classrooms is to leave a positive impact on our community. 

You might just see a blue taco truck when you pass by, but it’s really more than that—we try to create a sense of community. On most days, we have people coming together to hang out by the taco truck and all sorts of discussions take place. This might seem like a simple, daily scene but I’ve learned how to appreciate this after COVID. Seeing people come together by simply having some tacos warms my heart. What I pray is that this business, in which I have put lots of effort and tears, will warm your heart, too. 

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