We had such a treat in visiting the Nazareth Academic University one day, the 1st university founded by Israel’s Palestinian Arab population. All students are required to complete a core education in peace studies, and classes are conducted in Arabic, Hebrew, and English. We had a presentation and tour of the school, and we were all so impressed with NAI’s mission: to be a multicultural center for peace and to create diverse, responsible citizens for Israel’s future. There are 2 majors, Communications and Chemistry, and the student population is 90% women. With Arabs and Jews studying together, it seemed like a glimmer of hope for future peace in this land. Martha and I had a good conversation with 2 students, Eman Nijmegen and Christena Shehadeh. They were well-spoken and excited to show us their school. Eman, the young Arab student, said, “My dream is to be a journalist.” They showed us the journalism workrooms, and Martha and I are now Facebook and Instagram friends with the girls. Since Palestinian Arab families earn about 60% of the annual income earned by Israeli Jewish families, this is a crucial step in educating young Arab students and trying to equalize this educational gap.
This was a great experience for our group, and many of us are planning to pledge support for their cause. Always something to learn in Israel, Karen