Al-Quds – Bard College for Arts and Sciences held a graduation ceremony yesterday, January 26th, at Al-Quds University campus in Abu Dis for the second class of students receiving bachelor’s degrees and the fourth class of students receiving a Master of Arts in Teaching Methods.
The ceremony was attended by Al-Quds University President Dr. Imad Abu Kishik; by Professor Leon Botstein, President of Bard College in New York; by his Excellency, the US Consul General Michael A. Ratney; by USAID representative Bob Davidson; and by the Dean of the College, Professor Munther Dajani, with the College faculty.
Dr. Abu Kishik expressed his gratitude for being able to mark with this ceremony yet another graduating class from Al-Quds Bard College. “We live in one of the most challenging countries in the world in what might be our most trying times," he said. "Even in an ideal situation to accomplish a partnership of this sort one must enjoy great courage, considerable perseverance; one must have the patience to develop new and budding partnerships; and most importantly one must have the open-mindedness and foresight to imagine the endless possibilities of such a collaboration as Al-Quds – Bard.”
Dr. Abu Kishik noted that, in terms of future plans, “We look forward to deepening our partnership with Bard College through establishing a Palestinian center for language and thinking, which will address one aspect of development in higher education in Palestine”.
In conclusion, Dr. Abu Kishik addressed his speech to the graduates, saying “As you go out into the world, as you test your limits and learn what course of life you are best suited to, make good use of the skills you have acquired.”
Professor Bostein expressed his pleasure at attending the second graduation ceremony of the partnership between Al-Quds University and Bard College. “It’s a real opportunity for our faculty and staff to work in a different culture, a different country and a different education system,” he said. Professor Bostein also expressed his gratitude and his acknowledgment to the funders, who have allowed this partnership to flourish with their support, and especially the USAID, Consulate General of the US, besides many other American and European foundations.
To the graduates, Professor Bostein said, “This is the most difficult place in the world, in which to prove the proposition that language is as powerful as violence, so we all must collaborate to use the power of language to eliminate the violence.”
As to future plans, Professor Bostein talked about plans to expand the program of Liberal Arts in the teaching of sciences and engineering, besides establishing a program of teaching the Arabic language to non-native speakers.
At the end of the ceremony, Dean Professor Dajani, Dr. Abu Kishik, and Professor Bostein honored the 39 bachelor’s degree graduates and the 59 master’s program graduates.