The Al Quds Bard Honors College for Liberal Arts and Sciences celebrated the graduation of the third batch of BA students and the fifth batch of Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) students, at the main university campus in Abu Dis. The graduation took place in the presence of the university president, Dr. Imad Abu Kishek, the president of Bard College in New York, Dr. Leon Botstein, the American Consul General in Jerusalem, Donald Blome, the dean of the college, Dr. Munther Dajani, as well as the university president deputies, the college’s faculty and staff, and the families of the students and guests.
Dr. Abu Kishek welcomed the guests, speaking about the role of the university in creating a suitable environment for students by offering opportunities for free expression of opinion on the university’s campus, in addition to the fact that the university collaborates with its students by partaking in exchange of different opinions and ideas among individuals to attain creativity and innovation.
The president also mentioned two creativity-inspiring examples that have been implemented at Al Quds university: firstly, the dual studies program with the Germans, which opens distinctive horizons for students and their innovations, and secondly, the Al Quds Bard College, which is considered in itself one of the most important creations.
Moreover, the president expressed the importance of distinction and excellence in all aspects of life, both practical and academic, mentioning that distinction crystallizes through the creation and implantation of ideas that preserve humanity and life, as the preservation of life requires a strong moral nucleus, and affirming the importance of the establishment of the Al Quds Bard College in the Palestinian community, for the advancement of higher education in order to reach the best model through interactive teaching methods which stray far from dictation in teaching.
Dr. Leon Botstein expressed his happiness in attending the ceremony: “Bard is the largest, 8-year-old, Palestinian-American collaboration, and the project has succeeded in defiance of all the obstacles,” he said, thanking all who helped in realizing the project and highlighting the fact that the mentioned program is the only one outside the US to adopt the MAT system.
Dr. Botstein also spoke about the success of the students in their graduation projects, which reflect an educational system that allows students to think freely, especially in light of the occupation, where the available freedom is the freedom of the mind.
The American Consul General Donald Blome regarded the Al Quds Bard College as a permit that allows students to set out into the world. He also expressed his faith in the capabilities of the graduates in bringing about positive change in the community, and pointing to his desire to help those graduates who wish to continue studying abroad, and especially in the US.
Dr. Anwar Zakaria, the Deputy Assistant to Higher Education Affairs spoke on behalf of the Minister of Education, Dr. Sabri Saidam, where he affirmed feeling proud about this batch of graduates for its distinctiveness on the national level, calling on organizations and companies to provide work opportunities for all students.
In her speech on behalf of the BA students, Dina Halabiah said: “Al Quds Bard College is the only place where students can study and develop their capacity to write and think deeply. The teaching system allows students to become familiar with all the materials and topics through conferences and many projects.”
Shereen Erzeiqat spoke about Higher Education, and the role of the Al Quds Bard College in refining her life, through the presence a unique faculty on the national level, and through the teaching system, which encouraged her to move forward in life as a Palestinian teacher.
Towards the end of the ceremony, Dr. Munther Dajani, Dr. Leon Botstein and Dr. Imad Abu Kishek honored the top students and the graduates, who numbered 49 students at the BA level and 69 students at the MA level.
The Al Quds Bard College is the product of academic cooperation between Al Quds University and the American Bard College, which took off in 2009, and provides a number of majors in natural and human sciences as well as arts practice