JERUSALEM | On October 13th, 2022, Al-Quds Bard College for Arts and Sciences held a graduation ceremony for the tenth cohort of its undergraduate students and the twelfth cohort of the Master’s students. The graduation was attended by the President of Al-Quds University, Prof. Imad Abu Kishek, the President of Bard College in New York, Professor Leon Botstein, the Dean of Al Quds College Bard, Dr. Daniel Terris, along with the special guest, H.E. Ambassador, Hind Khoury, the academic and administrative staff and students’ families.
Professor Abu Kishek welcomed the attendees and extended his thanks to Dr. Leon Botstein for his continued support to Al-Quds Bard College that offers a unique experience for liberal arts and sciences education to Palestinians to become leaders in business, journalism, human rights, science and education. Abu Kishek congratulated the graduates who through their dedication to study “have achieved the best ideas and knowledge”. He added, “Thank you for helping us realize our great dream which we launched 14 years ago!”
Professor Botstein congratulated the university president, the staff, the graduate students and their families, noting that the partnership between Al-Quds and Bard began 14 years ago by bringing together two educational systems to create new educational opportunities for Palestinian students and teachers and help them contribute to the development and progress of their society and the whole region.
In his speech, Dr. Daniel Terris called this year’s cohort “the Cohort of Freedom” for the various forms of restrictions and obstacles the Palestinian students have suffered. He stated , “The freedom of thought that you have gained, and the new ideas that you have developed will grow and expand as you study, work and demand your position in Palestine. You will continue life seeking freedom for you and for the others, here in Palestine and in the entire world.”
H.E. Hind Khoury, for her part, congratulated the visionary leaders at Al-Quds University and Bard College for providing this educational opportunity for Palestinian students and building a partnership that enables the Palestinian youth to gain modern professional knowledge despite all obstacles.
Dr. Amna Badran, AQB Assistant Dean, touched on the Qatar Scholarship Program which has been generously providing financial aid in form of scholarships for AQB students, particularly the current cohort of MAT graduates. She also elaborated on Al-Quds Bard College’s vision which is committed to the principles of learning, creative teaching and community service, and building effective partnerships with distinguished educational institutions.
Georgina Mokarker, a Master’s graduate, congratulated her colleagues and their families, wishing them continued success which began with a study experience that will remain a precious chapter in her colleagues’ life.
The graduate of the Bachelor’s program, Raghad Afghani, pointed to her experience at Al-Quds Bard which presents an apt environment for thinking, creativity, and self-discovery that will support the progress of the country.
The speeches were followed by a performance from the Funonyat Dance Troupe. This was followed by the presentation of awards: degree- holders, and the Qatar scholarship scarf.
Ghada Nabeel Suliman Katbah was honored as the MAT valedictorian, and Dan Abu Koash was honored as the BA valedictorian.
Launched in 2009, Al-Quds Bard College for Arts and Sciences is the first in the region to offer graduates a US and a Palestinian degree, both at the Bachelor’s and at the Master’s level. The partnership between Al-Quds and Bard College seeks to help realize the two institutions’ shared educational goals in ways that are effective and sustainable, and that contribute to systemic improvement of the Palestinian education system. The college offers several academic programs and the students receive a certificate from AQU and another from Bard College in New York upon graduation.