Both culturally and historically, Jerusalem is an important city in the world – a microcosm of Palestine. It has been the meeting ground of peoples and languages for many millennia, and is still a point of continuous contact among many languages – despite its current political difficulties. Such contact is a permanent feature of the population because of Jerusalem’s status as the site of pilgrimages and the presence in it of international and local non-government organizations and consular representatives. Tourism is also a major economic activity requiring multilingual translation and interpreting. In addition to millions of visitors from all over the world, researchers come from several countries to do work in different languages. This program is crucial and necessary for Jerusalem and its surrounding areas, for Palestine and for the region. The MA and Higher Diploma Programs in Translation and Interpreting are offered at Abu Dees main campus.


In addition to its key location, this MA/Higher Diploma program is essential in Palestine for a number of reasons. Among them are those associated, particularly over the past decade, with political, economic, media, and other developments, which have been accompanied by a sharp increase in the level of international activity. In many instances, local and international organizations are forced to rely on experts outside Palestine, in view of the inadequate number of translators and interpreters capable of producing quality work. Moreover, such a program is a national investment that will allow qualified graduates to study locally at lower expense. There are many other practical, research, and developmental advantages that would accrue from establishing a program at this level.

Program Summary

As a Palestinian program set up in response to increased demand for translators and interpreters at a key junction in Palestinian history, it has the potential to attract highly qualified graduate with first degrees in various fields, some already started in careers, who want to apply themselves seriously to attain the requisite skills to function as skilled translators and interpreters. Whereas regional and local programs in translation tend to be traditional and are limited mostly to the study of two languages, this MA program aims to benefit from recent advances in translation studies and technologies and to offer opportunities for training in at least two and preferably three of the following languages: Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Italian, and Spanish (with additional languages possible in the future). The program is cognizant of Palestine’s colonial situation, past and present, and the current climate of “globalization.” It is designed to provide candidates, graduates from any field, with multilingual training for various commercial, technical/scientific, media and institutional translational needs and added skills that are transferable to several careers.

This program in translation and interpreting has already begun cooperation and exchanges with European universities and receives consultative assistance from several scholars abroad. It is active in pursuing other international exchange and program agreements with the particular aims to strengthen technological and multiple language applications, and to facilitate mutually beneficial exchanges of students and faculty.


The program has its main office in Abu Dees campus, where teaching is conducted at the Translation Lab. At the lab, both computer labs and library holdings are available to support the courses and thesis work. An agreement is in place with the IT Center in Abu Dees for technical expertise and for provision of lab and multimedia. Students and faculty have access to the internet and, through various arrangements, access to intranet and other resources at translation programs in European universities and international libraries.

Agreements with other universities provide opportunities for third language translation training, technological expertise, as well as the exchange of faculty and students.


  • Dr. Ahmed Ayyad
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