ASU Institute Hosts Visit of Palestinian Delegation from An-Najah National University

June 2, 2022

ASU’s Humanities Research Institute hosted Palestinian professors from An-Najah National University May 23-27.

The visit was facilitated by a $60,000 grant, “Entrepreneurship Education for the Humanities and Social Sciences,” submitted by Jeffrey Cohen, Dean of Humanities at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The grant is part of Institute of International Education United States-Palestine Sustainable Higher Education Partnership Program (SUPHEP).

Jafar Ahabre (front, An-Najah National University) with (back row, left to right) Jake Leveton (Institute for Humanities Research, ASU), Catherine O’Donnell (School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, ASU), Ahmad Qabaha (An-Najah National University), Asaad Taffal (An-Najah National University), and Matthew Casey-Pariseault (School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, ASU) in Sedona.
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The delegation included Professor Ahmad Qabaha, American Studies program; Professor Asad Taffal, sociologist; and Professor Jafar Subhi Hardan Ahabre, Archaeologist – all of whom visited Arizona State University to gain expertise in entrepreneurial programs and methodologies.

ASU faculty members, along with outside professors and business leaders, were on hand to present workshops and seminars on entrepreneurial opportunities. The delegation was greeted by Cohen; Nicole Anderson, Director of the Institute for Research in the Humanities; and Ron Broglio, associate director of the institute.

“The (institute) is delighted to have the opportunity to host the Palestinian professors from An-Najah National University,” Anderson said. “We hope that this collaboration can facilitate the entrepreneurial opportunities that the delegation can implement within the framework of its program to better prepare its students for careers outside the university.”

The US State Department Palestinian Affairs Unit, which funds the SUPHEP program, seeks to move the Palestinian economy towards a model of healthy and sustainable investment, growth and job creation led by the private sector. Through public diplomacy, the unit harnesses the power of American higher education and promotes American values ​​and interests through collaborative academic and professional exchanges, English language learning, and promotion of women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship development, as well as initiatives enabling young Palestinians to benefit from their careers. increase opportunities related to science, technology and innovation.

An-Najah National University focuses on entrepreneurship to help students acquire the skills they need to become job creators after graduation through programs and plans of studies.

The SUPHEP program aims to increase internationalization efforts between American and Palestinian institutions through innovative and sustainable partnerships.

The main objectives of the program are to:

  • Cultivate Internationalization: Provide higher education leaders with a better understanding of the value of international partnerships, the landscape of higher education partnerships, and methods of collaboration to strengthen academic ties.
  • Foster relationships: Enable higher education officials to build relationships with their counterparts that serve as the basis for innovative collaborative activities.
  • Building sustainability: Empowering higher education institutions to build on initial short-term activities to develop longer-term sustainable partnerships.

The two-year program will focus on a cohort of 10 higher education institutions – five US institutions and five Palestinian institutions – who will be eligible for seed funding to support creative partnership activities. In addition to seed grants, the program will include informational webinars, virtual talks, workshops (possibly in-person), and partnership coaching.

Professors and business leaders who participated in the presentations included: Raees Abbas Mohamad, Assistant Professor of Law, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and Partner at RM Warner Law, specializing in entrepreneurship and e-commerce at global vocation; Julian Knowles, Disciplinary Director, Media and Communications, Macquarie University, Sydney; Ruby Maksoud, Director of Internships, English Department, ASU; Patrick Lynch, Clinical Assistant Professor of Analytics and Leadership, Thunderbird School of Global Management, ASU; Hanna Layton, Founder and Director of Thrive Consultancy, working with entrepreneurs and small businesses to become economically viable; Craig Hedges, Director, Innovation Space, and Adjunct Clinical Professor, The Design Institute, The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts; Catherine O’Donnell, ASU School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies; Peter Van Cleave, director of online programs and clinical assistant professor of history, ASU School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies; Matthew Casey-Pariseault, Clinical Assistant Professor of History, ASU School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies; Mark Esposito, Clinical Professor of Global Change and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Thunderbird School of Global Management; and Wanda Dalla Costa, Institute Professor, The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

The delegation also had the opportunity to explore Arizona, with a field trip to Sedona and Boynton Canyon with Catherine O’Donnell and Matthew Casey-Pariseault of ASU’s School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, and also visited other local attractions including the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

The U.S.-Palestinian Higher Education Enduring Partnerships Program is funded by the Palestinian Affairs Unit of the US State Department.

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