Introduction: Palestine rarely makes the news in Indian media. When it does, it is usually because "clashes" or “hostilities” have flared up yet again. Knee-jerk sentiments are often quick to ascribe Palestinians with “terrorism”. The reality is that the Palestinians are an exceptionally warm and welcoming people.
Perceptions about Palestine are too often shaped by lack of information or by propaganda. It is easy to dehumanise those we are ignorant about.
This 10-part series on Palestine consists of photographs from East Jerusalem and the West Bank taken by the author during a visit in early 2018. They convey varied aspects of Palestine’s natural beauty, her ancient and unique history, Palestinian art, education and culture, and the grim realities of their lives under Israeli military occupation.
In part four, we look at university life in Palestine.
[Below: A map of West Bank, Gaza and Israel (L); the West Bank (R). Courtesy: palestinett.org]
Education is highly valued in Palestine; the figures speak for themselves. Despite the immense hardships under military occupation, the literacy rate is 97 percent (male literacy at 99 percent and female literacy at 95 percent and university enrollment is high.
There are several large universities in the West Bank with over 10,000 students and the largest among them — An-Najah university — has over 20,000!
This is a look at university campuses in Palestine.
The campus of Bethlehem University: