May 11th, 2015 was exceptional for PAS. Over 5,000 guests poured through Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, reconstructed at Birzeit University, to participate in the Palestine and Arabic Studies (PAS) program during Birzeit University's first International Day. Fourteen countries from around the world signed up to participate and, by late morning, eleven ambassadors had arrived, along with the president of Birzeit University, Dr. Hindi and other honored representatives from the university and the Palestinian government.
Over the course of the day, participants were treated to dance performances, songs, and other Palestinian cultural exhibitions, along with special booths displaying handmade crafts and lots of food from Palestine and around the world. “It was an amazing feeling to see all the different countries participating under the auspices of the most prestigious university in Palestine,” said Tina Rafidi, director of PAS. “We have demonstrated that PAS is not just a bridge between international students and Birzeit University, it is a bridge to the world. This first ever International Day embodied our philosophy of education as culture in motion and presented PAS’s new role as a global leader in Palestinian, Middle East and Arabic language studies.”
PAS wants to give a special thanks to the entire team that made this day possible. The turnout and reaction to the event exceeded all expectations. We know that this is a fantastic beginning to a new way of sharing Palestinian culture with the world and, in turn, receiving the world's cultures here on the Birzeit University campus.