GRÓ GEST visits Birzeit University

20 June 2023
GRÓ GEST visits Birzeit University

GRÓ GEST was invited to attend the international staff week at Birzeit University, Palestine, during the week 5-9 June 2023. The visit was a part of the ERASMUS+ staff mobility, facilitated by the International Office at the University of Iceland, and funded by the European Union. The GEST programme has collaborated with Birzeit University through the ERASMUS+ scheme since 2017 and has since then received nine MA students from Birzeit to the GEST postgraduate diploma programme.

Project managers Anna Guðrún Aradóttir and Védís Ólafsdóttir visited Birzeit University on GRÓ GEST‘s behalf. The international staff week was very informative, where the GRÓ GEST team was introduced to the Birzeit University, its history and the Palestinian culture. Furthermore, the GRÓ GEST team had the opportunity to introduce the GEST programme at a study fair, open to all students at Birzeit University. GEST alumna of 2018, Carmen Keshek, joined Anna and Védís in introducing the programme and shared her experience at GEST with interested Birzeit students.

Parallel to participating in the international week at Birzeit University, Anna and Védís visited civil society organisations in Palestine and met with the Palestinian GEST alumni. In Ramallah, they visited the Women Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC), who have until now both nominated candidates to the programme, and participated in seminars organised by GEST. GRÓ GEST also visited the organisation Juzoor, where they exchanged information about their organisations‘ activities and explored the potential for collaboration. In Jerusalem, GRÓ GEST visited the Women‘s Studies Centre, who have been very influencial in their projects and publications towards developing community awareness for equal opportunities for Palestinian women.

The GRÓ GEST team met GEST alumni in three locations, Ramallah, Jerusalem and Bethlehem. This allowed for less travel time for the alumni and the smaller groups allowed for closer interaction of the alumni and the GEST team. It was great to learn about the achievements of the GEST alumni, who have all integrated gender into their day to day approach in their work. The Palestinian GEST alumni consists of 29 individuals in total and is one of the largest country chapters.

The international participants and organisers at the International Staff Week at Birzeit University.
Birzeit University is located 20 minutes drive north west of Ramallah. It was founded in 1972 and has nearly 15,000 students enrolled.
GEST alumna Carmen Keshek (2018) joined GEST staff in introducing the GEST programme at Birzeit's study fair.
GRÓ GEST staff met with Rania Jawad, Director of the Institute of Women Studies at Birzeit University.
GRÓ GEST staff is very thankful to the staff of Birzeit for organising the international staff week.
GRÓ GEST met with GEST alumni in Ramallah. From the left: Carmen Keshek (2018), Amira Khader (2018), Khaled Mansour (2011), Anna, Védís, Wala'a (2017), Wafa'a (2017).
GRÓ GEST visited the Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC). From left Anna Guðrún, Védís GRÓ GEST project managers; Randa Siniora, General Director of WCLAC; Amal Abusrour, Director of Programmes
GRÓ GEST visited Juzoor, an organisation focused on health and social development in Palestine. From left: Dina Moghrabi, Project Coordinator; Védís; Dr. Umaiyeh Khammash, General Director; and Anna Guðrún. Rihab Sandouka, Programs Director, also attended the meeting.
The participants in the international staff week were introduced to cultural activities, such as story telling.
GRÓ GEST staff met with GEST alumna Razan Wazwaz (2022) in Jerusalem.
GRÓ GEST met with Sharine Nammari, Programmes Director at the Women Studies Centre in Jerusalem.
GRÓ GEST met with GEST alumni Tony Bero (2015) and Balqees Shaheen (2022) and had the popular dessert knafeh.