Flags of Canada, Palestine and the University of Waterloo grace the stage on the May 24 launch of the university’s new “Foundation for Palestinian Studies” at a gala event attended by over a hundred academics, university administrators, former diplomats and others. The foundation is the brainchild of Shawky Fahel, a Palestinian Canadian businessman with the support of private donors and the University itself. In a short video interview, Fahel explains the origin of his idea. Read more…
With an initial investment of $100,000 and an objective of raising another $5 million, Palestinian Canadian businessman Shawky Fahel has partnered with the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo to launch Canada’s first educational institute focussed on the study of Palestine.
“Our vision is education, education, education. Understanding begins with education and awareness. Changing minds can change the course of history.”
The Foundation will have four main types of activity.
- An annual public lecture series which will bring distinguished international experts to Waterloo from within and beyond the academic community, throwing light on genuine Palestinian realities.
- Subsidized international study experiences that will change the lives and open the minds of our students through travel to the Palestine-Israel region.
- Research awards for faculty and graduate students aimed at deepening understanding
- Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards to attract and support rising stars of Palestinian studies or those whose research intersects with Palestinian Studies
CTIP spoke with Shawky Fahel about his motivations and objectives in founding the program.
The first official activity of the Foundation was the launch event itself, held on May 24th. Guest speaker was Dr. Reem Bahdi, the first woman dean of any Canadian law school, and the first Palestinian Canadian Dean at any Canadian university.
The UofW endorsement of the Foundation for Palestine Studies, and indeed the accession of Dr. Bahdi herself to the position of Dean of Law at the University of Windsor, are indications that Palestinian Canadians, so long reluctant to self-identify for fear of discrimination, are beginning to take their rightful place in Canadian society and that the Palestinian narrative is gradually seeping into Canadian public discourse.
Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.
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