Some background info:
The Right to Education Campaign (R2E) was established in the late 1970's as a means for providing legal advice to students and faculty members alike. It became more institutionalized during the first Intifada. It encapsulates three basic aims:
- To raise the awareness of students by activities such as workshops and documentations
- To provide reliable information about education under occupation
- To build an international campaign in support of the right to education for Palestinians. This was demonstrated in two speaking tours in the recent years.
The convention, although long, (10-5 pm) was an engrossing and interesting experience. It's main objectives are found here, and we'll just pick a couple.
" To exchange knowledge and resources amongst the different campus organizers specifically on building effective solidarity links between students in Palestine and across the world; and initiating campus BDS campaigns with successful follow-up
"To establish important links between international activists and Palestinian student activists."
The second day encompassed seven different workshops where the participants were able to share experiences, tools of analysis, and recommendations. They were:
- Media and Writing
- Gaza (by video conference)
- Public speaking and presentations
- Why Apartheid?
- November Week
- Challenges faced on campuses
We're pretty miffed we missed out on that, but such is the student life. The first day was fascinating in that we got to engage with different foreigners about the conflict. For some, it was their first time coming to the Occupied Territories, and they admitted that it was pretty overwhelming learning about the different aspects of life under occupation. Others were leaning towards the whole "it's a religious thing" but we hoped our arguments convinced them otherwise.
Best part of the conference? Meeting Jody McIntyre, no doubt :)
Note of bother (since we can't help ending anything but in negativity): Birzeit students, where you at? Pretty sad/embarrassing that such a low (very low) number turned out.
UPDATE: We're linked over at fakhoora.org