The Constitutional Studies Centre (NCSC) at An-Najah National University, in collaboration with Northumbria University and the Deanship of Student Affairs at the University, organized "ISSRAR" conference titled: "Hope, Friendship and Future" as part of the closure activities of the "Young Palestinians’ Responses to House Demolitions" research project (ISSRAR), which is funded by the British Academy. The conference was over three days from September 21-23, 2021.
ISSRAR is an international research project focused on understanding young Palestinian’s responses to house demolitions and how these responses impact on their ability to cope with violence, maintain dignity and build sustainable development for Palestinians. The research began in 2018 and aims to understand and explore young Palestinians’ every day, informal and cultural responses to demolitions.
A youth conference was held at the Faculty of Law Auditorium in the New Campus over two days from September 21-22nd 2021. It brought together young Palestinian people who have had their homes destroyed by the Israeli military or who living in the areas under full Israeli control (Area C) to discuss and display their own experiences of house demolitions. The project team from Palestine and Britain presented their research and its results, asking participants to reflect on the chosen methods and findings to date.
During ISSRAR exhibition which was held in cooperation with the Faculty of Fine Arts at the main square in the New Campus on October 22, 2021, young Palestinians were given an opportunity to present their visual responses to house demolitions with twenty-six young people showcasing their artistic responses as part of the conference.
The exhibition was attended by Dr. Abdel Nasser Zeid, University President, Prof. Maher Al-Natsheh, Former President of the University, Mr. Omar Hashem, President of the Nablus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Mrs. Rana Bustami as well as An-Najah’s vice presidents, assistants, faculty deans, heads of departments and other notable guests and attendees.
The third day included a policy workshop. Members of the project team presented three policy briefs. The briefs focused on issues of wellbeing, gender and the legal complexity of house demolitions. The workshop was attended by both national and international policy makers with Palestinian government officials in attendance along with UN representatives, legal aid organizations, NGOs and UNESCO.