The Office of the Dean of Research and the Research Council organized a symposium and a launch of the book, European Cultural Diplomacy and Arab Christians in Palestine, 1918–1948 Between Contention and Connection, on Thursday, 11 March 2021, via Google Meet.
In his welcoming remarks, Br. Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University, spoke about the mission of Bethlehem University and service to the Palestinian people. He also talked about the importance of holding a symposium on the history of Palestinian Christians in light of Pope Francis’ historic visit to Iraq. Moreover, he emphasized the importance of such academic events to develop a vibrant culture of research and scholarship at Bethlehem University.
Dr. Sary Zananiri, co-editor of the book, provided a general overview of the themes covered in the book and highlighted the unique theoretical and methodological approach of this collection especially, its engagement with theories of cultural diplomacy. Two contributors to the collection, Sadia Agsous and Dr. Sarah Irving, discussed their contributions to the collection, noting the importance of conducting archival research and the need for research on original texts in Arabic in the field of cultural diplomacy.
Prof Jamil Khader, Dean of Research, noted that this symposium is important on different levels. First, it provides an opportunity for the BU research community to engage in global debates about important scholarly matters. Such events do not only introduce new methodologies and theories that can prove useful to BU researchers, scholars, and students in their research. It can also create much needed spaces for networking and future collaboration with diapsoric Palestinian and other international researchers in the humanities and soft sciences.
The symposium was recorded and can be viewed here.