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28 October, 2011

Bethlehem University Celebrates 36th Commencement Ceremonies


Mr. Jesus Villegas, English Language Fellow with the U.S. Consulate, has created a photography club for Bethlehem University students who share a passion for photography. Membership is open to all Bethlehem University students, especially those who already enjoy taking pictures but who want to do more than just use the ‘auto’ setting on their camera.

The club held its first meeting on October 6th, and has been meeting every Thursday at 11:30 AM in room L003. At this point, members include all levels of photographic expertise from true beginners to experienced photographers who have been taking pictures for years. Initially, the club started out as a student group, but it has now grown to include three Faculty and Staff members.

During the weekly meetings, members critique a handful of the photos that they have uploaded to the group’s FB page (Bethlehem University Photo Club), which was created specifically for club members to share their work. Club members analyze photos along the lines of aesthetics, composition, and overall quality. By critiquing each other’s photos, students not only learn to ‘see’ what other members have photographed, but they also begin to understand how to create better photographs.

After the photo critiques, a new photography technique is introduced, such as ‘portraiture’ or ‘using objects in the foreground to create borders in the background’. After a 15-minute introduction and discussion of the new technique, students go out and attempt to create photographs applying this new technique.

These photos were taken during the session on “Portraiture":

Photo by Ikhlas Thwaib                 Photo by Anwar Saleh                  Photo by Salim Salman

This photo was taken as part of the session on “Out of Focus Foreground Framing”:

Photo by Sireen Nuaimi

This photo was taken as part of the session on “Happiness”:

Photo by Anas al-Shweiki

From time to time, the group will go on photowalks around town and practice taking pictures following either a specific theme or a specific technique. When the group went on their first photowalk, however, they opted for photowalk with an “Open Theme” and a “Random Technique”, where photographers were free to experiment with their cameras.The next photo was during the group’s first photowalk in the Manger Square area:

Photo by Nour Qudeimat

As the group matures, students will be leading workshops where they will teach the rest of the member on various topics, such as “Using Photo-Editing Software”. From time to time, the club will also invite guest speakers who can offer technical advice and share stories about their unique photographic experiences. The group also plans to organize a photo exhibit during the spring semester, to showcase their best work.

As all meetings are held in English, the club offers students an invaluable opportunity to use English in a natural setting where everyone shares a common interest. Without the need for a set English curriculum, the students are learning to negotiate, argue their point of view, and defend their artistic integrity, all in English. Membership includes students who speak English with a near-native fluency to students whose ability to express themselves in English grows with every meeting, as they critique each other’s

If you’re interested in joining, contact Mr. Jesus at You can also join the club’s Facebook group, Bethlehem University Photo Club and, after exploring the photos that have been uploaded, you can decide whether or not to join the group

Photo by Sireen Nuaimi


Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine