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10 November, 2011

Summer Entrepreneurship Program Graduation, Sticking to Their Plans

EntrepreneurshipOn 27 October 2011, the Alumni Relations Office held the Graduation Ceremony for the participants of the Summer Entrepreneurship Program, held on campus, at Furno Hall.  The program, funded by USAID is an International Youth Foundation initiative created to improve employment, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement opportunities for young Palestinians and to support the Palestinian National Youth Strategy 2011 – 2013.

EntrepreneurshipAfter an invigorating welcome speech by Br. Jack Curran, Vice President for Development, Mr. Mohammad AlMbaid, Country Director of the International Youth Foundation, took the floor to congratulate and encourage the graduates to continue to develop their skills in leadership, social innovation, community development and research. Certificates were awarded for successful completion.

Br. Jack enthusiastically points out how Bethlehem University found a great match  in the Program, as Bethlehem University has worked ardently not only to ensure that graduates achieve success after they finish their education at the University but also to find a better way to be entrepreneurs and develop themselves and their ideas. “A great idea is only an idea until you find a way to communicate it to the next person and that person to the next. But still, it is still only an idea  — until one of those people takes an action and then you know that your own crazy idea has changed something. This is what we want our graduates to do — be a force of change.” Graduates were also a part of the program, who participated in teaching the students skills as well as forming an evaluation committee for the student’s project submissions.

EntrepreneurshipAs part of their activities, students developed business plans and social plans. Four winners were announced and awarded surprise cash prizes, donated by the Italian Ministry of Youth. “The students did not know they were competing for prizes,” says Raneen Al Arja, Project Coordinator of the program. “The students were doing it for pure desire to learn more and to do more with their education here.” Projects were related to online services, ‘creativity schools,’ and even recycling centers.

Haneen Musleh, Alumni Relations Officer and the project Officer, witnessed how this new proEntrepreneurshipgram has made a change on campus: “Students can now see that these ideas they have — business plans, social ventures — they can actually happen, if they just have the support needed to make a plan and eventually bring that plan to life. Our students have taken this initiative even further and established the first Students Club, through which they will share their newfound skills, recruit new members and spread the word about what they’re learning and doing.” One participant says, “Through the program, I can see how changes can happen. I can do it.”

EntrepreneurshipAt Bethlehem University, we are giving students in Palestine the support they need to change their lives, their country and the world. From alumni development to scholarships to educational and cultural exchanges, Bethlehem University is bringing the world to this young nation and bringing this young nation to the world. Philip Daoud, Communications, Alumni and Guest Relations Manager says, “We in Palestine have so many social and economic niches to be filled — and a mushrooming young population eager to be part of the changes sweeping the Arab world. The participants of this program are finding ways to be a part of that movement to change their world.”

View winner Majdoleen's mini documentary on service learning.

Congratulations to the Competition Winners:

  • First Place/Business Plan: Fadi Saleh
  • Second Place/Business Plan: Israh Hammouri
  • First Place/Social Plan: Majdoleen Odeh
  • Second Place/Social Plan: Oriana Salameh

The Alumni Relations Office would like to thank:

  • The IYF team, especially Mark Nilles, Senior Technical Advisor
  • Mohammad AlMbaid, Chief of Party
  • Sarah Fault, Senior M & E/Communications Manager
  • David Nour ’95: Owner of Nour Design and Print
  • Abdel Fatah Abu Sroor’85: Director of Rowwad
  • Hasan Omar: Manager of PICTI
  • Rawan Awwad ’08 and Riham Banourah ‘11- Beit Sahour Wildlife Society
  • Elias Mukarker ’07
  • Kifah Al Ayasa ‘05
  • The Italian Ministry of Youth
  • Dr. Fadi Kattan ‘90
  • Rami Sabella ‘04
  • Trainers
  • The Office of Development
  • The Communications Office
  • The Finance Office


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