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Department of Religious Studies

Nariman Qumsiyyeh

Nariman Qumsieh (BU '08) from Beit Sahour is a fourth year student in the Department of Religious Studies. She is married and has four children: Razan, Ramiz, Da'ed and Wala'.  Da'ed and Wala' are also studying at Bethlehem University. In addition to being a mother, wife and full-time student, Nariman works as a Religion and Physical Education teacher at Shepherds' High School and also teaches drama, dabke (Palestinian cultural dance) and choir, focusing on religious songs. The Headmaster of the Shepherds' High School, who also happens to be the Vice-Mayor of Bethlehem, George Sa'da, urged Nariman to get her bachelor's in Religious Education because of her excellent grades and commitment to teaching. Nariman accepted, saying, "Really, I was very happy because I love teaching children." She will graduate in 2008 and would like to move on to a master's in Religious Education.

One aspect of the program at Bethlehem University that particularly interests Nariman is that she is learning about Christianity at a Christian university surrounded by mainly Muslim colleagues. "I cherish this aspect of Bethlehem University. It has given me an opportunity I wouldn't have otherwise to meet and learn about Muslims and how they live out their commitment to God," Nariman said. "It is stimulating to be in class with them, because they ask me challenging questions and I feel comfortable answering them honestly because we are in a safe environment."

Nariman considers Fr. David Neuhaus her best teacher. "I have learned the most from him. He really pushes me to look deeper into each of life's lessons, whether they are from the Bible or from my own life."

Nariman finds a special joy in learning about Jesus and the Bible and spends a lot of time trying to find creative and fun ways to teach children about Jesus. She said that if these subjects, which are at the center of Christianity, were given more attention when she was going to school, she would have understood her faith and religion earlier on. "It is clear that the professors at Bethlehem University are deeply faithful and it is through their faith that I am discovering my own."

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