Archives for posts with tag: London

I’ve had a great time instructing the sessions at Al-Najah. I really would do this for a living; and maybe someday I will. But for now, my regular life calls me to London, and that is where you will be able to find me from tonight.

I feel like I’ve had a largely positive impact and reception at the university. I don’t think that people were shy to ask me questions, even if they weren’t comfortable with the English language. It would have been great to stick around and develop my relationships with the students to an even greater extent. Alas, it was not to be.

However, the new addition to the team, K (yet another one). . . . is someone that all the students will instantly take to. Our flights miss each other by just 15 minutes and, in all probability, we’ll both be on the same tarmac in Tel-Aviv as her flight lands and mine prepares to take off.

As I mentioned to the team last night, when I joined Recrear at the Berlin Conference 5 months ago, I would never have imagined having a few drinks in Jerusalem after having successfully completed Part 1 of Recrear-Apply, with people who were only recently strangers to me.

This good fortune is owed in large part to K, and her insistence that I visit her in Berlin at this conference which, I will admit, I knew nothing about when I landed in Germany.

Although it goes without saying, I would like to ask, that if you are an Al-Najah student reading this then please extend to her, as you have to us, the warmest possible welcome.

K, if you are reading this, bonne chance! And, juste leblanc. 😀


As I sit here in this relatively unremarkable hostel in the middle of the old city of Jerusalem, preparing to return to my regular life as a student in London, I’d like to take a moment to offer some circumspect opinions about my time at Al-Najah and the West Bank.

I think that there is a lot of exceptionally good work going on at the university, the resources and facilities available are of a very high standard, and in any developing country, that is normally the most difficult thing to acquire. Similarly, I was struck by the motivation, intelligence and good spiritedness of the students and the organizers.

However, on a personal and institutional level, I would suggest (in my humble opinion) that Al-Najah needs to reconsider the academia to extra-curricular balance. In my experience, university is not just about learning things in the classroom, it’s about getting involved in associations that champion what you are passionate about. I would love to see an increase in the proliferation of student interest groups.

Apart from student engagement, this would require some level of understanding from the university faculty. I don’t know exactly how this can be achieved, but I believe that Al-Najah will be much the richer for it.