Under the patronage of Dr. Zakaria Al-Agha, Executive Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization; QOU and the Department of Refugee Affairs held a conference entitled "Palestinian refugees in the camps: reality and challenges"
Participants call for developing a national register to monitor the suffering of refugees and launch their own research database
On September 27, 2017, in Al-Bireh, and through video conference with the University branches in Gaza, the Faculty of Educational Sciences held a conference entitled "Palestinian Refugees in the Camps: Reality and challenges ... Educational, psychological, political, economic, social and legal conditions ", under the patronage of Dr. Zakaria Al-Agha, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Head of the Department of Refugee Affairs.
The participants recommended developing a national register to monitor the suffering of refugees and the importance of bringing their case before international courts demanding that Israel compensates them not only for material damage but also for psychological and physical damage, in addition to launching a research database in cooperation with all academic and research institutions to document refugees issues in order to protect their political and legal rights.
Participants stressed the need to develop programs that aim at alleviate the economic and humanitarian crises experienced by refugees and reducing the incidence of poverty and unemployment, including supporting small projects within the camps and facilitating microcredit to contribute to sustainable self-employment.
The participants also called for working to address the population density in the camps by the competent authorities, and to develop the educational system in order to suit the unstable political conditions experienced by the refugees.
The conference also called for the need to establish vocational and industrial schools that provide educational opportunities for the children of all camps, calling for the inclusion of some university courses on the issue of Palestinian refugees and their rights.
Dr. Zakaria Al-Agha commented that this conference represents a qualitative leap towards achieving complementarity among Palestinian institutions. This is the culmination of a memorandum of understanding between the Refugee Affairs Department of the PLO and Al Quds Open University, which includes the largest number of Palestinian students and distinguished elite of academics.
Dr. Al-Agha said that these activities contribute to improving the situation of the refugees and strengthening their steadfastness until they return to their country. He pointed out that the conference covered all the different situations of the refugees with a focus on the living conditions and challenges facing them, especially in the camps.
Prof. Younes Amr said that Al Quds Open University, in cooperation with the Department of Refugee Affairs in the PLO, has always been interested in this important sector of our people and he thanked all whoever contributed to the success of this conference to come up with recommendations that will improve the situation of the refugees until their return to their homes.
For his part, Dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences, Chairman of the Preparatory Committee for the Conference Dr. Magdy Zamel, said that the conference was devoted to recalling the suffering of the refugees, which have been going on for almost seven decades. And that the conference comes as a result of a joint memorandum of understanding between the two institutions. He pointed out that the conference tackled the reality of the educational process, the political, economic and social conditions in the camps, the role of the UNRWA and the active institutions in the camps.
The conference included three scientific sessions, the first was chaired by Dr. Yahya Nada, entitled: The reality of the educational and psychological process in the Palestinian camps, the second scientific session chaired by Mr. Mohammed Elian, entitled: The political, economic and social conditions in the camps, while the third scientific session was chaired by Mr. Yasser Abu Kishk entitled "The Role of the UNRWA and the Active Institutions in the Camps”.
At the end of the conference, Mr. Saeed Salameh, Assistant Undersecretary for studies and Media in the Refugee Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization, read the concluding statement and recommendations of the conference. Researchers and conference participants who contributed to the success of the conference were honored.