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Palestinian delegation visit marks new bilateral relations
2015-11-27



Prof Jonathan Jansen and His Excellency Mr Hashem Dajani
Photo: Charl Devenish

The Office of International Affairs hosted the official visit of the Ambassador of Palestine, His Excellency Mr Hashem Dajani, to the University of the Free State (UFS) on 16-17 November 2015. Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, welcomed the Ambassador and the Palestinian delegation to the Bloemfontein Campus. During the visit, they met with senior management of the university, including Dr Karen Lazenby (Registrar: Systems and Administration), Beata Mtyingizana (Director of International Affairs) and JC Van der Merwe (Deputy Director at the Institute of Reconciliation and Social Justice).

The visit marked the finalisation of a scholarship initiative which offers placement of Palestinian students to study at the UFS. The new Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship programme will recognise academic excellence and merit in undergraduate, postgraduate, as well as doctoral academic disciplines.

One of the strategic objectives of the UFS is that of internationalisation, which is strengthened by the scholarship programme. With the focus on Palestine, the university’s international footprint in non-traditional regions of the world, such as the Middle East, will therefore be highlighted.

To conclude the visit, the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice hosted a film screening featuring ‘Jerusalem, the east side story’. The documentary mainly looks at the past forty years of Israeli military occupation policies in Jerusalem and the subsequent impact on the city and its people.

“Peace in Palestine is key to world peace,” Ambassador Dajani said. “The issue of self-determination is central to the Palestinian effort, and, through the assistance of the international community, it can it be realised.”

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