Completing a tour of UK universities, museums and town halls, Dr Mazin Qumsiyeh spoke at Oxford University’s Middle East Centre on Wednesday 1st November in an event co-hosted by Fobzu and Oxford Ramallah Friendship Association (ORFA). The Director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History, who also teaches at Birzeit and Bethlehem Universities delivered a talk to a full Investcorp Lecture Theatre at St Antony’s College, Oxford, chaired by Fobzu Director, Omar Shweiki.
Dr Qumsiyeh spoke to students, academics and members of the public about his experience as a teacher and scientist living and working in occupied Palestine and the work of the Institute of Biodiversity Research, which he recently founded at Bethlehem University. He described how the occupation’s restrictions on movement, closures, blockade of Gaza and the Separation Wall undermine Palestinian academic freedom and the right to education for Palestinians. In the discussion that followed his talk, Dr Qumsiyeh called for solidarity among the UK academic community with Palestinian higher education in its struggle to overcome the barriers imposed by Israel.