Dr Tanzil Chowdhury and Dr Thomas MacManus were selected for the inaugural Fellowship of the Palestine Academic Links Seminar (PALS) organised by the Friends of Birzeit University (FOBZU).
The Fellowship involved a week long study tour in Palestine in June with a delegation of 11 academics from British Universities, led by academic coordinator Akram Salhab (Doctoral Candidate, Queen Mary).
The Fellowship enabled scholars in law, education, politics, literary studies, Arab studies and documentary film making to meet with Palestinian academics, students and civil society organisations to foster research collaborations. For example, the delegation learned from Birzeit University's Right to Education Campaign which documents, researches and raises consciousness about the oppression of Palestinian students, teachers and academic institutions under Israeli military occupation.
Dr Chowdhury and Dr MacManus spent time with the Director of the Institute of Law at Birzeit University, Dr Reem Albatmah, discussing the state of legal education in Palestine and ways in which they could assist on initiatives at the law school exploring critical approaches to law. All parties were confident that this could lead to fruitful collaborations between the law schools.
Among the institutions the delegates visited were Mada al-Carmel Arab Centre for Applied Social Research; Adalah - the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights; and Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights.
The Fellowship delegates will continue to work together to forge institutional links with academics and students in Palestine, to support FOBZU's commitment to the right to education and to the role of education in the creation of a free and flourishing Palestine.
Dr Tanzil Chowdhury is Senior Lecturer in Public Law and Dr Thomas MacManus is Senior Lecturer in State Crime at Queen Mary University of London.