Maybe Not So Bad After All

This is the kind of thing I’m instinctively skeptical of: Professor Muhammad S. Dajani of Al-Quds, an Arab university in Jerusalem, travels to Brandeis with four Al-Quds graduate students in the university’s American Studies program, courtesy of the ultra-liberal Ford Foundation. Sounds like strike four or five, but keep reading:

Yasser Arafat failed to understand Western mentality and Western culture, according to Al-Quds University Professor Muhammad S. Dajani.

Dajani…said he feared that Hamas “will also fail to understand how to deal with the United States.”

Seems likely.

He said a key part of the program is teaching students to think objectively and rationally rather than to “resolve conflict… through ideologies.”

Sounds like a good idea. But this is what I liked best:

For some, the American Studies program is about learning how the US came to be. Graduate student Urieb Abdel Samad, who also works for the American Friends Service Committee in Ramallah, was amazed how the US “started with nothing.” Abdel Samad said she was interested in how Americans “just came from different countries of the world and in a very short time they became the largest power in the world. What is it? What is it about?”

Good questions. Let’s hope they get out a bit and figure out the answers.

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