A renewed five-year Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Trinity College Dublin’s School of Religion, Theology & Peace Studies and Al Quds University Human Rights Clinic at an event in Al Quds University Human Rights Clinic, Jerusalem Old City last week.
The MOU signing was attended by Al Quds University staff, Trinity staff, current Trinity students, former interns, and representatives from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs in Palestine, including Don Sexton, Representative of Ireland to the Palestinian Authority.
Dr Brendan Ciarán Browne, Assistant Professor Conflict Resolution, commented: “The signing of the MOU further strengthens and expands links between Trinity College Dublin and Al Quds University, the only Palestinian University in Occupied Jerusalem, and is an important means of practically enhancing the links between Irish and Palestinian academics and students.”
Since 2016, Dr Brendan Ciarán Browne and Dr Munir Nuseibah, Director of the Al Quds University Human Rights Clinic, have spearheaded this collaboration by designing activities to strengthen the links between the two institutions. In 2016, they established an internship allowing Trinity students the opportunity to engage in human rights advocacy work on the ground in Palestine, with 16 students having completed the programme thus far.
In 2018, the links between the institutions were further strengthened with a Visiting Professorship awarded to Dr Nuseibah to travel to Ireland, meet staff and students and engage in human rights advocacy work. Dr Browne was shortlisted for a Trinity Civic Engagement Award in recognition of the importance of this international partnership.
In 2020, the collaboration was part of a broader coalition of research institutions which secured a prestigious UK Arts & Humanities Research Council research grant (with colleagues at Queen's University Belfast and Liverpool John Moore's University), allowing for the development of a new research project with the Palestinian Bedouin communities in East Jerusalem. The team were subsequently awarded a research excellence prize by Al Quds University for this work.
This article was first published on 16 May by Trinity College Dublin.