Birzeit University faculty members available for media interviews

Please contact press liaisons for additional details and to arrange interviews. (Direct contact details below).

HANEEN ADI, who teaches English literature and writing at Birzeit University, has been without a visa and thus effectively restricted to the West Bank city of Ramallah since November of 2017 – the middle of her first semester at Birzeit. Unwilling to risk the possibility that she will be barred from returning, Ms. Adi has been unable to leave the country for nearly two years now. She not only missed being with her family on the occasion of her sister’s wedding, another sister’s graduation and the death of a relative; when her father tried to visit her in the West Bank, Israeli authorities denied him entry. CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY


DR. RANA BARAKAT, an assistant professor of history and contemporary Arab studies, spent 18 months unsuccessfully pursuing a visa extension while teaching undergraduate and graduate students at Birzeit University. Awarded a prestigious Columbia University fellowship in the spring of 2019, Dr. Barakat faced a huge dilemma: “I was afraid that if I left before I secured a visa extension for my current stay, I wouldn’t be allowed to return to Birzeit”. CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY



DR. RANIA JAWAD, assistant professor of English literature, has been threatened with deportation since fall 2017. She is married to a Palestinian with a West Bank ID, also a BZU faculty member, and together they have two small children. She was told by an Israeli official that her visa extension would be granted only if she resigns from her position at Birzeit University. The official informed her that were she to be granted a visa extension on grounds of her marriage to a West Bank ID holder, she would not be permitted to work. CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY


DR. OMAR TESDELL, assistant professor in Birzeit’s Department of Geography, is one of only a few active researchers in biodiversity conservation, landscape transformation, and agroecology in Palestine. He also advises several graduate students. The difficulties with regard to residency have affected his ability to support students, conduct research, and maintain an active research agenda by traveling for workshops and conferences. CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY



A CURRENT CHAIR OF FACULTY OF ARTS AT BIRZEIT was told by Israeli authorities in late 2017 to resign if she wanted her visa extended. An EU citizen married to a Palestinian ID holder and mother to small children, she refused to tender her resignation and continues to teach at Birzeit. Her commitment has come at a high cost and her efforts to secure visas for the past two years have been met with a litany of obstacles including being ignored by Israeli authorities, forced to pay a NIS 30,000 deposit, and banned from travel via Ben Gurion Airport. She has now been denied entry and is stuck outside the country, depending on colleagues to administer her exams on her behalf. CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY


Press liaisons for interview requests & further details: