The Dangoor Centre supported the initiative of the Dean of students at Bar-Ilan University to support the growing Arab student population at our university.
The aim of this course, led by Mr. Rifat Swiedan, is to impart basic knowledge about the composition of Arab society in Israel, such as population, culture and religion. In addition, students will be exposed to the changes that Arab society in Israel has undergone in recent years.
The course focuses on the various aspects and cultural characteristics of the Arabs citizens of the State of Israel and examines how they are reflected in their main areas of life (culture, economy, family structure and education). The various topics are supported by a number of theoretical approaches, which deal with the analysis of social change in developing societies and theories that discuss majority and minority relations. In addition, the course examines the issue of relations between Arabs and Jews in light of the changes and transformations that have taken place in the two populations (Arab and Jewish) in Israel.
In addition, in 2020-21, the course focused on various and fascinating topics about Arab society in Israel, such as: characteristics of Arab society in Israel, changes in the cultural composition of Arab society, the traditional structure of Arab society and the political status of Arab society in Israel, the status of Arab women in Israel, higher education among young Arabs and the political structure of Arab society in Israel.
In the past two years, this course has been in great demand among the students in various degrees programs. It should be added that some of the lectures are delivered by visiting teachers and researchers of Arab society. Students in the course also participate in an event or cultural tour related to the course format in order to strengthen their understanding and knowledge.
During the seminar, the class held an after-dinner meal for the month of Ramadan for Arab and Jewish students, for the sake of strengthening friendship and dialogue between peoples.
It should be added that the writing of this report took place before the riots of June 2021. In a discussion with Mr. Swidan, he expressed that for the following seminar, which will take place at the end of the summer 2021, he had decided to add a lecture regarding the violent incidents in Acre, Ramla and Jaffa between Jews and Arabs following the escalation between Israel and the Palestinians in early summer 2021. “It is essential to discuss the riots during the class,” said Swidan, “and I added a class named ‘Importance of volunteering in the Arab community for multicultural projects promoting coexistence for Jews and Arabs in Israel’.”