PBPL 85 Meets with Salam Fayyad

We left early this morning to travel to a Kibbutz about an hour and a half away from Jerusalem. The class toured the Nahal Oz Kibbutz and learned about the daily lives of the people that live there and the losses they suffered during the last conflicts. For lunch, we were welcomed into the Kibbutz dining hall, which was extremely similar to a school cafeteria. After members of the Kibbutz answered the class’s questions, we departed the Kibbutz and traveled back to Jerusalem for a busy evening of meetings.

Our first evening meeting was with Sari Nusseibeh, a professor and the author of “Once Upon a Country.” Having read Nusseibeh’s book during the term, the class was particularly excited to meet an author who voiced far greater optimism for peace than most. Nusseibeh lived up to high expectations (especially for one member of the class who truly couldn’t wait to meet him) and gave us an essential Palestinian perspective. We left the meeting with Nusseibeh with new insights and many signed copies of his book.

Following the meeting with Nusseibeh, we drove to the American Colony Hotel to meet our next distinguished speaker, Salam Fayyad, the Former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority. Fayyad was able to provide an extremely unique and valuable Palestinian perspective. Fayyad even gave one member of the class his business card so that we could ask further questions if needed.

We enjoyed dinner with one of Professor Wheelan’s past students who previously took this course when Professor Wheelan taught it at the University of Chicago. His student now works at the World Bank in Ramallah and was able to answer our questions regarding economic institutions and economic assistance in the West Bank. All in all, today was an exciting day filled with new perspectives!