The project team at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), in collaboration with Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) and the University of Birmingham, and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in Britain, is pleased to announce the successful completion of the capacity-building training program titled “Narrative Methodologies and Media Information Literacy.” The program was specifically designed to enhance the skills and competencies of disabled university students and graduates in Gaza.
Led by an expert team from AOAV, including Dr. Iain Overton, the executive manager of AOAV and a BBC journalist with two decades of experience, and his assistant Ms. Sabrina Lavrut, the unique Training of Trainers (ToT) program was conducted at IUG. The program involved seventeen carefully selected participants (11 females and 6 males) from various Palestinian universities, representing diverse academic majors such as Journalism, Media, Information Technology, English, and engineering, and encompassing various types of disabilities.
The intensive one-month capacity-building program commenced on the 3rd of July 2023, consisting of eight training sessions tailored to meet international standards and inclusive education requirements.
The primary objectives of the training were to enhance storytelling and media literacy skills among disabled students, enabling them to effectively utilize social media platforms to amplify their voices in an engaging manner. The program also focused on developing essential soft skills, including teamwork, communication, collaboration, and English language acquisition.
During the closing ceremony, Dr. Nazmi Al-Masri, the Principal Investigator, expressed profound gratitude to Dr. Osama Hammad, the dean of the Faculty of Arts at IUG, and Dr. Mahmoud Baroud, the head of the English department, for their valuable contributions. Dr. Al-Masri also extended appreciation to the expert trainer, Dr. Iain, and his assistant, Ms. Sabrina, as well as the entire IUG team, including Dr. Mahmoud Jalambo, the English-Arabic interpreter and the main researcher, Dr. Nessa Al-Ghoula, the project assisting coordinator, Eng. Sharehan Al-Masri, coordinator of the project, Mr. Ihab al-Madhoun, the sign language interpreter, and the dedicated trainees for their exceptional creativity, excellence, and commitment to the program’s success. Dr. Al-Masri emphasized the significance of conducting practical research in the field of translation and interpretation for students with disabilities.
Dr. Hammad acknowledged the exceptional capabilities and determination displayed by the distinguished group of trainees. The trainees themselves expressed their gratitude and happiness for participating in this unique and inclusive training program. They expressed hope that the program would contribute significantly to enhancing their skills and building their capabilities in the realm of media and information literacy, enabling them to effectively influence others and reshape societal attitudes about disability. They also expressed their determination to express the Palestinian case and preserve its Arab identity.
This successful capacity-building training program is a testament to the commitment of the partnering organizations and institutions to empower university students with disabilities in Palestine. It signifies the power of collaboration and inclusive education in driving positive change and fostering an empowered community.