Opportunities: The University of Virginia-Yarmouk University Summer Arabic Program

The Program is held at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan. Yarmouk University is a comprehensive university with an enrollment of about 30,000 students. Irbid is a city of approximately 500,000 inhabitants, 90 kilometers (about 60 miles) northwest of Amman, the Jordanian capital. It is located in the hills of northern Jordan and enjoys temperate weather during the summer months. One of the primary goals of this Program is to completely immerse the participants in the Arabic language. Irbid is an ideal setting due to its Arab-Muslim society. This setting has a minimal number of foreigners that use English. Important historical and archaeological sites such as Amman, Jerash,Um Qais, the Dead Sea, the Jordan Valley, Petra and Aqaba, are easily accessible from Irbid. Students will have ample opportunities to visit these and other places of interest during the two Program-sponsored educational excursions, on weekends, during the mid-session break, or at the end of the Program.



  • Four hours of classroom instruction per day, five days a week and language laboratory: 8 credits.
  • Jordanian Dialect/Conversation: 1 credit.
  • Prerequisite: one year of college-level Arabic or the equivalent.
  • Specially prepared materials will be provided at Yarmouk University


  • Three hours of classroom instruction per day, five days a week and language laboratory: 6 credits.
  • Jordanian Dialect/Conversation: 1 credit.
  • Media Arabic: Optional (See ADVANCED below.)
  • Prerequisite: two years of college-level Arabic or the equivalent.
  • Specially prepared materials will be provided at Yarmouk University


  • Three hours of classroom instruction per day, five days a week and language laboratory: 6 credits.
  • Jordanian Dialect/Conversation: 1 credit.
  • Media Arabic (radio, television, newspapers and magazines): 1 credit.
  • Prerequisite: three years of college-level Arabic or the equivalent.
  • Specially prepared materials will be provided at Yarmouk University.


The Program cost for summer 2010 is $6,300.00*.  This includes all international airfare†, tuition, housing, and Program fees.  In addition, students should plan for the following individual expenses not covered in the Program cost:

–  Textbooks: $30-40
–  Food: approx. $30/day (individual eating habits may vary)
–  Travel in and/or around Jordan (depending on individual preference)
–  International Student ID Card: cost TBA

For a spreadsheet and detailed breakdown of these costs, please see the Summer Budget Sheet of the online application page.*Note: The Program cost is dependent upon airfares and may be subject to minor change. †Note: Participants are responsible for domestic airfare to the Program Orientation session in New York.


Orientation in New York and departure for Amman, Jordan: Friday, June 11, 2010. End of Program departure for New York: Wednesday, August 11, 2010.

For more information, visit: www.virginia.edu/arabic/YarmoukInformation.html


Opportunity: Interfaith Peace-Builder’s & National Peace Foundation Delegation to Israel and Palestine, May 23-June 5 2010

Voices of the Peacemakers: From Roots to Reconciliation
May 23- June 5, 2010
Delegation Leaders: Anna Baltzer and Cathy Sultan
Co-Sponsored with the National Peace Foundation

This delegation will explore Palestinian and Israeli efforts to achieve peace and a resolution to their conflict based on justice. The delegation will feature meetings with Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers — leaders of civil society groups, grassroots organizers, religious leaders and more. Given the current situation in the West Bank, the delegation will focus on learning about the current challenges facing nonviolent activists resisting occupation. May also marks the annual commemoration of Israel’s independence and the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) and the birth of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Your participation as an eyewitness to the situation will enrich your understanding of the conflict and empower your work back in the United States.

As with all delegations, you will meet with ‘ordinary’ Israelis and Palestinians, and people and organizations working for peace and justice. Delegates will confront and analyze the US role in the conflict and wrestle with ways to translate your experience to others when you return home.

Click here to learn more about the standard components of all delegations.

To express interest in this delegation and get updates and more information (leaders, co-sponsors, etc) as it becomes available, send us an email so we’ll be sure to add you to the May 2010 delegation mailing list. Send an email to office@ifpb.org.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until late March, 2010. Apply early to reserve and lock in lower airfares.

Download Application for the Delegation

For more information, visit: www.ifpb.org/del33/default.html

Film: Kavanah presents ‘Live from Bethlehem’ (Israel 2009) on February 16, 2010 at Rainbow Bookstore

A Film Screening & Presentation with Discussion to Follow
Tuesday, February 16, 7:00pm
Rainbow Bookstore Coop
426 W. Gilman St.

Emmy-nominated screenwriter and documentarian Matt Sienkiewicz will be presentingLive From Bethlehem in a special screening at Rainbow on February 16th.

The Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency (MNA) emerged out of the ashes of the second Intifada to become a significant independent news network in the Occupied West Bank and an increasingly prominent and influential journalistic force in the wider Middle East.

Live from Bethlehem tells MNA’s remarkable story. It chronicles the agency’s struggles and successes through the eyes of the station’s reporters, producers, and photographers, in the process quietly revealing the humanity of ordinary Palestinians as they go about their daily business.

The documentary trains its focus on people more than on abstract issues, yet it never loses sight of the myriad social and political forces and pressures that Ma’an journalists are forced to negotiate as they try to gather and report West Bank realities. What results is a nuanced portrait of how news gets produced, and how Palestinians live, in one of the world’s most troubled regions.

The film was released by the Media Education Foundation last September and was screened at the Rhode International Film Festival, Chicago Palestine Film Festival and Athens Film and Video Festival among many others.

Matt Sienkiewicz is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin. His other credits include the award winning comedy series Windy Acres and the Emmy-nominated television documentary Festa. His academic research focuses on Western involvement in Middle Eastern broadcasting initiatives and ethnic representation in US media.

For more information on the film, visit: www.livefrombethlehem.com

Middle East Film Series presents ‘Encounter Point’ (Israel, 2006) on Thursday February 18, 2010

The Center for Middle East Studies in coordination with the Middle East Interest Group will be screening the film Encounter Poin (Israel 2006: 85 mins) on Thursday, February  18th at 7pm in 1101 Humanities. The film will be the second installment of the Spring 2010 Middle East Film Series. Directed by Palestinian director Ronit Avni, the film addresses personal accounts of overcoming differences across boundaries in Israel and Palestine. The film will be screened in Arabic with English subtitles.

Encounter Point is an 85-minute feature documentary film that follows a former Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex-prisoner, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian bereaved brother who risk their lives and public standing to promote a nonviolent end to the conflict. Their journeys lead them to the unlikeliest places to confront hatred within their communities. The film explores what drives them and thousands of other like-minded civilians to overcome anger and grief to work for grassroots solutions. It is a film about the everyday leaders in our midst.

For 2 years, the Just Vision crew followed the stories of ordinary people who feel driven to work for an end to bloodshed and occupation in favor of peace. We traveled from Tel Mond to Tulkarem, from Hebron to Haifa documenting the courageous, painful and moving stories of regular people who refuse to sit back as the conflict escalates. These civic leaders navigate suicide bombings and checkpoints to confront militancy on both sides, the wounded and apathetic masses.

Encounter Point has received awards at the Tribeca Film Festival, Jerusalem Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival and Hot Docs among others.

Click here for the event flier: EncounterPoint