【Report】Open Seminar “Palestine -Current situation facing Palestinians including Gaza and issues facing society” was held
On Friday, November 24, 2023, an open seminar was held in a hybrid format in the lounge of the Center for International Education Building at Kumamoto University, with 125 participants (40 face-to-face and 85 online).
The theme of this seminar was about Palestinian society and the current situation. It was organized by Dr. Joshua Rickard, Associate Professor, Project Faculty at Kumamoto University’s Center for International Education, because of strong requests from the community to know more about the situation. Although the content of the lecture was about a complex social and political situation in the Middle East, Dr. Rickard’s explain it “in the simplest way possible” and the interpreters’ careful attention to detail allowed the audience understand.
Dr. Rickard discussed the history of the Middle East and the various situations that Palestinians live in. The violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories since October 7 caused far more deaths in a short time than other periods in the past. This has caused concern by many people in Japan. Dr. Rickard explained that this is by no means an isolated incident, nor is it “just a religious conflict” or “just a battle between ethnic groups” as reported by the media, but a combination of various factors, including decades of division and people living under military occupation without rights or citizenship.
During the final Q&A session, many questions were asked by those in the audience and those participating online. When asked, “We are far away from the Palestinian people, what can we do for them now?”, Dr. Rickard replied. “It is important for people to learn about this and other issues going on around the world, even if there is nothing they can do about it. Being aware is the most important point.” Although it was only an hour and a half, it was a valuable time to learn many things and to think about the situations of the Palestinian people.