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Inaugural internship with the Al Quds University Legal Clinic, April/May, 2016

In April/May, two students from the Transitional Justice class in the Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation Programme (Belfast) were selected by Dr Brendan Browne to take up the inaugural internship at the Al Quds University Legal Clinic situated in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Working closely with Dr Browne's colleagues, Dr Munir Nuseibah (director of the legal clinic), and Mr. Osama Al Risheq, their internship involved documenting human rights abuses against Palestinians in the greater Jerusalem area, recording affidavits, and conducting research on international law to be incorporated into future publications. Whilst in Palestine Jessica and Michelle also took classes in Transitional Justice at the Al Quds University. Their personal reflections can be read below.

More information on the work of the clinic can be found here.

Palestine reflection - Michelle Anderson

My summer internship in Palestine at Al Quds University's Legal Clinic and Community Action Center has been one of the most formative experiences I have had during the span of my M.Phil of Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation at Trinity. After two terms of studying conflict through theory and through case studies, this contextual and hands-on learning has been essential in cementing my understanding of all that I have learned through this master's program. As an experiential learner, the opportunity to live in a conflict zone, hear people's perspectives firsthand, and work in a field addressing the issues in the conflict has been indispensable. The doors that Trinity has opened to a multitude of hands-on experiences like this have opened my eyes to work I wouldn't have known I want to pursue in the future, and have given me experience working in the field that will make me more qualified to pursue such work. Even beyond education, living and working in Palestine was incredible; I experienced the most welcoming people, fascinating and endless history and culture, and amazing food. Of course, there are always challenges faced when living and working in a conflict zone, but as a student of conflict studies and having been prepared for the particular context before going, it was nothing that I did not feel equipped to handle.

Palestine reflection - Jessica Anania

Prior to my study at ISE, I never dreamed that I would have an opportunity to travel to and work in Palestine as a twenty-two year old Master's student. Working at the Al-Quds Legal Clinic and Community Action Center brought together everything I learned in my Master's courses and at my internship in Belfast, challenging me to apply it in the field. I gained practical experience in researching and developing advocacy tools for human rights abuses, including issues surrounding collective punishment, that I previously had only learned about from a distance. Through being in Palestine, I also befriended people affected by those human rights abuses, reinforcing my determination to work towards change. My time in Palestine has bolstered my confidence in my own ability to succeed outside the borders of my comfort zone, a skill necessary for future conflict resolution work. Wherever my career in this field takes me, I now know that I can adapt to, and thrive in challenging and constantly evolving circumstances, something I could never have learned about myself within the four walls of a classroom. Traveling to and working in Palestine has been a transformative experience, both professionally and personally, one that I believe was integral to my Master's education. I am sure my time in East Jerusalem and Abu Dis will continue to shape me as I move forward in academia and in my career.

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Last updated 9 June 2016 by Irish School of Ecumenics (Email).