Political Challenges to Diversity in Both Nature and Society in Palestine: Role of Colonialism and Role of Civil Society

Jun 30 2017


The Palestine Center
2425 Virginia Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20037


The Jerusalem Fund presents, “Political Challenges to Diversity in Both Nature and Society in Palestine: Role of Colonialism and Role of Civil Society” with Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor and Founding Director of the Palestine Museum of Institute for Biodiversity Research, Bethlehem University.

Dr. Qumsiyeh argues that movements towards uniformity such as Zionism have threatened the crucial diversity found in the landscape. This applies both to social diversity and also to biodiversity. Restoring our social and natural ecosytems to balance requires challenging ideas of dominance and hegemony, which Dr. Qumsiyeh is uniquely positioned to illuminate as a Palestinian Christian, a biologist, and a human rights activist. His talk will be framed by three points of focus: the plants and animals of the Holy Land and the status of nature conservation there; the role fulfilled by establishing museums and botanical gardens in third-world areas, and the perspective of a Palestinian Christian on Islam, peace studies, and conflict resolution.

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities. He is director of the main clinical cytogenetics laboratory and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Institute for Biodiversity Research. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke, and Yale Universities and has published over 130 scientific papers on topics ranging from biodiversity to cancer. He was chairman of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People and currently serves on the board of Al-Rowwad Children’s Theater Center in Aida Refugee Camp. His many articles and books include Mammals of the Holy Land, Sharing the Land of Canaan: human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle (English, Spanish, and German) and Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment (Arabic, English, French, forthcoming in Italian). He also has an activism book published electronically on his web site (http://qumsiyeh.org), and has published over 250 letters to the editor and 100 op-ed pieces and interviewed on TV and radio extensively (local, national and international).