Arab American University (AAU) hosted a lecture on the Irish experience in conflict resolution, at its headquarter in Ramallah. The lecture was presented by a professor from Emory University in the United States, in cooperation with an Irish researcher at Mainoot University, Gary Mason. The lecture was given to students in Conflict Resolution and Development Master program, within Comparative Studies in the Negotiating Processes and Peace-building course. This course is being taught by the professor of Conflict Resolution and Development program at the Arab American University, Dalal Erekat.
Dr. Erekat, started the lecture with a speech, in which she welcomed the guest professor, and talked about his academic and research biography. She also displayed the aim of the lecture which was to acknowledge the students in the Comparative Studies in the Negotiating Processes and Peace-building course with the Irish experience in resolving the conflict, and to connect the Irish experience with the Palestinian one. All in all came in line with bringing down the terms, concepts and theories through a comparative study of the two cases, the Irish and Palestinian.
Moreover, Dr. Erekat stressed that this lecture was resulted from the keenness of the Arab American University to provide high quality of educational services, in applying innovative teaching methods that encourage criticism and analysis. It also looks for giving a chance for sharing with the experiences of other countries. Thus, the students' knowledge, abilities and skills will be promoted. Students also will be enabled to learn from others’ indirect experiences, in addition to books and articles that are adopted by the program.
During the lecture, Professor Mayson gave a brief historical background about the Irish conflict, then he presented the steps of resolving the conflict by spotting the peace process that culminated in the Good Friday Agreement. He also highlighted the use of conflict resolving methods, such as negotiations, mediation tools, and the role of the third party.
Professor Mayson displayed the Belfast Agreement or the Good Friday, which took place in 1998. He also talked about the facts and details, as well as the role of various political parties that led to this agreement. On the other hand, he focused on the important role of some categories in any attempt in resolving the conflict; such as the civil society, businessmen, religious men, women, as well as the families of martyrs and prisoners.
Different exciting questions were raised during the lecture, that displayed different analytical viewpoints. Professor Mason aimed to compare between the Irish and the Palestinian experiences, through highlighting the similarities between the two conflicts to enhance the skills and knowledge of the master students in this unique specialization in Palestine.