Our ‘Understanding Hamas’ project is going great!

Helena CobbanBlog, Hamas, Israel, JWE news, Palestine

Just World Ed is now midway through the educational project we launched May 2, whose full title is “Understanding Hamas & Why That Matters”. Thus far, my co-host Rami G. Khouri and I have conducted extremely informative on-air conversations with three different experts on the subject: Dr. Paola Caridi, Dr. Khaled Hroub, and Dr. Jeroen Gunning. You can learn more about these experts here— or, on the Online Learning Hub that we have already started to build, in order to preserve and optimally present the many multimedia products of this project.

We will have two more similar sessions, on May 23 and May 30. (It is not too late to register for these. Use the QR code provided above to do so, or click on this link.)

Our Guest Expert on May 23 will be Mouin Rabbani, a distinguished Dutch-Palestinian researcher and analyst who specializes in Palestinian affairs, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the contemporary Middle East (West Asia.) Among other positions, he previously served as Principal Political Affairs Officer with the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Senior Middle East Analyst and Special Advisor on Israel-Palestine with the International Crisis Group, and Researcher with Al-Haq, West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists.

Rabbani is currently Co-Editor of Jadaliyya, Managing Editor and Associate Editor of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, and a Contributing Editor of Middle East Report. He is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies (CHS), Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), and the Middle East Council on Global Affairs.

Reaction to the sessions we have held thus far has been extremely positive. A good number of attendees at these webinar sessions have taken the time to fill out the “Evaluation” exit polls that we send to them. After the last one, May 16, 29 attendees provided thoughtful answers to the ten questions on the Evaluation. 28 of them provided a number, on a scale of 0 – 5, for how valuable they had found that webinar, with their scores averaging out at 4.8 / 5!

The comments they posted included these:

  • This was an outstanding, intelligent and highly sophisticated analysis of Hamas that avoided the usual tropes and reductive notions around the conflict and the formation of Hamas as a militant organisation. 
  • Hearty support and appreciation for all you do to bring essential information and perspective to the public (and hopefully to teachers, journalists and policy makers in the U.S. and other countries.
  • Simple gratitude for the work you do.
  • So far, it’s been excellent. I look forward to learning more in the future. I will also go back to re-watch some of previous webinars.
  • It was an interesting discussion. Thank you. There was much of interest, e.g. perspectives on women and Hamas, perspective on religious authority/laws and the legislature, the questions and discussion of what Hamas might have been anticipating in launching the attacks, etc.

We had received similarly enthusiastic responses to the two earlier sessions in the series. And we’ve concluded that our project has been starting to meet a need for more, and better-informed, sources of information about Hamas that is widely felt in many “Western” countries at this time.