The university is a place where students are given intellectual tools. But this is not the only thing a student receives in the case of one Palestinian college.
Students are often also beginning their search for a soul mate; and university is a perfect place to do so. Many young men and women find themselves in one place, away from home and from their parents’ eyes. In the Arab world, it is usually also the first time young men and women mix in a classroom.
The Palestinian National University in Nablus (A-Najah), aware of this and afraid of the effects it might have on the students, has published a manual in its periodical, in which it offers suggestions as to how students should behave in their freshman year. These are extracts from the manual:
“One should not translate friendly words or glances as ‘love’ relations. This is because when the two sexes mingle for the first time, it might lead a person to believe that any desire to talk with the other sex means ‘love’.
“It is preferable that the first year in university will pass without any of the male or female students engaging in friendly or ‘love’ relations. That is because this feeling could change – within one or both of them – into an ordinary feeling of fellowship. This will cause a grave blow to the other person, in a way which would not allow him to concentrate on his studying, thus failing his exams.”
A-Najah university’s current edition of its periodical was published as a supplement in the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam.
The Palestinian National University in Nablus