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Basma El-Haddad

MA Arabic-English Translating and Interpreting

Bama lives in Gaza and graduated in English Language and Literature at the Islamic University of Gaza in 2011. After various part-time jobs, mainly within the university and mainly concerned with teaching and translating she became an English Language trainer in the Community Development Institute of the university in April 2012.

Basma’s voluntary and community activities have included translating a cartoon film about the Palestinian cause, workshops with theForeign Media Unit at the Althorayya Center for Communication and Media, membership of the Palestinian Writers Association, reviewing books for British, American and Australian authors on Goodreads and working as a trainer in a summer camp for young girls in Gaza.

Basma wants to pass on the skills she gains in Durham to other young Palestinians but also to help the many international delegations visiting Gaza to really understand the realities of life under the Israeli siege. There is also work to be done, she says, on enabling Palestinians to learn about what the English and other foreign language media report.

Saba Fadda

MSc Management (International Business)

Saba lives in Nablus and graduated from An Najah University there in Computer Engineering in 2012. She is a software engineer for Infinite Tiers, developing and maintaining e-commerce websites for US-based companies.

For many years she was a very active member of the Zajel Youth Exchange Program. Here she co-ordinated over 50 study visits by international delegations, organised training courses for new volunteers, recruited international volunteers for summer camps to work with children and did lots of translating and interpreting. In 2008, she won a place on a 6-week (MEPI) program in USA for student leaders and has now helped to establish a MEPI alumni branch in Palestine.

In March 2012, Saba participated in the first Startup Weekend Nablus event as a contestant and won 3rd place. This year the organizers asked her to advise the competing teams. This has strengthened her long-held goal to start her own IT company and she expects to gain the essential business skills on her Durham MSc course. She is convinced that there is massive potential in Palestine to build sustainable IT businesses that can create many jobs, nurture young talent and deliver more social stability.

Reem Jodeh

MSc Economics

After gradua ting in Business Economics at Birzeit University in 2011 Reem worked as a research assistant at the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute before joining the Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA). She works in the Macroeconomic Analysis Division providing guidance on policies for monetary stability and economic growth.

Most of Reem’s community work has been through The Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation, including activities concerned with journalism, democracy, human rights, leadership and youth empowerment. For six years she was also a reporter its Youth Times newspaper and, latterly, an instructor on its journalism training course.

Reem hopes that her Durham MSc course with its emphasis on economic theories and on statistical and econometric analysis will provide the knowledge and skills she needs to pursue a career in economic research. She intends to return to the PMA, hopefully with more influence on shaping the economic and monetary policies needed to develop a sustainable and healthy future for Palestinians. Longer term, she wants to take a PhD and help to train graduates who will enable Palestine to develop as one of the world’s emerging markets.