Today’sucess story is one of a special taste; it is a story of an exemplar graduate, Mr. Yousef Al Jamel. We at the English Department are very proud of Yousef. We still remember how yousef was a very dynamic and competitive student, we still remember his deep debates and effective presentations. Yousef was able to develop a narrative voice which made him a successful and a published story teller, an activist who spared no efforts to serve the Palestinian cause. Last year Yousef, along with his close friend and creative teacher Mr. Refaat Areer made a wonderful tour in the States to talk about “Gaza Writes Back, a collection of published short stories written by our English Dept. Students and graduates.
Here the account of Mr. Yousef success story:

I was fortunate enough to meet a number of lecturers at the English Language Department who encouraged me to start reading and writing, which helped me a lot in my career. Just before graduation, I started working at the Center for Political and Development Studies in Gaza as a translator. I was in charge of producing a daily report about Palestine in Western media. In addition, I was tasked to organize dozens of talks, seminars, conferences and courses on politics, media, story-telling, poetry, narrative, and feature writing.
In my writings, I focus on personal narratives of Palestinians under occupation. My articles have appeared in a number of publications such as the Electronic Intifada, the Palestine Chronicle and Ghandi Magazine. Some of my articles were translated into French, Spanish and Korean.
I have been involved in translation since 2011. I co-translated the Prisoners’ Diaries: Palestinian Voices from the Israeli Gulag in 2013 from Arabic into English, which had been published in six different languages so far. Other translation projects are going on at the moment too, which I hope to bring to light as soon as I can.
Throughout the last couple of years, I participated in two speaking tours about Palestine in New Zealand and the U.S. The 2013 NZ tour aimed at connecting Palestine with NZ and getting Kiwis involved in the BDS movement. The 2014 US tour was about Gaza Writes Back: Short Stories By Young Writers from Gaza, Palestine, which I contributed a story to. The book was edited by Refaat Alareer, a lecturer at IUG who impacted me in many different positive ways, and included 14 more writers, most of them are IUG students/graduates.
In 2013, I left Gaza to do my graduate studies at the University of Malaya, Malaysia. Despite the difficulties resulting from the closure of the borders, I was fortunate to finally leave, that time, with Alareer. I had faced numerous difficulties in Malaysia until I finally managed to settle down and register at the university, as I arrived in the country five weeks after the beginning of the academic year. Just a couple of days ago, after finishing all courses with distinction, I passed my candidature defense for my MA at the Department of International Relations and Strategic Studies. I also managed to publish a number of journal articles in highly reputable journals such as Biography (University of Hawaii) and Politics and Religion (University of Belgrade).
All thanks due to the English Department at IUG, to my lecturers and classmates who made my three years and a half there an enjoyable experience!

Yousef M. Aljamal
MA Candidate at the University of Malaya