On November 11, a new course in the Indonesian language was launched at Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture. The course is offered in partnership with the Palestinian-Indonesian Friendship Association and is hostel by Dar al-Kalima. The instructor, from the city of Hebron, is a graduate of a similar course that was previously offered in Hebron and was sent to Indonesia for a year to learn the language.
Of the 24 students in the class, two-thirds are either Dar al-Kalima students or graduates, the majority of whom are from the tour guiding and culinary arts programs, with some students from the interior design program as well. Other partners in the course are the Bethlehem Governorate and the Ministry of Tourism, as the hope for the course is to improve infrastructure for Indonesian tourism in Palestine. One hope for the course is that this partnership may lead to signing MOUs with Indonesian universities.
“Annually Palestine receives 100,000 tourists from Indonesia,” Dr. Nuha Khoury said. “For infrastructure purposes, our (tour) guiding students especially should be able to understand the language, culture, and food of that area. Hopefully this short course will be part of a long partnership we hope to have with the Palestinian-Indonesian Association.”
The course is offered twice a week for two hours each and will last three months. At the end of the three months, successful students will travel to Indonesia for a visit and we hope that many shall continue their studies there. While the current plan is to have students stay for two weeks, Khoury is working with the association on making it longer.
“I asked that they take them for one year,” she said. “Three of our graduates in the tour guiding program have gone. One of them was already in Indonesia for a year and two are there now learning the language.”
Besides learning the language, traveling to Indonesia would allow students, especially in the culinary arts program, to learn more about how to prepare Indonesian cuisine.
“Among the students of the class are two young men who work for the Chinese restaurant in Bethlehem,” Khoury said. “They have Indonesian tourists and they’re interested in learning how to speak with the Indonesians in their restaurant and learn the culinary art as well.”