The story of Shahd Abusalama, Palestinian lecturer in a British university, is illuminating about Palestine, Israel, anti-Semitism and what Palestine went through in seven decades.
Shahd Abusalama faced suspension less than a fortnight after starting as an assistant lecturer at Sheffield Hallam university. The University’s administration gave in to a racial propaganda campaign waged by Jewish media against Shahd.
Instead of supporting Shahd against grossly offensive and malicious comments, the institution fueled the flames. It actually failed to fulfil its responsibility to a young lady from a minor group.
Shahd’s firing sparked a massive anti-racist movement throughout the world in her favor. The assaults meant to retaliate her forthright and respectful criticism for the government in Israel.
Despite restoration to her position at the university, Shahd Abusalama still receives racist and nasty comments from Israeli outlets and activists. Her suspension exemplifies the dangerous circumstances in which many Palestinian nationals live, work and do their education program across Europe.
Beginning with a job in academic facilities in United Kingdom is difficult, especially for a woman from Palestine. Back in 1948, Shahd’s family were faced brutal eviction from Beit Jerja, their hometown in Gaza.
During the last months of British mandate of Palestine, thousands of villages and cities across Palestine were abandoned by residents under military force of Israel. Millions of People lost their properties and lives as a result of the newly-formed reign of Israel and its policy of ethnic cleansing. Shahd’s family were compelled to relocate to a camp in Gaza, in which she was born.
Shahd Abusalama grew up under blockade, where mortal assaults were, and are, commonplace. The terror of missiles bursting all around you, the loud shrouds, and the callous damage will stay with you forever. Shahd had a hard way to the British university.
Shahd Abusalama; from Gaza to Sheffield
Shahd succeeded as a college student in the United Kingdom, in spite of her troubled history. She earned a scholarship to study a PhD at Sheffield Hallam University after completing a master’s degree with excellence at the Faculty of Oriental and African Studies. Her PhD dissertation examines historic portrayals of refugees from Palestine in documentaries.
Shahd also gained cultural prominence in the United Kingdom, where she was commemorated in a statue by a British artist. she presented Palestinian traditional music and dance to a wide variety of people across the country. Shahd established a board of global multi-faith anti-racist women five years ago.
The intellectual atmosphere in the United Kingdom is currently tainted by the existing government’s negative intervention. Johnson administration has continued to promote and show Islamophobia, racism, and anti-immigrant attitudes.
Gavin Williamson, former British Education Secretary, required colleges to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s classification of anti-Semitism two years ago. The move turned the phrase into a dagger against critics of Israel’s occupational trend.
Following that, 122 academics, including Arab and Palestinian nationals, signed a statement denouncing the approach. They described how the IHRA framework and its accompanying illustrations stifle Palestinian rights activists in a variety of circumstances. A group of experts from the University College London similarly decided that the concept is not suitable for its purpose. To put the final nail, Professor Kenneth Stern, the definition’s major drafters stated that the IHRA definition should not be utilized in a university context.
Despite this, the ‘Jewish News’ used the criteria to label Shahd Abusalama as anti-Semitic. Shahd’s planned course was initially discontinued by Sheffield Hallam University without justification or even a contact with the Palestinian woman. Shahd keeps up with her journey to shed light on truth in Palestine.