Working for Human Rights and Sustainability in Palestine
|Date:||Sunday, September 10, 2023|
Sunday, September 10, 1pm
Join Mazin Qumsiyeh as he shares his first hand experiences as a Palestinian Christian and his evolving world views which are shaped by those experiences. Qumsiyeh is a scientist, author and activist, and is the founder and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS) at Bethlehem University where he teaches. He was born and raised in Beit Sahour, the biblical Shepherds’ Field just on the outskirts of Bethlehem.
He recently appeared on WSLR’s “Peace and Justice Report.” Take a listen here.
Qumsiyeh started off in the field of medicine working in the USA, but returned to Palestine in 2008. Qumsiyeh formerly worked at Duke University and Yale in the medical field. He returned to Palestine in 2008, where he established the PMNH. Today the Museum has 8 employees, and Mazin and his wife, Jessie, where they are employed full-time as volunteers. The associated PIBS currently works with women entrepreneurs and also has a native animal rehabilitation facility.
Over the course of his career he has published well over 150 scientific papers on topics ranging from cultural heritage to biodiversity in addition to several books. In some of his writings, Mazin describes the catastrophic environmental impact of Israeli settler colonialism on the land of Palestine. He also shares how Palestinian civil society organizations are working to research, educate about, and conserve Palestine’s natural world, culture and heritage in the face of the current Israeli state’s human rights and environmental abuses. Meanwhile, he does not demonize the people of Israel, themselves, and his works reflect this. Rather, he strives for Peace, education, wellness and prosperity for all the Peoples sharing of that land.
In the early 2000s Qumsiyeh became more active in political and social causes, particularly Palestinian rights. Since 2003 he has served as Vice President of the Middle East Crisis Committee and in 2000 he co-founded al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, where he was national treasurer and media coordinator until 2004.