Announcing the launch of the online Popular University for Gaza

As the death toll rises in the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza, San Francisco State University (SFSU) has once again decided to cancel its only Palestine course that Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi was scheduled to teach during this summer school. This abrupt and irrational decision seeks to criminalize the Palestine curriculum while dismissing and ignoring popular student demand to learn a critical Palestinian perspective that has been absent on U.S. college campuses.

Over the last month, hundreds of students, academics, community leaders, and organizers called on SFSU administrators to urgently reverse their decision to cancel Dr. Abdulhadi’s popular and unique course. Having failed to employ excuses of low enrollment or lack of interest, however, SFSU administrators seem intent on blocking the decolonization of curriculum on Palestine and SWANA and marginalizing the AMED Studies program and its independence. SFSU’s actions mirror Israeli government policies to erase Palestine and U.S. Israel’s apologists to “exact a heavy price” on anyone who advocates for justice in and for Palestine.

Dr. Abdulhadi has announced that she will not acquiesce to such a colonial agenda but will fight it publicly and defiantly irrespective of the cost and threats to which she has been subjected within and outside SFSU. As an educator inspired by the Spirit of ‘68 and the outstanding student Intifada, she insists on Teaching Palestine to anyone and everyone interested in critical thinking and learning.

Determined to contribute to the steadfastness of Gaza and Palestinian liberation, she will offer her Palestine course online as part of the Popular University for Gaza/Palestine without paid compensation through Teaching Palestine: Pedagogical Praxis and the Indivisibility of Justice. The course is open to anyone interested in learning about and contributing to the liberation of Palestine through an exciting pedagogical praxis that challenges “traditional” teaching methods and refuses to compromise critical thinking of the Eurocentric and colonial canon. Those interested can register here.

Flier for first session of the Popular University for Gaza, “From 1967 Defeat to 2024 Steadfastness,” June 6, 2024. (Photo courtesy of AMED)

The 5-week course, titled “Palestine: An Ethnic Studies Perspective,” began on June 6, 2024 (recording of the first session is above), and brings students together with public intellectuals to learn from the past, understand the present, and carve the future. Living Archives (elders and community activists and leaders), will be on hand to engage in intergenerational conversations within and outside the formal classroom to co-learn and co-teach, according to AMED’s commitment to justice-centered knowledge production and the Indivisibility of Justice.

AMED is an intellectual home for scholarship, analysis, and advocacy on pertinent issues affecting Arab and Muslim communities. By engaging with the broader community on and off campus, activists, scholars, and students committed to the Spirit of ‘68–critical thinking, academic accountability, and the decolonization of the curriculum. Through documentation, analysis, and pedagogical praxis, AMED stands as a cutting-edge program and an urgent scholarly intellectual project for activists, students, and scholars around the world.


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