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We’re back! The fall semester has begun in Bethlehem at the university. I must say, we’re only at the beginning, but there are so many exciting things happening. The first of these is the fiftieth-year jubilee celebration. They’re commemorating the fiftieth year jubilee by organizing a variety of activities, such as the graduate reunion, where students from Bethlehem University who studied here get to reunite with their old classmates and teachers. I volunteered at this event, and it was quite fascinating to talk to the many graduates and learn about their accomplishments in life.

Seeing over 47 generations of people who have studied at this university and went on to serve their community was a humbling experience. They were all in the same position as I was at one point, having to deal with the same professors. It was odd yet beautiful in its own way. Seeing teachers laughing with their former students about the stunts they used to pull when they were in university was heartwarming. I talked with a couple of graduates and was fascinated by how far they have come since graduating. Despite having no work experience, facing a tough economy, and having only a degree to support them, they managed to push through it all and not only find jobs but also learn to serve their community. One such graduate I talked to was working as a teacher, and in his free time, he volunteered at an NGO in Jerusalem that helps children with special needs.

One thing I’m very excited about this year is the opening of the Georgette Salameh Center at the university, which is supposed to be a student center where students can study, engage in sports, and participate in various other activities. On the first of October, the building was inaugurated, with Brother Peter conducting the ceremony. However, it’s not fully ready yet. Most of the students I’ve talked to say they’re really looking forward to seeing it and finding out what programs and activities it will offer. Not to mention, it will provide more places for students to relax and unwind with their friends.

That’s about it for now, but there are many new things to come in this new semester, and I can’t wait to see what other events are planned. Until then, it’s going to be a lot of late-night coffee and studying.

By: Mwayad Aldarawish, BU student