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Arab and Druze Students at Ariel University: There is No Racism.

Nablus -- PNN - The school year started on Monday at Ariel University, where more than 11,500 Israelis study alongside 500 Araba and Druze students. The school is known mainly as the only Israeli university beyond the Green Line, in Palestinian territory. "I got a high score on the [high-level Israeli] psychometrics exam," said Manar Diwani, a 20-year-old computer science student, "and maybe I could've registered at Tel Aviv University or somewhere else, but the enrollment process at Ariel is faster. It's also the closest place for me to study, so I decided to go there."Diwani added that Arab-Israeli relations did not worry her, saying she distinguished between politics and academics and did not care where she studied. Similarly, Arab student Fadel 'Adem [found his name called] said he didn't come to Ariel for the ideology, but to learn. Assad, 25 years old and from the Druze village of Harfish, just ended his service in the Israeli army as a captain in an undercover unit. He said he had rented a dorm at Ariel and was pursuing his bachelor's degree in civil engineering. "I didn't take the psychometric exam, so Takhniun (the Israeli technology academy) was out of the question and Be'er Sheva was too far," said Assad, who also wanted to study close to his family, being married with a daughter. "Ariel is a big city with a long history, and it will continue without me. The political pressure doesn't bother me."Juwana Musa, a 20-year-old behavioral psychological student from Abu Sinan (near Hebron), said politics didn't play a role for her. "All of the students in Ariel are scared that a day will come when the university's certificate is no longer recognized because it's on occupied Palestinian land. I'm very happy that there are good professors here and none of the racism people talk about. Maybe in other places they talk about your name or your race or insult you, but here it's a nice situation."Ariel University has been known for three years in Israel as the only university beyond the Green Line, which has garnered sharp criticism from universities on the left that consider it built on occupied Palestinian land.

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Publication:Palestine News Network (West Bank, Palestine)
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Oct 18, 2010
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