Between April 5 and 7, UNC’s Palestinian Nationalism, Politics, and Diplomacy seminar offered students the opportunity to take a break from reading about one intractable conflict zone to visit another: Washington, D.C.
Led by Shai Tamari, associate director of the Carolina Center of the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations and lecturer in the Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense, they met with policy-makers and regional experts. Having read and discussed well over 1,000 pages on the topic, the class was prepared to engage with the speakers. While we noted that the trip was educational and not advocacy-related, we did not refrain from asking penetrating questions. Going to D.C. allowed us to test our idealistic assumptions against the hard reality of policy-making.