30 March 2017
Bethlehem University Hosts Exhibition on the Life and Works of W. B. Yeats
On Thursday, March 30, 2017, the English Department at Bethlehem University, in cooperation with the Representative Office of Ireland in Palestine, held an opening ceremony for an exhibition on the life and works of Ireland's national poet, William Butler Yeats. The exhibition consisted of around twenty roll-ups, in both Arabic and English, located on the third floor of Millennium Hall. The roll-ups contain information and images about the life and works of Yeats and will be displayed for two weeks.
Born in Dublin in 1865, Yeats lived through many of the most tumultuous times in Ireland's history and wrote about his experiences in a way that would be accessible to everyone. As a senator, he was able to effect real change at a time when his country needed it most. After a life filled with grand achievements, William Yeats passed away in France at the age of 73, but, because of his true and deep love for his country, he was later exhumed and re-buried in Dublin.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Michael Sansur, Executive Vice President, thanked the Representative Office of Ireland and the English Department for organizing the event to honor the memory of the esteemed poet. He drew attention to the fact that this event was held on Palestinian Land Day comparing Yeats’ love for his land to the Palestinian people’s love for theirs.
H.E. Declan Johnston, Deputy Representative at the Representative Office of Ireland, spoke about William Butler Yeats, his influence in Ireland, and the similarities between revolutionary Ireland and the current political situation in Palestine. His Excellency quoted Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming” (1919), “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?" explaining how these words initially referred to the hard times Ireland was experiencing in the early twentieth century, yet how relatable this famous and powerful poem is now to the circumstances in Palestine.
Ms. Hanadi Younan, Chairperson of the English Department, introduced three students, Layth Awwad and Jowana Rinawi, a senior and junior in the English Department respectively, and Dalia Burkan, a freshman in the Arabic Department, who read Yeats’ poems, “The Second Coming,” “Easter, 1916,” and “Aedh Wishes for the Clothes of Heaven” in both Arabic and English, giving attendees the chance to enjoy some of Yeats' best works. Expressing his gratitude, His Excellency presented books about Ireland to the three readers. Guests had the chance to enjoy refreshments while examining the exhibition to learn more about the life of W. B. Yeats.