The Olive Tree Programme
Since the launch of the Programme in 2004 the Olive Tree made its name as a unique initiative for Palestinian and Israeli undergraduates at City, University of London that enabled them to better understand the drivers of the conflict that has shaped their lives and prospects in the Middle East. The Programme’s activities included researching and presenting parallel narratives, simulation exercises and developing leadership, decision-making and presentation skills. Extra-curricular activities also included attending public debates around London and discussions with visiting experts. We must regretfully acknowledge, however, that the programme concluded with the graduation of the last 10 recipients of the Olive Tree scholarships in the summer of 2016.
Of the 58 Palestinians and Israelis who have graduated, the majority achieved high marks in their degrees; several have won further scholarships to undertake postgraduate study, including some at City; others have won graduate placements in business and finance; and yet others have become skilled professionals and prominent figures in their communities. Several have become successful journalists with media organisations broadcasting in Arabic, Hebrew and English.
The Olive Tree Middle East Forum
The Olive Tree Middle East Forum was designed to satisfy the appetite that many shares to learn about and discuss topical issues in a manner that reaches behind the media headlines reaches behind the media headlines and grapples with the complex philosophical and ethical issues involved.
Among the speakers that participated in the Forum are: Roger Cohen (The International Herald Tribune), Jeremy Brown (BBC), Jon Snow (Channel 4), Afif Safiah (Palestinian diplomat), Aharon Bregman (King's College London), Dr Maha Azzam (Chatham House), Lord Mark Malloch-Brown (FTI Consulting and former UN Deputy Secretary General), Rabbi Herschel Gluck (Arab-Jewish Forum), Abdel Bari Atwan (former editor in chief of al-Quds al-Arabi), Sir Tom Phillips KCMG (former British Ambassador), Lyse Doucet (BBC Presenter and Chief International Correspondent), Dr Ahmad Khalidi (Senior Associate Member of St Antony's College, Oxford), Robert Lowe (Deputy Director of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics), Professor David Newman (Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of Geopolitics at Ben Gurion University), Sir Vincent Fean (former British Consul-General, Jerusalem) and Mina Toksoz (Standard Bank).