Where is your cup of coffee?

Dr Jamil Khader is dean of research and professor of English at Bethlehem University, Palestine. He is the recipient of various awards including a Research Award (2006), a Community Impact Award (2011), and a year-long teaching and research Fulbright Fellowship at Bir Zeit University (2014).

Dr. Khader is the author of numerous publications on postcolonial feminism, popular culture, literary theory, and pedagogy. His publications include Cartographies of Transnationalism in Postcolonial Feminisms, Geography, Culture, Identity, Politics (Lexington Books 2012) and a lot more. He taught some of the members of JustPost's team who consider him their role model and inspiration.

We at JustPost were delighted by the generosity of Dr. Khader who shared with us his inspirational story "where is your cup of coffee." We wish Dr. Khader a wonderful and more successful life ahead.  

Where is your cup of coffee? by Dr Jamil Khader

Where is your cup of coffee?

These are exciting times to be here at Bethlehem University: The University has just finished celebrating its 40th jubilee and the new vision for the Hotel Management and Tourism Institute on Mount David is well under way. The new Hospitality Vocational Training Program will also be launched soon.

Four months into this new position of the Deanship of Research, and my excitement about the prospects of cultivating excellence in research and a thriving research culture continues to grow steadily. My commitment to and passion for research drives this sense of excitement, since research in itself, beyond its practical applications, constitutes an experience of wonder, discovery, and transcendence.

But this sense of excitement would have been incomplete without the passion that many colleagues at BU have for teaching, research, and professional development. In my conversations over the last few months with faculty members, staff, administrators, brothers and students, whose path I feel fortunate to have crossed, I can see the signs of a paradigm shift in the way research is perceived and approached. I am confident that with proper training opportunities and structural incentive mechanisms in place, we will see a qualitative transformation in research culture across the board at BU.

In these conversations I have had with colleagues over the last few months, I was always asked about my passion for research—why do I feel passionate about research? Where is that coming from?

Although there are some competitive financial and other incentives to engage in research at BU, my answer to these questions has always been, “find your cup of coffee.” When they stared back at me, puzzled by my vague response, I usually veer into “my cup of coffee” story.

Before I left to the United States on my first Fulbright Fellowship to complete my Ph.D. at The Pennsylvania State University (a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away), I used to contribute literary columns and socio-political commentary to Kul Al-Arab newspaper, whose editor-in-chief back then was the late Palestinian poet Sameeh Al-Qasem.

Every Friday, when my column came out, my mother who cannot read, would wake me up with the newspaper in one hand and a cup of my favorite aromatic Arab coffee with cardamom in the other, and would ask me to read my column to her. Years later, whenever I would receive offprints of my articles that were mostly published in international academic journals and collections or copies of the books I have written or co-edited, I’d smell the cup of coffee that my mother used to prepare for me on Friday morning. This cup of coffee is my fantasy (in the psychoanalytic non-Freudian sense).

I invite you to find your own “cup of coffee” in whatever fantasy you have locked deep down somewhere in your unconscious mind.

You can never underestimate the power of fantasy!!!

And as always.

Do not share this story unless you have the permission of Dr. Khader

What are you waiting for? We would be more than happy to share your inspirational story.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.