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The U of L Connects with National University of Ireland, Galway


The University of Lethbridge expanded it's reach once again on Wednesday, October 6, 2004 by successfully connecting to The National University of Ireland, Galway. The videoconference, part of a class on globalization instructed by professor and author Anthony J. Hall, lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes, and included very spirited conversation regarding international law. Using Alberta's Research Network (NETERA) to connect to international research networks, the videoconference connected at 2 MB/s for the duration of the videoconference.

The videoconference featured Michael Kearney and his colleage, Shaw'an Jabarin. Michael is a student completing his Ph.D thesis in international law at the Irish National University. Michael and Dr. Hall have a common interest in subjects pertaining to "the uses and abuses of law in the field of human rights and social justice." They are also both very active in devoting attention to the role of the mass media on the global stage. Shaw'an Jabrin is a human rights expert with the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization al-Haq. He grew up on the West Bank, and spent years in an Israeli prison.

The conversation throughout the course of the evening was largely centred around the subject of international law, particularly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the controversy surrounding the US role in Iraq. Michael & Shaw'an fielded many questions from students at the U of L regarding war propaganda and the United Nations Security Council. An especially lively debate developed over the nature of the 1967 war in Israel/Palestine.

Following the videoconference, Michael Kearney offered this: "We both enjoyed it and my eyes have been opened to the broad educational uses of the technology available. Shaw'an was telling me how they regularly use videoconferencing for meetings of NGO umbrella groups in the West Bank and Gaza." Referring to the diificulty that Palestinians have moving from place to place through Israeli check points, especially since the building of the new security wall, Michael added, "Though the NGO participants in Gaza and the West Bank may be geographically near, in fact they are probably in a logistical sense more distant than Galway and Alberta are."

The University of Lethbridge is delighted to add Ireland to it's growing list of videoconferncing partners, which include Australia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, among others. Dr. Hall, author of "The American Empire and the Fourth World", is a professor at the University of Lethbridge. His class, Globalization Since 1492, is a course that presents historical transformations over five centuries producing the current human condition. Dr. Hall's class provides many opportunities for the U of L widen its' list of accomplishments.

CRDC, University of Lethbridge