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Birzeit University Inaugurates Naseeb Aziz Shahin Theatre

January 9, 2016
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Public Relations Office - Birzeit University

President Abdul Latif Abu Hijleh and Chairperson of Board of Trustees Hanna Nasir Saturday inaugurated the Naseeb Aziz Shahin Theatre in the presence of a number of Palestinian high ranking figures, board members, the university’s administration and the student body.

Nasir said during the opening speech the theatre promises to provide a valuable open space for growth and creativity by bringing meaningful activities on the intellectual, theatrical and musical level to the Palestinian people.

This theatre will turn out to be an incubator for outstanding local and international cultural shows, he promised.

“The inauguration of this theatre has been a vision caressing the imagination of Naseeb Shahin, who unfortunately passed away six years ago. Upon writing his well, Naseeb allocated a large sum of money for the sole purpose of establishing this theatre and Birzeit University couldn’t be prouder with the legacy he left us today.”

“This is an opportunity to recall the amount of support the Shahin family has offered Birzeit University. This family believed in the significance of higher education and the message of a liberal education based on free thinking,” Nasir explained.

He thanked the family for other generous donations to establish important facilities and buildings including the Clinic, the Higher Studies and Arts faculties.

Abu Hijleh addressed the audience saying “Gathered today in this windowless building, this theatre will grow to be a beckon for art, literature and beauty. It will reinforce noble values that shall be planted in our heritage, which was first carved in the late nineteenth century and underpinned in the twentieth century despite of all the cascading setbacks and catastrophes that befell the Palestinian people.”

He said, “Palestinian and international bands shall perform musicals and plays, which will be attended by the local community and the students. The theatre has always been one of the university’s high priorities and is viewed as a victory in the name of culture, which assists in shaping awareness that aids in achieving freedom and independence.”

Abu Hijleh expressed appreciation to the Shahin family, because the development of Birzeit University has and will always be closely tied with the support and help of its friends who spare no chance help it grow, because they believe in the magnitude of the message and the university’s vital academic and social role.

The ceremony included musical performances by the university’s band Sanabel, the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music as well as Birzeit University’s Jouzour band, which presented folkloric shows and traditional Dabka.

The theatre is located in the north eastern corner of the campus and consists of a large hall - 23 meters in width and 10 to 15 meters in length.

The hall can accommodate up to 862 people (516 in the front section and 202 in the back section and the terrace). The theatre can accommodate another 100 people in the lobby, which is equipped with a display screen and loudspeakers.

The stage is 12 meters in depth and 20 meters in width and the back section includes three rooms for the use of actors and performers as well as one room for a medium-sized Grand piano.  


The theatre, which provides handicap-friendly facilities and features, also includes a large lobby and a reception area for VIP guests as well as a ground floor that can be used either as a training area or a lounge for the use of bands or a storage unit for instruments and devices used on the stage. 

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