I’m very proud to represent the British Council in Palestine and to follow on from the last country director Alan Smart; and to have been able to return here after a 6-month spell as Acting Country Director from July to December 2008.  Coming back and leading our work here is an immense privilege for me.   It is work that first began in 1942, when the British Council opened its doors in Jerusalem - in a very different world than what we have now.

As an organisation we have been here ever since. We have never closed down or left and have sustained our work through wars and intifadas. We have no intention of changing that continuity and our commitment is as strong as it always was. And we work all over Palestine with offices in East Jerusalem, Gaza, and The West Bank (Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron). As our distribution suggests we are here for all Palestinians and we hope and believe that our work in English (with new teaching centres in Ramallah and East Jerusalem), Education, Society and the Arts has something for everybody in what is an extremely diverse country. I very much hope that includes you.

We aim to work with partners and individuals across Palestine and the UK to develop new opportunities to build real, sustainable relationships based on trust and mutual respect in what we know is a challenging environment. As a cultural relations organisation we want to be the best there is.

If you’re an old friend of the British Council in Palestine I’d like to thank you for your support and interest; if you’re meeting us for the first time then ahlan wa sahlan! And remember to check us out on FacebookTwitter and Youtube. We may have been here since the last century, but there has been a communications revolution since then and we’re part of it.

Brendan McSharry,OBE

Director, British Council Palestine