Bulletin: Oman Encourages Researchers to Register for a National Prize, Palestine Warns about Unapproved Universities

Teaching Journalism in Arab Universities

In our new bulletin, Al-Fanar Media brings you a selection of the most prominent news of higher education in the Arab world, plus highlights of our stories and a glimpse of culture news, opinions and podcasts.

For twenty-four years, I have been involved in the news media as a student, practitioner, trainer, and teacher. Like others, I moved from print, television, and audio journalism all the way to digital media, digital applications, podcasts, and artificial intelligence.

The media industry is experiencing great changes around the world, moving from content produced by huge institutions to content that anyone can produce with the simplest tools. This opens the way for great opportunities in the labour market. However, it clashes with the extent of your possessing the required skills.

For this reason, Arab universities seek to connect their media students with the skills of the labour market, which is constantly evolving along with significant technological developments.

In our bulletin, we shed light on the most prominent trends in media education in the Arab world, hear from a practicing journalist about his experience in teaching journalism to university students, and dive together into a world full of opportunities where specialised journalism plays a pivotal role.

Mohammad El-Hawary
Al-Fanar Media editor-in-chief

Our News: 

Oman Extends Deadline for Its National Prize for Scientific Research

The Omani Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation has extended the registration deadline for the National Award for Scientific Research to Sunday, July 23, in order to allow more researchers to compete an the award. The previously announced deadline had coincided with the Hijri New Year holiday.

In a statement, the ministry said the award aims to motivate researchers to conduct high quality research in areas of national priority, encourage new cadres of competitive young researchers, and raise the quality of scientific publishing. The award honours research in two categories: the best published scientific paper by a researcher who holds a doctoral degree or its equivalent, and the best published scientific research by emerging non-doctorate-holding researchers.

The award covers research in six areas: education and human resources; information and communication systems; health and community services; culture, social and basic sciences; energy and industry; and environment and vital resources.

UAEU Honours Faculty Member for Innovative Teaching Methods

The United Arab Emirates University has presented the UAEU Award for Excellence in Teaching to Khaled Galal Ahmed, an associate professor of architectural engineering. The award for the 2022–2023 academic year honours his significant contributions to the advancement of teaching methods and techniques in architectural engineering.

According to a university statement, Professor Galal Ahmed has developed innovative teaching methods for the College of Engineering’s architectural design and construction curricula, and has overseen these methods in graduation projects. He also spearheaded the establishment of a virtual and augmented reality lab, equipped with cutting-edge hardware and software, empowering students to develop and refine their own designs using self-learning methods, while applying the highest standards of architectural sustainability.

Qatar to Host Youth Research Forum in 2024

The Qatar University Young Scientists Center (QUYSC) has announced the details of the Sixth Youth Research Forum 2024, set for March 6 and 7 next year. The forum will be held in cooperation with Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture, and Science under the slogan “Innovation for the Development of Societies”.

According to the Qatar News Agency, the forum will explore the concept of using innovation to achieve social development goals through research in three main areas: humanities and social sciences, law, and science, engineering, and health. 

The forum invites all graduate and undergraduate students in Qatar and other Gulf countries, along with students in other Arab and international universities, to participate.

Palestine Reminds Students to Choose Their University Carefully

The Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research recently reminded students, high school graduates, and parents to exercise caution and care before enrolling in a higher-education institution inside or outside the country.

In a statement published on Facebook, the ministry stressed that it is the official reference for information related to enrolling in higher-education institutions. Students and parents must ensure that the institution they are considering is licensed and approved by the ministry, to avoid falling into the traps of misleading advertisements.

The proliferation of fake online universities offering worthless degrees is a worldwide problem that many governments are trying to tackle. Some scams have particularly targeted students in the Middle East.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina Aims to Help Students Choose a University Major

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt hosted the seventeenth annual “Sketch Your Future” conference, which drew about 1,500 students. The conference, which is sometimes called “Choose Your College”, is designed to help recent high school graduates choose the university faculty that suits their capabilities and potential. It offers presentations and discussions that explain the different study systems in each college, and the job opportunities that graduates will be qualified for.

According to a statement from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the library’s director, Ahmed Zayed, said that Egypt has around 100 universities, including public and private institutions, and others with international partnerships. He said that in choosing a major, students should follow a set of criteria, including their deciding their preferred specialisation, setting a long-term goal, and working to achieve it. He stressed the importance of reading in building one’s character.

Ahmed Zayed, director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, welcomed high school graduates to the “Sketch Your Future” conference, which focused on choosing a university specialisation. (Photo via the library).

Research and Studies:

A Master’s Thesis Advises Better Management of Solid Waste

A master’s degree thesis by an engineering student at the University of Bahrain demonstrates the importance of better managing household waste to reduce its harmful environmental effects, according to a statement from the university. The student, Jawaher Al-Deghaither, submitted the thesis, titled “Municipal Solid Waste Management and Energy Generation: A Case Study in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for her degree.

Al-Deghaither studied solid waste management practices in a municipality in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, suggested ways to develop a waste-to-energy plant, and analysed how different types of municipal solid waste affected the selection of technologies. She also analysed the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the issue of waste management. The study showed that over 50 percent of municipal solid waste in the province is generated from food, and about 17 percent of it is plastic waste.

Jawaher Al-Deghaither, a master’s degree student in engineering at the University of Bahrain, at a presentation that discussed her master’s thesis on waste recycling. (Photo via the university).


Festival Brings a ‘Cool Breeze’ of Culture to Cairo’s Hot Summer

For ten days this month, the Dawayer Cultural Festival brought a welcome “cool breeze” of cultural ativities to Downtown Cairo. Organised by the Diwan and Tanmia bookstores, the festival drew eager fans of novelists, scriptwriters and others to a slate of events at the historic Cinema Radio building. Read more in this report.

Our Suggestions: 

Egyptian Conference Debates How Journalism Education Can Include Artificial Intelligence

Academics at a conference in Egypt last fall discussed calls for improving students’ critical thinking skills and the need for university journalism and media faculties to catch up with the use of new technologies, such as artificial (AI), in the labour market. For more details, check this article.

Arab World Needs Expert Science Journalists, Conference Speakers Say

At a recent conference titled “Arab Science Journalism in the Age of Digital Media”, academics and professionals discussed the current status of Arab science journalism and its future in the digital age, and the challenges of training a new generation of journalists capable of covering major global issues like climate change and health emergencies. For more details, check this article


Director of Media Training Centre at Cairo University Focuses on Skills in Demand

As director of the Centre of Media Training, Documentation and Production at Cairo University’s Faculty of Mass Communication, Nashwa Akl keeps abreast of trends shaping the media industry to make sure students have skills in demand. She thinks that the growth of digital media in particular has set greater challenges for students in terms of acquiring skills that go beyond the limitations of theoretical study. Read more in this interview.


An Egyptian Journalist and Educator Reflects on Teaching His Craft

Al-Fanar Media’s senior Arabic editor, Ismail Alashwal, writes about his experience in teaching journalism, linking it to the labour market, and the challenges facing journalism educators, in this commentary.


Al-Fanar Media maintains a database of quality scholarships for Arab students, which we continuously update. You can follow our website to keep you up to date on the latest scholarships available in international universities. Check the Scholarships section, here, and do not miss our constantly updated feedback on free learning opportunities in the News and Reports section, here


An Interview with Razan Al-Sous, Founder of Yorkshire Dama Cheese

In this episode of The Anglo-Arab Voice, Nour Ghanem interviews Razan Al-Sous, a Syrian refugee who founded a successful business in the United Kingdom to make halloumi, a popular Syrian cheese. Razan, who has a degree in pharmacy, and her family fled Syria’s civil war in 2012. After being unable to find halloumi in local food stores, Razan decided to make her own, using British milk. The product was a hit with British customers, and the enterprise has grown into a business she named Yorkshire Dama Cheese. Explore more in this podcast.


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