Bulletin: Harvard Medical School Honours Saudi Student, Egypt Turns Researchers into Entrepreneurs 

U.A.E. Gets Ready to Host COP28

In our new bulletin, Al-Fanar Media brings a selection of our most recent stories, prominent news of higher education in the Arab world, as well as a glimpse of cultural events, podcasts, and opinions.

The United Arab Emirates is preparing to host this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28, which will be held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12. The Al-Fanar Media team is following the activities of Emirati universities and students in the months leading up to the climate summit.

COP28 is on the minds of many education leaders in the Emirates, where concepts such as sustainability and environmental science have become part of university curricula, academic programmes, events, and student initiatives.

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

Our News:

Saudi Student Wins Harvard Medical School Award

Harvard Medical School has honoured the Saudi scholarship student Waleed Seddiq with its Annual Conference Award for his research into using viruses to treat brain cancers.

Seddiq, who is a recipient of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Programme for External Scholarships, told the Saudi Press Agency (SPA): “We are currently using cold viruses, which are called genetically modified HSV, to target brain cancer. Treating a brain cancer patient has been very difficult because all current drugs cannot cross the blood-brain barrier; however, these viruses are transferred accurately to the cancerous cells in the brain through the patient’s own stem cells.”

He added that the research was currently in the clinical trial stage at Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Programme Turns Egyptian University Researchers into Entrepreneurs

Egypt’s Innovators Support Fund has announced the opening of registration for the second round of the Researchers to Entrepreneurs (R2E) programme in Egyptian universities and research centres.

According to a Facebook statement from Egypt’s Ministry of Higher Education, the deadline for online registration is July 18. Diaa Khalil, executive director of the Innovators Support Fund, said the R2E programmme comes within the framework of the fund’s plan to spread educational awareness of innovation and entrepreneurship, discover young innovators in universities and research centres, work to link innovations to the needs of society, and transform innovative ideas into economically feasible ideas that contribute to the development of Egypt’s economy and achieve sustainability.

Slovenia Offers Scholarships for Jordanian Postgraduate Students 

The Republic of Slovenia’s Honorary Consulate in Jordan has announced up to three scholarships for Jordanian nationals to pursue a master’s degree or a Ph.D. at a Slovenian university.

According to a Facebook statement from Jordan’s Ministry of Higher Education, those wishing to apply can access this link to view details of the available scholarships and how to apply. The deadline to apply is September 15. The study will be in Slovenian, and the scholarship does not cover language courses. Some majors are available in English. For more information, click here.

University of Sharjah and Emirates Classification Society to Cooperate on Training

The University of Sharjah and the Emirates Classification Society (Tasneef) have agreed to cooperate in education and training in the areas of security, safety, and the environment, and in business assurance and asset management.

According to the Emirates News Agency, a memorandum of understanding signed by the two parties stipulates that the university and the society will coordinate in the design, approval and delivery of agreed-upon training programmes, and will provide internship opportunities to qualify young people to deal with modern technology, especially artificial intelligence.

Saeed Almaskari, chief executive of the Emirates Classification Society (Tasneef), and Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, chancellor of the University of Sharjah, sign the agreement to cooperate on training.

Bethlehem University Launches 3 New Degree Programmes

To keep pace with labour-market needs, Palestine’s Bethlehem University is offering three new academic programmes in the 2023–2024 academic year. According to a Facebook statement, the programmes include a five-year sustainable energy engineering major, a child and adolescent psychology major, and a biodiversity and sustainability major. For more details, click here.

Bulletin: Harvard Medical School Honours Saudi Student, Egypt Turns Researchers into Entrepreneurs
Students in the Occupational and Physical Therapy Programme of the Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences at Bethlehem University show off their projects. (Photo via the university)


Forum Explores the Future with ChatGPT

The Abdul Hameed Shoman Cultural Forum recently held an event in Amman titled “ChatGPT: What Will the Future Be Like?”

The forum noted that since the emergence of the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT, people have tended to fall into two camps: those who enthusiastically welcome it for its enormous potential for advancing human well-being, and those who staunchly oppose it for its possible negative effects on many aspects of scientific research. The event also discussed other applications of AI that may be useful.

Participants in the discussion were Karim Malhas, chief innovation officer at the biometric technology company IrisGuard, and Amal Al-Saadi, a technical consultant in digital transformation. Areen Abdullat, head of the Shoman Cultural Forum, moderated the discussion.

Our Suggestions: 

Ahead of COP28, Emirati Universities Focus on Climate Research and Youth Initiatives

As the United Arab Emirates prepares to host the United Nations’ 2023 Climate Change Conference (COP28) this fall, Emirati universities are sharpening their focus on various research and academic initiatives in line with the global event. Read more in this article.  

In Conflict: 

Psychological Support Workshops for Climate Change Victims at COP27

During the COP27 climate summit last year in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, the Sustaining All Life organisation held a workshop offering  psychological support to women who suffered emotional distress caused by environmental crises. With the help of female interpreters, women from different countries opened up about the traumas they had experienced from climate change. Read more in this article.


University of Sharjah Scientist Invents New Way of Treating Chemical Poisoning

A new tablet form of the drug atropine sulfate developed by a scientist at the University of Sharjah holds promise as an alternative, patient-friendly and more affordable way of treating poisoning by organophosphates, chemicals commonly found in agricultural pesticides. Check more in this article


Over the past few days, we have published new items about scholarships for Arab students. You can follow our website to keep you updated with 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.


Student Sowt Podcast – Episode 3 – On Bullying

In the third episode of the Student Sowt Podcast, Kawthar Qolqazi, a university student from Morocco, discussed bullying through the stories of her two guests, Akram and Omaima. Explore more in this podcast


Exploring Covid-19’s Mental Health Impact on Students and Staff

Al-Fanar Media and the Mediterranean Universities Union (UNIMED) have launched a joint survey project to explore the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental well-being of students and faculty members in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The project features separate questionnaires for students and staff. Students can take their survey here. Faculty and staff members can take their survey here.


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