Bulletin: Birzeit U. Law Students Call on World to Stop ‘Genocide’ in Gaza 

Academic Insights Platform

In our new bulletin, Al-Fanar Media brings you our most prominent stories and news about higher education in the Arab world.

Of our many areas of interest, Al-Fanar Media is honoured to serve a platform for exchanging academic insights on everything related to higher education in the Arab world.

To achieve this goal, our website provides Arab researchers and academics with opportunities to publish articles and essays on the issues and concerns of all those interested in higher education, as long as they adhere to our publishing standards and limitations and benefit our readers.

Everyone can benefit from this opportunity to communicate with the Arab and non-Arab research community, as we publish our content in both Arabic and English. We will welcome contributions from students, academics, higher education institutions, civil society, research centres and policy makers.

This is a firm belief in Al-Fanar Media. We allocate a huge room for this purpose, in support of all aspects of the Arab higher education environment.

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

From the Region

Palestinian Law Students Call on the World to Stop the Genocide in Gaza

Law students at Palestine’s Birzeit University have issued a statement calling on the world and international law organisations to stop the Israeli warfare in Gaza, describing it as genocide.

The students wrote: “Since the 7th of October, the Israeli occupation has launched a retaliatory military aggression on the Gaza Strip, killing more than 11,078 Palestinians, 68 percent of whom are women and children, while 1,700 more children are trapped under the rubble. … Under international humanitarian law, civilians and civilian objects shall not be made the object of attack. However, in Gaza, the Israeli occupation is indiscriminately attacking civilians, journalists and medical personnel; bombing homes, schools, universities, hospitals, bakeries, places of worship and shelters under the care of the United Nations.”

These actions constitute war crimes under the Geneva Convention, they added. To read the full statement, click here

نداء طلابي عاجل من فلسطين لوقف الإبادة في غزة.. ولندن تستضيف منتدى قيادة الفكر التربوي في الشرق الأوسط
Smoke billows from a site hit by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City. (Photo via Birzeit University)

London to Host Middle East Education Thought Leadership Forum   

The Middle East Education Thought Leadership Forum (METLF) will take place November 22 and 23 in London under the theme: “Creativity Has No Limits! Beyond Concepts: Progressive Educational Transformation.”  

The forum will bring together education pioneers, practitioners, and government representatives from the MENA region and across the globe to discuss how higher education and technology can support sustainable development creatively through four main aspects: ethical considerations, accessibility, effectiveness, and collaboration.

The forum will also explore the crucial role of technology in shaping the future of education. For further details  about the summit, a detailed agenda, and a list of speakers, click here

Georgetown University Qatar Concludes Water Security Conference

Georgetown University Qatar held a two-conference this week titled “Sustaining the Oasis” to discuss ideas for shaping new dialogues, collaboration, and research partnerships around water security and climate change.

Coming just weeks before the start of the United Nations’ COP28 climate change summit, which will take place from 30 November to 12 December in Dubai, the conference was organized by the Qatar campus and the Earth Commons Institute atGeorgetown University in Washington, D.C. The discussions shed light on the role of water as a force to achieve greater regional cooperation and stability, while driving climate change adaptation and mitigation. 

نداء طلابي عاجل من فلسطين لوقف الإبادة في غزة.. ولندن تستضيف منتدى قيادة الفكر التربوي في الشرق الأوسط
Part of the activities of a conference on water security at Georgetown University in Qatar. (Photo via the university)

Abu Dhabi U. and Queen Rania Teacher Academy Partner to Train Teachers

Abu Dhabi University, in the United Arab Emirates, and Queen Rania Teacher Academy, in Jordan, have signed a memorandum of understanding that seeks to enhance educational development and teacher preparation across the region. 

In a news release, the university said the agreement will allow faculty members and teaching experts from the two institutions to support teaching preparation, educational planning leadership, management, and policies. The two institutions will organise events and educational programs to reshape the educational landscape through fostering innovation, knowledge sharing and educational excellence.

Journal Group Offers Free Publishing and Browsing for Egyptian Researchers 

The prestigious Taylor & Francis journals group will offer Egyptian researchers free browsing and access to articles to under the publisher’s Special Terms for Authors & Researchers (STAR) initiative, Egypt’s Ministry of Higher Education announced this week.

Ayman Ashour, Egypt’s minister of higher education, said in a statement that the STAR initiative was developed to provide authors and researchers in the Global South with free access to scientific articles in leading international and regional journals in all specialised fields. Egypt’s invitation to join to this initiative came after several discussion sessions between ministry officials and representatives of the publishing house.

Abeer Elshater, assistant deputy minister for technical affairs, said Egyptian researchers can read and download 50 articles published in Taylor & Francis journals by registering at this link.

From Al-Fanar Media

Higher Education Must Play Key Role in Confronting Climate Change, Academics Say

Higher education must play a key role in raising awareness about climate change, Arab academics told Al-Fanar Media in conversations just a few weeks before COP28, the United Nations climate-change summit, is scheduled to open in Dubai. The Arab region is clearly suffering from the impact of climate change, yet awareness of the challenges and what needs to be done at the state, institutional and individual levels is still limited, the experts said. They called for greater efforts at the university level to build climate literacy. Read more in this article

In Conflict: 

University Students in Northwestern Syria Struggle with Costs, Degree Recognition

Amid Syria’s long-running civil war, university students in the country’s opposition-held northwestern region struggle to stay enrolled at higher-education institutions that themselves face huge challenges. Among the most prominent challenges are the lack of international recognition of the universities’ degrees and the cost of attending. Many students’ families cannot afford to pay tuition fees, which are set in U.S. dollars rather than in the Syrian pound. Read more in this article


‘Being Borrowed’: Exhibition Reflects on Years of Egyptian Migration to Gulf for Work

For many Egyptians whose families experienced working in the Gulf countries for long periods during the 1980s and ’90s, memory is confused between their Egyptian home and their expatriate home. “Being Borrowed”, an exhibition hosted by the Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo last year, created a vision of this duality through an interactive display of personal belongings that carry memories of being abroad, such as handwritten letters, cassette tapes, and photo albums, all of which were used to communicate between people working abroad and their families in Egypt in the years before modern means of communication emerged. Read more in this article


Tackling Climate Change Through Teaching Environmental History

Can the perspectives of long-gone empires and civilizations contribute to saving the planet today? Jörg Matthias Determann, who teaches history at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, explores the question in an essay for Al-Fanar Media. He notes that the Middle East boasts thousands of years of written records about the management of water from the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. How to deal with droughts is thus hardly a new question. Read more of Professor Determann’s thoughts on this issue here.


Al-Fanar Media Podcast: ‘Indispensable Sites for University Students’

Al-Fanar Media Podcast posts a new episode every Sunday in which our correspondents across the Arab world tackle various issues of higher education. In one recent episode, we suggest a number of websites where new university students can find resources to help them adjust to and thrive in their new academic setting. You can listen to this episode, and others in the series, on SoundCloud, Spotify, or YouTube.


Al-Fanar Media maintains a database of quality scholarships available to Arab students, which we continuously update. To stay up to date on the latest scholarships available in international universities, check the Scholarships section here, and watch for updated feedback on free learning opportunities in our News and Reports section, here.

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