Newsletter

Webinar to Focus on Documenting War Crimes in Gaza; Cambridge Scholar Wins ‘Great Arab Minds’ Award

Reimagining Education

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

Al-Fanar Media’s partnerships represent renewed horizons for cooperation to serve higher education and university students in our Arab world.

One of our most prominent partnerships is with QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the higher-education analytics company that produces the influential QS World University Rankings.

The partnership agreement between the two organisations, signed in 2022, is not limited to publication of the annual QS World University Rankings. Over the past two years, representatives of Al-Fanar Media have participated in the QS Reimagine Education Awards and Conference.

Nadia El-Gowely, executive director of Al-Fanar Media, took part in the the most recent conference, held December 11 to 13 in Abu Dhabi. 

The conference featured prominent speakers, including university presidents, business school deans, chief learning officers, instructional designers, employers, policy makers, education technology innovators, investors, and sustainability champions.

We always look forward to supporting Arab higher education with more events and activities.

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

From the Region:

Birzeit U. to Host Webinar on Documenting Israel’s Crimes in Gaza

On Saturday, December 16, the Master of Public Law programme and the Department of Law at Birzeit University’s Faculty of Law and Public Administration will host a webinar via Zoom to discuss “mechanisms for monitoring and documenting international crimes committed by the Israeli occupation” in Gaza and pathways for demanding accountability.

In a statement, the university said topics covered by the webinar will include the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor’s experiences in documenting crimes by the Israeli occupation. The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor is an independent organisation based in Geneva, and has regional offices across the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. Other topics the session will discuss include using images to document international crimes, and the occupation’s civil responsibility for the military attack on Gaza. Those who wish to participate can register here.

Georgetown-Qatar Forum Discusses Destruction of Gaza’s Energy Infrastructure 

The human and environmental cost of the destruction of energy infrastructure in Gaza was the topic of a plenary session on the closing day Georgetown University in Qatar’s “Global Energy Cultures” Forum.

Several key themes emerged from the session, titled “Decolonizing Energy: Palestine and Beyond”, the university said in a statement. They included the connections between energy infrastructure, the environment, and lived experiences in the region.

Other sessions during the conference, held December 9 and 10, considered the relationship between energy and democracy, how energy has shaped economic transformations, and the role of workers in imagining fair energy practices, especially those in fossil-fuel industries.

Fellowships for Studying Nanosatellite Technology in Japan

Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education has published details of how Iraqi students can apply to participate in the Post-graduate Study on Nano-Satellite Technologies (PNST) Fellowship Programme, hosted by Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology. Only citizens of non-space-faring nations may apply, and applicants must be nominated by their institutions.

The PNST Fellowship Programme was created by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Government of Japan in conjunction with the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech). The programme offers six fellowships each year, three at the master’s level and three at the doctoral level.

In a statement, the Iraqi ministry clarified that Iraqi students who wish to pursue a PNST fellowship must register through a portal on the ministry’s website by December 18, 2023. It also provided a link for more information about the programme, in Arabic.

Moroccan Minister Says Universities Must Be Socially Responsible

On Wednesday, Morocco’s minister of higher education, Abdellatif Miraoui, participated in an academic discussion on university social responsibility, at Ibn Tofail University in Kenitra.

According to a ministerial statement, Miraoui told the gathering  that promoting the social responsibility of Moroccan universities is one of the foundations of the new development model, in terms of enhancing the quality of training and creating favorable conditions for students’ academic success.

The minister also stressed the importance of university’s social responsibility in serving society as a whole, by contributing to building a knowledge society that promotes  competencies, citizenship values, and respect for cultural diversity, while combating discrimination.

Webinar to Focus on Documenting War Crimes; Cambridge Scholar Wins ‘Great Arab Minds’ Award
Morocco’s minister of higher education, Abdellatif Miraoui

Economist Mohamed El-Erian Wins ‘Great Arab Minds’ Award

The international economist Mohamed El-Erian, who is president of Queen’s College at the University of Cambridge, has been chosen to receive the “Great Arab Minds” award in the economics category.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president of the United Arab Emirates and the ruler of Dubai, started the Great Arab Minds initiative to identify exceptionally talented Arab intellectuals, inventors, innovators and creators across six fields: natural sciences, medicine, literature and the arts, economics, technology and engineering, and architecture and design.

Sheikh Mohammed congratulated El-Erian in a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), saying the Egyptian-American scholar had made exceptional contributions to the paths of global economic development, by developing effective economic theories that have enhanced resilience and transformed challenges into opportunities for many countries’ economies.

From Al-Fanar Media:

Women Still Underrepresented in Climate Negotiations, Analysis Finds

Women are disproportionately affected by climate change, yet they are still underrepresented in high-level global climate negotiations like COP28, the United Nations’ climate-change summit that recently concluded in Dubai. An Al-Fanar Media analysis of women’s involvement in the annual COP summits between 2008 and 2022 found that women’s participation had grown since 2012, when COP18 committed to striving for gender balance climate negotiations. But it has never achieved the 50:50 gender balance that women’s advocates say “is an indispensable step towards promoting fair and inclusive climate action.” Read more in this article

Al-Fanar Media Activities 

Applications Are Open for First AFM Media Literacy Course for University Students

Al-Fanar Media invites Egyptian university students to apply for a training course titled “Media Literacy for University Students,” which will be held January 21 to 24, 2024, at Misr International University, in Cairo.

The workshop is being held within the framework of a project sponsored by the Ford Foundation and implemented by Al-Fanar Media experts. The project aims to eradicate “media illiteracy” among university students in the Arab world. Interested Egyptian university students should fill out and submit the online application form no later than Friday, January 5.

In Conflict:

Israeli Bombing Kills Top Palestinian Scientist and His Family

The hundreds of Palestinian students and scholars killed in Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip include a top Palestinian scientist, Sufyan Tayeh, who was killed along with his family in an Israeli airstrike on Al-Faluja neighbourhood, north of Gaza City, on December 2, according to news reports.

Professor Tayeh was president of the Islamic University of Gaza and was a professor of theoretical physics in its Faculty of Science. He was born in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and graduated from its schools. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the Islamic University, and had recently been appointed Unesco’s chairman for astronomy, astrophysics and space sciences in Palestine. Read more in this article

Tips and Resources:

Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

Whether you are looking for your first job out of university, or you’re already employed and want to move up to a more-responsible position, leadership skills are always near the top of the list of attributes that companies are looking for. But what are the skills that good leadership requires, and how do you demonstrate those to an employer? Find insights on those issues, plus the top 10 leadership questions you’re likely to encounter in job interviews, in this article from Wikijobs.

Opinion: 

After COP28, How Can We Promote Climate Education in Schools and Universities?

Integrating climate education into curricula in schools and universities is one of the most important measures educators can take in the search for solutions to the environmental challenges caused by global warming. Climate-change effects already test ecosystems’ resilience and are getting worse, including record-setting heat waves, rising sea levels, increasing frequency of natural disasters, and decreased biodiversity. In the wake of COP28, the United Nations climate-change summit in Dubai that concluded this week, now is a good time to consider the role of climate education in empowering the next generation to confront the challenges ahead. In this essay, the Egyptian academic Tarek Kapiel seeks to explain why climate education is crucial, and how to put it in place.

Podcast:

New Al-Fanar Media Podcast Aims to Help Arab Youth on Journeys toward Success

Al-Fanar Media Podcast frequently posts new episodes in which our correspondents across the Arab world tackle various issues of higher education. The podcast’s first episode delves into how scientific research predicted the devastating floods that hit the Libyan city of Derna during Storm Daniel this past September. You can listen to this episode, and others in the series, on SoundCloud, Spotify, or YouTube.

Scholarships:

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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