Bulletin: Webinar on Rebuilding Education in Gaza; Advice on Wellness during Ramadan

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News from the Region

Birzeit U. Webinar to Explore Future of Higher Education in Gaza

Palestine’s Birzeit University will host a webinar titled “Restoring Hope: The Future of Higher Education in Gaza” on March 19. In a statement, the university said the webinar will shed light on various plans to provide relief to the Palestinian people and rebuild the Gaza Strip. The discussion will focus especially the education and higher education sectors, which have been deeply affected by Israeli bombardments since the Israel-Hamas War began on October 7.

The event centres on Birzeit University’s “Restoring Hope” initiative, which aims to bolster higher education in Gaza in partnership with other universities in Palestine, along with Arab and international institutions. Speakers will discuss key interventions like infrastructure development, institutional partnerships, academic programmes, and research.

The webinar will also delve into initiatives and recommendations concerning how to help students whose academic journeys have been disrupted by the war. The webinar will be accessible via Zoom. To join, follow this link.

Saudi Academics Offer Advice on Physical and Mental Well-Being during Ramadan

At a recent event in Abha, Saudi Arabia, two academic experts offered advice to Muslims on protecting their physical and mental well-being during Ramadan. According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the experts cautioned against overconsumption of sugars and other harmful substances and emphasised the importance of careful handling of psychiatric medications during the fasting period.

Ali Saeed Al-Qahtani, dean of the College of Medicine at King Khalid University, in Abha, emphasised that in meals before and after fasting from dawn to dusk each day, it’s important to avoid sugary foods. Excessive sugar consumption, whether in soft drinks, tea, or juice, can significantly harm health, he said.

Abdulaziz Alqarni, a psychiatrist, said fasting is an important reinforcer of positive behaviour, but noted that it can cause psychological and neurological changes. Patients undergoing psychological treatments should consult specialists to determine the appropriate times and dosages for taking their medications, he said, so that not taking them during the day does not cause their condition to deteriorate.

University in India Offers 90 Scholarships for Iraqi Students 

Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education has announced that Maharishi Markadeshwar University, in northern India, is providing 90 scholarships for bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes in various fields, including biotechnology, business and accounting, chemistry, computer applications, engineering, mathematics, and medical laboratory technologies.

In a statement, the ministry said there are 60 slots for bachelor’s degree programmes and 30 slots for master’s degree programmes. Iraqi students who wish to apply for the scholarships should read the terms and conditions on the ministry’s website. The application deadline is April 15.

Maharishi Markadeshwar University is a private institution in the northern town of Mullana, 70 kilometres south of Chandigarh. To apply to the university as an international student, use the application form here.

Abu Dhabi U., Company to Cooperate on Strengthening Students’ Research Skills 

Abu Dhabi University’s College of Engineering and the engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald have agreed to cooperate on projects that aim to strengthen engineering students’ research and innovation skills.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed this month, the university and Mott MacDonald will collaborate on cutting-edge research and innovation projects that address key challenges and opportunities specific to the United Arab Emirates. Through combining their resources, expertise, and capabilities, the two parties seek to make significant contributions to the nation’s knowledge-based economy.

Additionally, in line with the Emirates’ vision for a greener future, the university and the consultancy will strive to identify and carry out solutions that will contribute to environmental conservation and sustainable urban development.

Bulletin: Webinar on Rebuilding Education in Gaza; Advice on Wellness during Ramadan
Senior officials of Abu Dhabi University and Mott MacDonald, a global consultancy specialising in managing and developing engineering projects, sign an agreement for collaboration on training engineering students. (Photo: WAM)

Lebanese Arts Groups Offer Workshops for Youth Displaced by Combat

The Tiro Association for Arts (TAA) and the Istanbouli Theatre are offering free workshops for children and youth who have been displaced from border areas in southern Lebanon because of the escalating clashes between Israel and Hezbollah. The workshops are being conducted in collaboration with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and will take place at the Lebanese National Theatre in Tyre.

In a news release, TAA said it was transporting children and youth via the Peace Art Bus from schools to the Lebanese National Theatre for the workshops, which encompass aspects of theatre, drawing, handicrafts, puppets, storytelling, and film screenings.

Kassem Istanbouli, an actor, director, and the founder of the Lebanese National Theatre, emphasised the importance of “cultural resistance” amidst challenging circumstances. Cultural expression and freedom serve as crucial tools to address the aftermath of war, alleviate psychological pressures, and mitigate the impact on children and youth, he said.

From Al-Fanar Media: 

Plan Lets Students of Gaza’s Shattered Universities Continue Studies Online

Palestinian officials have launched a plan to let students of Gaza’s heavily war-damaged universities enrol in online courses at universities in the West Bank. The Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education said the plan would allow Gazan students whose educations have been disrupted by the Israel-Hamas war to resume their studies at institutions in the West Bank. The ministry plans to enrol Gazans as visiting students in universities in the West Bank at no cost. Read more in this article


How to Start World-Class Science in Your Home Country

Arab scholars and scientists who study in the West hear a lot of negative comments about the challenges doing science in their home country and the barriers they will have to overcome. Some give up and go back to the West. It doesn’t have to be that way, writes Rana Dajani, a molecular biologist at the Hashemite University, in Jordan. Dajani studied in the United States and went back to Jordan to establish her research lab, and has become a world-known scientist. She shares her experience, in the hope that it can help other Arab scientists also succeed. Read more in this article.

Tips and Resources: 

Combatting Electronic Blackmail: Lessons from a University Student’s Tragedy

Authorities are still investigating exactly what led to the death of Naira El-Zoghbi, a student at Arish University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, but initial reports suggest she may have taken her own life following incidents of electronic blackmail. Her story illustrates the need for Arab universities to adopt strategies for combating electronic blackmail within their communities, scholars and digital media experts say. Read more in this article.

In Conflict: 

Mauritanian University Students and Ministry Reach Accord after Months of Protests

After months of protests, Mauritanian university students and the country’s Ministry of Higher Education have reached an agreement that addresses key students demands and eases tensions on campuses. The National Union of Mauritanian Students and other student unions started a series of demonstrations and marches in mid-December to highlight their demands for improvements in educational and campus services at universities. Tensions escalated last month when security forces began intervening to disperse demonstrators. Student unions accused the ministry of “militarising” the University of Nouakchott campus. Read more in this article. 


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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