Newsletter

Bulletin: Conference on Arab Impact Factors Considers AI’s Impact on Publishing; Iraq Deepens Commitment to AI Studies

Media Literacy: Whose Responsibility? 

I often ponder over the question of who offers media training services. Our Arab world boasts distinguished human expertise that merges practical and scientific knowledge, addressing this concern effectively.

In the Arab world, various platforms, groups, institutions, initiatives, and projects collaborate with international bodies. While they may not share a singular goal, they collectively enrich the media landscape and support students and practitioners in continuously developing professionally.

At Al-Fanar Media, our team possesses vast expertise and utilises advanced tools in media industry management, content creation and management, as well as image building and management for public figures and executives.

We have formed a partnership with the Ford Foundation on a project called “Media Literacy for Arab University Students“. The first workshop was held in Egypt in January. Future workshops in this initiative will bring this training to more university students in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia. Additionally, we focus on achieving sustainability by training assistant teachers in this subject.

We take our responsibility seriously in delivering training services that meet international standards, and we are committed to expanding our offerings in an institutionalised manner.

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

News from the Region:

Conference on Arab Impact Factors Considers AI’s Impact on Publishing

The ninth International Conference on Arabic Impact Factors wrapped up on Saturday, 4 May, at Abu Dhabi University. With a focus on “Scientific Publishing and Artificial Intelligence Challenges”, the event presented 45 speakers and was attended by more than 775 participants from 26 countries globally.

According to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), the three-day conference covered various topics such as smart applications and artificial intelligence in scientific publishing, innovative initiatives in Arab scientific publishing, e-publishing regulations, intellectual and cultural security, and scientific publishing in Arabic for non-native speakers. Additionally, the conference featured two workshops titled “Arab Researchers and International Classification” and “Arab Ranking of Research Universities”. These workshops included contributions from international journal experts, ranking institutions, scientific research deans, and Arab university presidents.

The event was organised in collaboration with the Association of Arab Universities, NEMA Education, and Liwa College.

Birzeit U. Offers Training Course in Digital Economic Journalism 

Palestine’s Birzeit University has opened the fifth consecutive year of its pioneering seven-week course in digital economic journalism. The programme’s initial phase focuses on media graduates of West Bank universities and colleges, aiming to enhance their expertise in economic journalism and improve their skills and employability within the Palestinian job market, the university said in a statement.

The programme, conducted in collaboration with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), comprises seven training units, each spanning four days. This year’s course began on 29 April and runs through 13 June. It has attracted 26 participants from six universities across the West Bank: Birzeit University, Arab American University in Jenin, Bethlehem University, Hebron University, Al-Aroub Technical University, and Modern University College.

Bulletin: Conference on Arab Impact Factors Considers AI’s Impact on Publishing; Iraq Deepens Commitment to AI Studies
Part of the activities of a training program at Birzeit University to qualify students in economics and media (the university).

October 6 U. to Host Employment and Training Forum

Egypt’s October 6 University will host the 15th Employment and Training Forum on its campus on Wednesday, 8 May, with several companies participating.

In a statement, Ahmed Zaki Badr, chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees, said the forum marks the culmination of a year of activities and events aimed at preparing students and graduates for the regional and international job market. This comprehensive system includes electronic job listings and training opportunities for students and graduates. Gamal Sami, the university’s president, added that the forum also aims to offer external training opportunities through collaborations with foreign universities and institutions.

Iraq Unveils Programmes, Scholarships for Study of Artificial Intelligence

Iraq’s minister of higher education, Naeem Al-Aboudi, has announced the launch of specialised university programmes and study fellowships focused on artificial intelligence.

Speaking during the opening of an international scientific conference on artificial intelligence and its potential impact on the human sciences, organised by the University of Baghdad, Al-Aboudi emphasised the ministry’s commitment to this field. He mentioned the launch of an award for artificial intelligence in scientific research, the development of specialised programnes at both undergraduate and graduate levels, support for dissertations and research aligned with this objective, and the provision of fellowships and scholarships for artificial intelligence studies at international universities.

Omani Student Team Creates Innovative Agricultural Product

Oman’s Ministry of Higher Education has announced that a team of female students from Umm Al Fadl School for Basic Education (Grades 5-12), in Birkat Al Mouz, successfully created an agricultural product named Naqaa, an Arabic word for purity.

According to a statement from the ministry, Mona bint Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Busaidiyah, the vocational guidance specialist and project supervisor at the school, explained that the concept for the students’ project stemmed from the need to control unwanted weeds that compete with food plants for nutrients. The Naqaa product contains essential nutrients and helps maintain soil moisture. Practical experiments conducted at the University of Nizwa and the Agricultural Research Center in Al-Rumais validated the product’s efficacy.

The project has garnered interest from various customers, including government and private farms, institutions, afforestation projects, and nurseries. Al Busaidiya also mentioned plans to scale up production of their product in various sizes suitable for different soil types, including saline soil.

International Geotechnical Innovation Conference Meets in Jeddah 

The International Geotechnical Innovation Conference (IGIC 2024) ran this week in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The event, held 6 and 7 May, expected over 400 attendees and featured 30 speakers from leading industries who delved into cutting-edge technologies poised to revolutionise urban landscapes.

Events included two immersive workshops alongside eight keynote speeches, ten detailed sessions, and five comprehensive case studies. This lineup positioned the event as a significant gathering for experts keen on exploring the future of geotechnical engineering and the deep foundation technologies essential for creating secure and effective infrastructure.

A goal of the conference was to foster ongoing conversations on critical innovations like sustainable practices in geotechnical engineering and recent advancements in geotechnical design and construction methodologies.

Talks at Georgetown-Qatar Explore Role of Humanitarian Law during Conflicts

Georgetown University in Qatar hosted two events in late April focusing on how to bolster international humanitarian law and human rights during crises, along with mediation efforts in armed conflicts.

On 23 April, Turki bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud, director of the Human Rights Department at Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, highlighted the significance of direct communication and the extensive expertise required by negotiators. He stated, “The more skill, the more knowledge, the more information, and the more background about the conflict itself the mediator has, the longer-term solution we can reach.”

Later the same week, Noha Aboueldahab, an assistant professor of international law at GU-Q, moderated a panel discussion titled “Safeguarding the Laws of War: The Role of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)”. The panel included representatives from the ICRC who underscored the role of international organizations in alleviating the suffering of millions of people impacted by armed conflicts around the world.

From Al-Fanar Media

Columbia U. President Faces Backlash over Handling of Pro-Palestine Protests

With Columbia University embroiled in protests and controversies marked by actions against students and professors for expressing pro-Palestinian views, the leadership of President Nemat (Minouche) Shafik is coming under question on multiple fronts. Her summoning New York City police to quell a protest on the campus, in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, as well as her testimony to a U.S. House of Representatives committee, have come under strong criticism within academic and human rights circles in the United States and beyond. One Egyptian academic said Shafik’s response to the crisis engulfing her university “epitomised a profound failure in academic and administrative leadership”. Read more in this article.

Opinion: 

Demystifying Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: Abu Dhabi U. Professor Offers Insights

Blockchain technology serves as the backbone for various industries, including finance, healthcare, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and digital assets like NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Studies have shown the technology even holds promise in safeguarding cultural heritage sites. In an essay for Al-Fanar Media, Adel Khelifi, a professor of computer science and information technology at Abu Dhabi University, explains the basic concepts underlying blockchain and cryptocurrencies. He also discusses career opportunities in blockchain and what his university is doing to strengthen blockchain education, research, and entrepreneurship in the Arab region. Read more here

Culture: 

Palestinian and Sudanese Authors Talk of War and Exile at AUC Cultural Festival

Two award-winning Palestinian and Sudanese authors drew an enthusiastic audience response in their talk about war and exile at the American University in Cairo’s first Tahrir CultureFest. The writers Ibrahim Nasrallah and Hammour Ziada spoke on a panel called “Echoes of Journeys: Cairo’s Encounter with Khartoum and Ramallah in Literary Narratives”, one of dozens of events held during the weeklong festival. Read more in this article.

In Conflict:

Students Protest Israel’s War in Gaza at 50 U.S., Canadian and British Universities

Students have been protesting against Israel’s brutal war in Gaza in demonstrations on the campuses of at least 50 American, Canadian and British universities. America’s NBC television network said there were pro-Palestine protest encampments at more than 40 university campuses across the United States and Canada. These included institutions such as the University of Southern California and the University of California at Los Angeles; Northwestern University, in Illinois; George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.; the University of Michigan; Brown University, in Rhode Island; Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Read more in this article.

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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