Bulletin: 5 Female Students of Birzeit U. under Israeli Arrest; Scholarships in Pakistan and Iraq for Palestinians

Al-Fanar Media Podcast

In recent years, podcasts have emerged as a popular form of content delivery, primarily through platforms and applications that allow users to enjoy audio episodes.

Podcasts have become significant in delivering many types of content, including educational material, news, personal narratives, and entertainment, with global investments projected to reach $3.3 billion by 2025, as reported.

Al-Fanar Media launched its latest podcast series to offer content focused on higher education, labour market demands, and media literacy.

Previously, we introduced the “Student Sowt” podcast, created and produced by Arab university students. We also presented the “Anglo-Arab Voices” podcast, which features success stories of British individuals of Arab descent.

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

News from the Region:

Israel Arrests Birzeit U. Student Amal Shujaiya; 5 Female Students Now Held

Birzeit University announced on Thursday that Israeli occupation forces had arrested a female student, Amal Shujaia, after breaking into her family’s home in Deir Jarir, in the Ramallah governorate.

Her arrest brings the number of female Birzeit University students detained in occupation jails to five, the university said. It identified the others as Yara Abu Hashish, Layan Kayed, Shahad Aweida, and Mona Abu Hussein.

Shujaia’s arrest came during a series of raids early Thursday that were the latest in an escalating campaign of arrests across the West Bank that has alarmed human rights advocates. Birzeit University expressed hope for the swift release of its students and all Palestinian prisoners in occupation jails.

Despite War, Palestinian Student Defends His Master’s Thesis via Zoom

Al-Azhar University–Gaza announced that the researcher Hussein Muhammad Hussein Ismail has defended his master’s thesis in public law, despite Israel’s ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

According to a statement from the university, the master’s thesis is titled: “The Powers of Palestine’s Supreme Constitutional Court as a Court of Conflict: A Comparative Study.” Hussein defended his thesis on 3 June from Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, via Zoom with supervisors in Egypt.

Omar Milad, president of the university, congratulated Hussein and his family on the degree’s completion. Milad also expressed appreciation for the efforts of the discussants, supervisors, and the Deanship of Graduate Studies, emphasising that “our people do not know the impossible and continue to challenge despite the ongoing barbaric aggression against the Gaza Strip.”

Bulletin: 5 Female Students of Birzeit U. under Israeli Arrest; Scholarships in Pakistan and Iraq for Palestinians
Hussein Muhammad Hussein Ismail, a graduate student at Al-Azhar University-Gaza, discusses his master’s thesis from
Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, via Zoom with supervisors in Egypt.

California’s San José State U. Faces Criticism over Professor’s Suspension

The Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) and its Committee on Academic Freedom have expressed grave concern over the suspension of San José State University (SJSU) Professor Sang Hea Kil from all faculty duties for activities related to her role as a faculty advisor to the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter at the university. Kil is a justice studies professor at SJSU, which is part of the California State University System.

In a letter to top administrators at SJSU, MESA’s leaders said Kil’s suspension appears to be a significant breach of her academic freedom and free speech rights. The letter notes that the university had twice informed Professor Kil that she was being investigated for potential misconduct related to protests organised by SJP, before placing her on administrative leave and barring her from her office on 24 May. The university has provided no evidence or even specific details of what she is alleged to have done, the letter states, adding that the professor vigorously denies any professional misconduct.

MESA’s letter urges the university to rescind Kil’s suspension, apologise to her, and publicly reiterate its commitment to protect the academic freedom and the free speech rights of all members of the SJSU community.

Palestine Announces Details of Scholarships in Pakistan and Iraq

The Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education has announced the availability of 100 scholarships at Riphah International University, in Pakistan, and an unspecified number of scholarships at the Northern Technical University, in Iraq, for the 2024-2025 academic year. The scholarships span the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.

The scholarships in Pakistan were made available as part of an agreement that Riphah International University, a private institution in Islamabad, signed in April with the Palestinian Embassy in Pakistan and Al-Khidmat Foundation Pakistan.

Students interested in applying for the scholarships can visit the scholarships section of the ministry’s website here to find more details.

Abu Dhabi Chamber, UAEU to Cooperate on Research that Serves Society

The Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) have agreed to create frameworks for cooperation in an effort to enhance the contribution of research to economic and social issues that serve society and the private sector across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

In a news release, the chamber said the partnership aims to enhance competitiveness in national and global economies, develop skills among students and entrepreneurs, and foster expertise within the local business community. The agreement focuses on improving employee performance, conducting applied research projects, preparing research studies, adopting a comprehensive nationalisation approach, supporting national programmes, and sponsoring student initiatives that promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

From Al-Fanar Media:

Egypt Plans to Introduce a Pre-University Foundation Year to Help Liberal Arts Students Find Jobs

Higher education officials in Egypt are planning to introduce a pre-university foundation year to help students of the liberal arts find jobs, but not all education experts think such a year is needed. Ayman Ashour, the minister of higher education and scientific research, recently told lawmakers that his ministry was preparing a draft law for a foundation year after high school which would let students enrol in specific programmes at public and private universities. However, several professors and higher-education reform experts have questioned the merits of the plan, saying it reflected a flawed comprehension of education’s broader goals. Read more in this article.


Alexander Fedorov on Challenges for Media Education in Today’s World

Since receiving Unesco’s Global Media and Information Literacy Award in 2019, the Russian academic and journalist Alexander Fedorov has become widely known as a prominent international expert this field. In an interview with Al-Fanar Media, Fedorov talked about the challenges facing media education in today’s world, including how to keep up with the rapid and complex developments in information and communication technology, as well as the proliferation of “fake news”, disinformation and misinformation directed at the general public at a time of conflicts, wars, and political divisions around the globe. Read more in this article.

Tips and Resources:

An Undergraduate’s Guide to Writing Research Papers

Preparing research papers is an essential task for most university students. It requires practice, knowledge, and continuous learning to accomplish optimally. It is a task that follows a similar pattern across many subjects. Al-Fanar Media has gathered tips and insights from various specialists and institutions, as well as insights from two Egyptian academics, to guide students through the process. Read more in this article.


The Role of Scientific Research in Sustaining Biodiversity

From the lush palm oases along the banks of the River Nile to the vibrant coral reefs in the depths of the Red Sea, Egypt showcases a natural landscape that underscores its vital role in protecting biodiversity in this region of the world. In this essay for Al-Fanar Media, the Egyptian academic Tarek Kabil explores the role that higher education and scientific research can play in sustaining biodiversity, using Egypt as a case study model.


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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