Bulletin: Al-Azhar U.–Gaza Opens Postgraduate Enrolment despite War; Birzeit U. Event to Discuss Zionist Violations of the Palestinian Body 

We Are with You

In our previous bulletin, I discussed depression and posed the question: Are you experiencing depression?

In my opening remarks today, I hope to convey that if you are experiencing depression, you are not alone in this, and it’s okay to feel depressed. We are all navigating through immense challenges, amidst a staggering level of violence, loss, and devastation.

Ugliness seems to be spreading, standards are fading, and louder voices are gaining prominence, regardless of their unseemliness. These are indeed valid reasons that could lead to feelings of depression.

Additionally, there’s something crucial you should know: We stand beside you, you’re not alone, and we’re here to support you. Reach out to us, to support services at your university or in your community, and to those you cherish.

Your words and emotions hold significant value to us. You are a resilient warrior. It’s okay to take breaks and acknowledge negative feelings at times.

You’re right; that’s not who you are. I understand that you cherish life, goodness, and beauty, but the ugliness of the world and the unjustified, constant pressure weigh heavily on you.

Take your time, seek counsel, and don’t hesitate to reach out. Remember, it’s a global challenge, not just yours, and we’re all here standing beside you.

Mohammad El-Hawary

Al-Fanar Media editor-in-chief 

News from the Region:

Al-Azhar U.–Gaza Opens Postgraduate Enrolment Despite War

The Deanship of Postgraduate Studies at Al-Azhar University–Gaza is currently registering master’s degree students for the first semester of 2024/2025. According to a university statement, classes will commence on the university’s Moodle platform on Saturday, June 8. Registration will remain open until June 9.

Students seeking a transcript, registration certificate, financial statement, or graduation statement can submit a request through the student portal on the university’s website.

For more information, contact Professor Awad Abu Hamam via WhatsApp: +972 599603778.

The opening of postgraduate registration comes despite the Israeli war in the Gaza Strip that has continued since 7 October 2023.

Birzeit U. to Host Symposium on Zionist Violation of the Palestinian Body 

Birzeit University’s Institute of Women’s Studies in Palestine will host a symposium titled “Confronting the Violation of the Palestinian Body by the Zionist Colonial Machine” on 5 June. According to a university statement, the symposium will address Israeli violations against the bodies of Palestinian men and women, both in the field and in captivity.

Participants will discuss how the occupation uses attacks on the Palestinian body, including those of a sexual nature, to humiliate and suppress resistance, as well as how Palestinian men and women confront these attacks. The event will also examine the societal and political silence that often accompanies these attacks.

Al Ghurair Foundation Backs U. of Sharjah’s Digital Transformation Strategy

The University of Sharjah has secured a grant from the Abdullah Al Ghurair Foundation to bolster research and educational initiatives aligned with the university’s strategy to expedite digital transformation in teaching and learning.

As reported by the Emirates News Agency (WAM), this grant marks the culmination of ongoing agreements and partnerships that commenced over three years ago through the foundation’s strategic programmes. A notable initiative within these programs is the UAE Universities Coalition for Quality Online Learning (UCQOL), which involves nine universities. The initiative’s overarching goal is to assist students facing special circumstances, ensuring the continuity of their education and preventing disruptions in their academic journey due to factors like work commitments, medical issues, or changes in residence.

King Abdulaziz U. Showcases Fashion Designs of Students with Hearing Disability

The College of Human Sciences and Design at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz University (KAU) hosted an exhibition on 2 June that showcased graduation projects from the first class of graduates of a fashion industry programme tailored for women with severe hearing disabilities.

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the event featured a visual presentation titled “A Graduate’s Journey” that highlighted the success stories of female students as they progressed from admission to graduation. Activities also included a display of student’s designs and a training on personal interviews with potential employers. The event concluded with a graduation ceremony.

Nahla Kahwaji, dean of the college, said the exhibition aimed to highlight the creativity of female students and graduates from the Fashion and Textiles Department, demonstrating the university’s commitment to sustainable support for the programme’s goals.

Iraqi to Establish Specialised College for Artificial Intelligence Studies

Naeem Al-Aboudi, Iraq’s minister of higher education, recently directed the presidents of public universities to proceed with steps for establishing a specialised college focused on artificial intelligence (AI).

According to a ministry statement, Al-Aboudi stressed the importance of aligning Iraqi higher education with global knowledge and advancements. He directed the presidents to automate assessment tests, to adopt electronic services to benefit citizens, and to continuously update curricula and programmes to focus on developing students’ skills and preparing them for the local and global job markets.

These steps come amid a wider government effort to develop a national strategy for AI and big data integration in Iraq. The higher education ministry has previously announced the introduction of AI programmes at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in public universities, and is providing fellowships and scholarships for artificial intelligence studies at international universities.

Bulletin: Al-Azhar U.–Gaza Opens Postgraduate Enrolment despite War; Birzeit U. Event to Discuss Zionist Violations of the Palestinian Body
The Iraqi Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Naeem Al-Aboudi, in a meeting with the heads of Iraqi public universities (the Ministry).

From Al-Fanar Media:

How Arab Universities Can Advance Sustainability: 2 Academics Share Ideas

Two Arab university experts joined the latest webinar in Al-Fanar Media’s Panel Discussion series to share insights about how Arab universities can help advance the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The goals range from reducing poverty and inequality to combating the effects of climate change. The thought-provoking discussion, titled “Sustainability: Arab Universities Road Map”, was live-streamed on Tuesday, 21 May; you can listen to a replay on Al-Fanar Media’s Facebook page. Read highlights from the discussion in this article.

Tips and Resources:

Do Your Best on Multiple Choice Exams: Tips for Success

Multiple choice exams have become a favoured format for learning assessment in recent years. To help students succeed on tests in this format and obtain top grades, Al-Fanar Media has pulled together experts’ advice on the best ways to tackle multiple choice exams. Our article also offers a brief overview of the differences between multiple choice exams and an alternative testing format, the constructed response exam, with summaries of the advantages and drawbacks of each. Read more in this article


Tips for Effective Studying in a New Al-Fanar Media Podcast Episode 

A new episode of Al-Fanar Media Podcast offers school and university students advice on effective study techniques to help them reach their academic goals. You can listen to the episode, titled “Tips for Effective Study: How Do You Increase Your Productivity and Achieve Your Academic Goals?”  (in Arabic), on Spotify, SoundCloud, or YouTube. In the episode, Mohammad El Hawary, Al-Fanar Media’s editor-in-chief, walks listeners through valuable insights shared by our colleague Ahmed Wafik in his article “Get the Most Out of Studying at Home: Tips for University Students”.


U. of Cyprus Postgraduate Studies and Fellowships Changed Their Lives, Students Say

Two young people who came to the University of Cyprus (UCY) for postgraduate studies and research recently talked to Al-Fanar Media about how the experience changed their lives. Milad Shahvali, a postdoctoral research fellow from Iran, is a control engineer working with a University of Cyprus group on a high-profile Water Futures Project funded by the European Research Council. Gina Korek, from Lebanon, earned her M.B.A. degree at the University of Cyprus and is now a senior supply chain analyst at Loblaw, Canada’s largest supermarket retailer. Read more in this article.


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

No doubt you have heard about Bitcoin, the first decentralised cryptocurrency, and blockchain, the technology that underlies it. But few people realise the importance of these concepts in the world today and the new career opportunities they are opening up. In an essay for Al-Fanar Media, Adel Khelifi, a professor of computer science and information technology at Abu Dhabi University, explains how cryptocurrencies and blockchain work, as well as his university’s efforts to prepare students for future jobs in these areas. Read more here.


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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