At the invitation of Palestine Ahliya University, the Secretary-General of the Arab Universities Union makes a historic visit to the State of Palestine and meets with senior officials and university presidents.

At the invitation of Palestine Ahliya University, the Secretary-General of the Arab Universities Union makes a historic visit to the State of Palestine and meets with senior officials and university presidents.

At the invitation of Palestine Ahliya University, the university hosted the Secretary-General of the Arab Universities Union, Prof. Amr Ezzat Salama, who arrived in the homeland from his residence in Amman.

He was received by the President of the University’s Board of Trustees, Mr. Dawood Al-Zeer, in the presence of Mr. Waheeb Karaja, the Director of Public Relations and Media at the Union, as well as the Acting Governor of Bethlehem, Mohammed Taha, and the University President, Dr. Imad Al-Zeer. And the member of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Shawqi Al-Ayssa, along with General kamel Hmeid, and the Vice and Assistants of the University President were also present.

Mr. Dawood Al-Zeer welcomed the guest of the university and Palestine, expressing his pleasure with this unprecedented visit by the distinguished guest who has made a significant breakthrough at the level of the Arab Universities Union. He emphasized that the visit is part of the university’s strategic plan to strengthen relationships with Arab and international institutions and universities for the benefit of Palestinian higher education.

Mr. Dawood Alzeer also praised the efforts made by the Arab Universities Union to enhance the relationship between Arab universities and work on holding regular meetings that facilitate the exchange of experts and scientific knowledge among higher education institutions.

On his part, Prof. Amr Ezzat Salama expressed his happiness at achieving his dream of visiting Palestine, this beloved homeland to everyone, and he conveyed his delight at the warm reception provided to him by Palestine Ahliya University.

He also praised the progress and development that the university is undergoing, noting that he continuously follows the news and developments of the university on all fronts. He affirmed that such progress wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts put in by the university’s administration.

During Prof. Amr Ezzat Salama’s visit to Palestine, he delivered a seminar at Palestine Ahliya University about the state of higher education in the Arab world. Additionally, he toured the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. During the meeting, the university president presented an initiative to host an advanced center for Arab academic exchange, with its permanent headquarters at Palestine Ahliya University. Dr. Al-Zeer then provided the delegation with an explanatory presentation about the university’s origins, development, the faculties, and academic departments it houses. The delegation also visited some of the faculties and departments, as well as the university’s new building, which is currently under construction.

The delegation also met with His Excellency the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and the Minister of Education, Dr. Mahmoud Abu Mouis, in the presence of the head of the Accreditation Authority and directors of departments in the ministry, as well as the President of Palestine Ahliya University. They received a brief explanation from Dr. Abu Mouis about the state of education and higher education in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Following that, the delegation held a meeting with all the departments in the ministry, where a detailed presentation was given about the work of these departments, their achievements, and the challenges they face. Prof. Salama, in turn, provided a detailed explanation of the most prominent activities and programs carried out by the Union at the Arab and international levels. He urged the ministry to engage with Palestinian universities to benefit from and participate in the events organized by the Union through its affiliated academic institutions. In addition, he emphasized the uniqueness of Palestinian universities and their historical relationship with the Union.

Dr. Abu Mouis informed the delegation about the significant challenges facing the educational process in Palestine at various academic levels, as a result of Israeli practices aimed at erasing the Arab identity, altering curricula, and preventing Arab and international experts from accessing Palestinian territories. This particularly affects university professors, leading to universities’ inability to bridge the gap in providing faculty members for certain specializations.

The delegation, accompanied by Dr. Abu Mouis, then visited the mausoleum of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, where they witnessed the challenging conditions he endured during the siege. They received a brief explanation from those responsible for the difficult stages that the Palestinian cause has gone through as a result of the Zionist occupation of Arab land and the legendary resilience of the Palestinian Arab people.

The delegation also met with the Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammed Ishtayeh, at the Presidential Palace in the presence of the Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Abu Mouis, and several educational leaders. Dr. Ishtayeh expressed his appreciation for this historic visit and the initiative launched by the Union to break the blockade imposed on Palestinian universities and academic institutions. He emphasized the role of this visit in Arab unity, stating that it sends a message to the world that Arab unity is a message held by all Arab people in their conscience and history. The Zionist occupation will not change the concept and extent of cooperation and fraternity among Arab people. He called for holding the General Conference of the Arab Universities Union on Palestinian territory and praised the initiative of Palestine Ahliya University to establish an Arab institution for academic exchange that would be affiliated with the Union. He also explained that the Palestinian government has recently introduced the Palestinian narrative initiative to serve as a beacon for future generations and as evidence of Arab rights, countering the false Zionist narratives about land, people, and history. Prof. Salama expressed his full support for this initiative and encouraged its adoption by all Arab educational institutions.

Furthermore, Prof. Salama provided a detailed explanation of the origins and development of the Arab Universities Union and the important role it plays in various academic fields on both the Arab and international levels, aimed at preserving Arab identity in all academic forums and scientific events. He stressed the importance of involving Palestinian universities in all of the Union’s activities and events. Prof. Salama also highlighted some of the pioneering projects undertaken by the Union, such as the Arab university ranking project, the unified qualifications framework, and the endeavor to include Arab libraries and journals in the international Scopus platform. Additionally, the Union is building an extensive network of international relationships, continually expanding to create opportunities for collaboration between Arab universities and international organizations and universities.

Following that, an extensive meeting was held with the presidents of Palestinian universities in Ramallah, which included all university presidents. The Palestinian university presidents considered this historic visit as a manifestation of Arab unity and a message of support from the Secretary-General of the Arab Universities Union to Arab universities, encouraging them to stand firm against Zionist plans aimed at isolating academic institutions from the Arab body. During the meeting, various shared educational and academic issues were discussed, and Prof. Salama provided a briefing on the most prominent achievements and programs that the Union is working to complete to serve the Arab higher education system.

The delegation also visited Palestine Polytechnic University and met with the university’s president, Dr. Amjad Barham, along with the vice-presidents, professors, and deans. Then, the delegation proceeded to visit Hebron University and met with the university’s president, Dr. Nabil Hasasneh. During these visits, there was an exchange of opinions and perspectives on various academic issues.

On the sidelines of the visit, the delegation visited the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, the Ibrahimi Mosque, and the Church of the Nativity and the Resurrection.