a different side of Israel

Tag: Higher Education

Heart of a Lion!

Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Salam Fayyad, suffered a heart attack while visiting the United States for his son’s college graduation. An independent, Fatah recently joined forced with Hamas, who on April 28th had insisted on Fayyad’s departure.

Palestinian Prime MinisterThe Palestinians are demanding an end to Israeli occupation. The creation of a state recognized by the UN and the EU. The Palestinians are inspired by the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring is inspired by the need and desire of a middle class in Arab countries. Fayyad wants this for his own people, who live under occupation, whose economy is in shambles, yet he sends his son to university in the United States instead of one of the many Palestinian places of higher education.

The choices for a Palestinian with such opportunities to study in their own country are as follows:

In the Gaza Strip there is Al-Aqsa University, University College of Applied Sciences, Al-Azhar University, Al-Quds Open University, Islamic University of Gaza, Universal Studies Academy, Palestine Technical College, University of Palestine, Gaza University.

In the West Bank there is, Arab American University, Al-Quds Open University, Al-Quds University, An-Najah National University, Bethlehem Bible College, Bethlehem University, Birzeit University, Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Hebron University, Ibrahimieh College, Khodori Institute and Tulkarm Palestine Polytechnic University.

Meanwhile, Fayyad is recovering and is expected to leave the Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas, later this week.

His spokesman says:

“Fayyad felt strong chest pain on Sunday and went to the hospital to be tested. He says Fayyad suffered a heart attack while in the hospital. Zakout says tests showed a blockage in a coronary artery. Doctors performed a catheterization to open the artery.”

Fayyad, a heavy smoker, has been prime minister since 2007. The political independent could lose his job as a result of a recent reconciliation agreement between political rivals Hamas and Fatah.

Fayyad studied at the American University in Beirut, Saint Edward’s University, and the University of Texas in Austin, where his son goes.

Mazal Tov to Hebrew University

Mazal Tov to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It has been ranked among the world’s top 100 institutes of higher education, out of a complete list of 500. The annual ranking by the Centre for World Class Universities and the Institute of Higher Education at Shanghai’s Jao Tong University, HU has risen one place since last year, making it number 64. Harvard is at the top of the list, with Stanford coming in second and the University of California Berkeley, number 3.

einsteinThe Hebrew University was ranked 25th in computer sciences, and among the 75 best in the categories of mathematics, economics and business administration. And among the top 100 in chemistry.

Of the top universities in the Asia Pacific region, the Hebrew University was ranked number 4, just after the Australian National University and the Japanese Kyoto and Tokyo universities.

Also, Tel Aviv University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology were ranked in the second tier group of the 150 best universities. The Weizmann Institute of Science was in the top 200, and The Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Bar-Ilan University in the 400 category.

Hebrew University President Menahem Ben-Sasson expressed delight at his university’s ranking:

“I am pleased that the Hebrew University continues to stand out among the 100 best universities in the world, both in general and in specific disciplines,” he said. “Our aspiration now is to rise in standing in order to reach the rankings of the top 50 universities in the world. We must continue to be Israel’s best university in every area.”

The Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus of Jerusalem was opened on April 1, 1925, more than 20 years before the founding of the State of Israel. The first Board of Governors included, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber and Chaim Weizmann.

Junior Faculty Staff Signs Historic Deal

We’ve been accustomed to university strikes here in Israel. There is always a reason — be it the same reason that never gets solved, or a new reason that pops out just when you think that nothing’s gonna happen this time.

This past year we’ve seen a long strike arranged by the senior staff of Israel’s universities, which was resolved after a bitter conflict. The junior staff, who works harder and receives less — much less — did not initiate a full-blown strike, although it made several attempts to revive the issue in the public’s eye.

Now we’ve learned that the junior staff has finally signed a deal that would grant its thousands of members social rights and better salary. This comes as a total surprise… but I for one love good surprises.

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