Arab American University celebrated graduating the graduate studies students in Strategic Planning and Fundraising, Conflict Resolution and Development, Commercial Law and Computer Science programs. The ceremony took place in Ramallah city campus.
Arab American University Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Mohammed Shtayeh, Board members, President of the Board of Directors Dr. Yousef Asfour, Board members, Board of Directors Academic Advisor the founder University President Dr. Waleed Deeb, University President Prof. Dr. Ali Zeidan Abu Zuhri, Ramallah Governor Dr. Laila Ghannam, the ceremony guest Minister of Local Government Dr. Hussein Al-Araj, University President Assistant for Administrative and Financial Affairs Faleh Abu Arra, University former president Prof. Dr. Mahmoud Abu Mowais, members of the teaching staff and graduates parents, all attended the ceremony.
University President Speech
The Arab American University President Prof. Dr. Ali Zeidan Abu Zuhri started the ceremony with his speech, saying “Today, we celebrate the graduation of our new distinguished students with Master degrees. The most important thing at the Arab American University is its pursuit of everything new and modern through adopting distinguished academic programs and international teaching methods based on thinking, analysis and search for information. In addition to establish scientific partnerships and joint study programs with international universities”. He added “We also made it and got the accreditation for Palestine’s first Business Administration PhD”.
Stressing, the university obliged to serve the Palestinian society needs by focusing first on education quality, intellectual creativity and scientific innovation in applied researches. It also focuses on freedom of opinion and expression and creative and critical thinking. Students and graduates can form the present and become future leaders. This can be achieved through providing the highest academic quality and the optimal use of information technology in teaching and training. He concluded “I wish that you fulfill all your wishes and ambitions. Congratulations to you and your families”.
Chairman of Board of Directors
Chairman of Directors Board Dr. Yousef Asfour welcomed the audience and congratulated the graduates, “We’re proud that our graduates are a beacon to enlighten our homeland Palestine. If you look around, you’ll see successful institutions and individuals and others who failed”. Adding, “Everybody is wondering, what’s the ingredient for success?”, “The keys are preparing strategic plan, institution employees loyalty, wise senior management who learns from the past and creates the future, most importantly, patience and believing in our goal”, he proceeded.
Dr. Asfour recalled the year in which Arab American University opened. Pointing, strategic plan was put in place for establishing a university in Jenin 17 years ago. Board of Directors insisted to proceed despite difficulties facing everyone during the second Intifada. Changes were more difficult than expected; occupation Prime Minister Ariel Sharon entered Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Intifada, institutions closure, the funders and workers had two options either to withdraw or complete their work, to hold on to the latter. Now, it becomes the Arab American University, a great scientific beacon.
“I remember in the past few years that the many checkpoints we had to cross to Jenin didn’t stop us. We completed the process” he said, recalling when the board of directors began implementing it after the martyr Yasser Arafat Abu-Ammar issued his order to establish the university. The Council supervised everything with the help of the Trustees Board headed by Dr. Mohammed Shtayeh who observed it steps step by step. And let’s not forget the virtue of Jenin, starting with the governor to its youngest citizen, in a town who says on this ground what worth living for.
Chairman of Board of Directors Dr. Asfour affirmed that the Arab American University is one of the few universities in which Presidents work with all sincerity and loyalty. Saying, “Professor Waleed Deeb was the university first president to be an activist in terms of education, and failure is not in his dictionary. Then came Dr. Adly Saleh, who always says that success is not a coincidence and work is continuity key. Later, in Prof. Dr. Mahmoud Abu Moyes era, who was distinguished with its calm and academic excellence, established the Faculty of Dentistry. The university continued to progress, got new academic programs and new postgraduate studies programs and opened a postgraduate center in Ramallah”. He concluded by addressing graduates, telling them “Bless you and thank you. You learned at the university and I hope you learn from its success story”.
Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governor
Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governor Dr. Laila Ghannam saluted the Arab American University which rose in the eyes of the citizens. It was Jenin’s and became Palestine’s. Tomorrow, the graduation ceremony will be in Jerusalem the Capital of the Palestinian state. “Congratulations to Palestine and the Arab American University and Congratulations for your families”, she concluded.
Minister of Local Government and member of the University Trustees Board Dr. Hussein Al-Aaraj, ceremony guest, said “It’s a happy and distinguished day not only for the University, but for the country as a whole. We start with traditional studies until entering university to specializations of great importance”. Adding “We need planning, and we can’t make mistakes as our resources are limited”, expressing his happiness for University's investment in manpower, because a state invests in two things: humans and tourism, and both needs strategic planning.
Dr. Al-Aaraj referred to the plans approved by the Ministry of Local Government, which weren’t completed due to political changes, and the ministry's determination to develop other plans. Stressing, human cadres are important; they will compensate natural resources scarcity in Palestine. This will compensate for the lack of natural resources and undertake strategic planning that will be added to the public and private sectors.
Emphasizing on the importance of specified strategic planning, as we are in the process of building the state and its economy, therefore work cannot be done without planning or with short-term planning. Now, our basic strategic plan is to enable five million Palestinians to remain on this land. This requires social, political and security planning so these five million remains on this land in light of the stumbling block we face.
Dr. Al-Aaraj added “Last year, the Palestinian Government for the first time approved the national policy agenda. It was belated in my opinion, but this agenda has been transformed into dozens of sectorial plans. Every ministry has strategic plans, policies and visions. We’re in need for qualifications like today’s graduates. Without clear visions, policies and plans, work will be impetuous and reactions”.
“Today, the university has been able to detect the actual needs and meet the market needs by opening distinguished academic programs and colleges such as dentistry and business administration doctoral program. This’s an important plan and step for the state in economy and projects”, he proceeded. Stressing, planning is essential, without it any goal will be incomplete.
For graduates he said “The country needs you, its projects, public and private sectors awaits you. Thanks for the University for providing all your needs since enrollment till graduation”.
Dean of Faculty of Graduate Studies
Faculty of Graduate Studies Dean Dr. Abdulrahman Abu-Libdeh stressed on scientific certificates importance, study achieved by graduates and its moral and material return to them, their families and our country a whole, because science is our hope to have the purest, most beautiful and preserved life. Pointing, the faculty has ten graduate programs and Business Administration PhD program in cooperation with Indiana University, Pennsylvania, USA. We hope, in the near future, to offer more programs in many other fields.
He thanked these programs staff and employees for their development. “We are distinguishing the University Board of Trustees represented by its President Dr. Mohammed Shtayeh, Directors Board represented by its President Dr. Yousef Asfour and University's administration represented by University President Prof. Dr. Ali Zeidan Abu Zuhri, for the university reconstruction and their keenness on building, development and their continuous work to enable university students to continue their academic achievement and build their personalities with ability and knowledge. Thanks to the university's board of directors academic advisor Dr. Waleed Deeb. We wish graduates success and to stay in contact with the university, its ambassadors and partners carrying their mission to help the university raising the country glory, pride and independence”.
Chairman of the University Board of Trustees
Chairman of the University Board of Trustees Dr. Mohammad Shtayeh congratulated the graduates, saying “Congratulation, my joy today is as a Chairman of the University Board of Trustees for your graduation and because I taught the majority of you. You really are special”. He added “What we have done is arming you to be distinguished competitors. We’re graduating you with a deep Palestinian national dimension in the heart of everyone, adhering to our Arab culture and Palestinian homeland. We are committed to education as it’s the key to end this occupation”.
“Today we are here, and tomorrow the Prime Minister and ministers will be in Gaza Strip to end this black chapter in our history, which is the separation and division, to become a unified Palestine. I believe that President Abu Mazen and my brothers in the central and executive committees, all the Palestinian leadership members in the cabinet and others, our main goal is to work for the success of this reconciliation because our people cannot tolerate disappointments. We don’t want more disappointments so all the effort works to address the difficult files tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, we will begin with the plain in order to get to the hardest and for this effort to complete” he proceeded.
He stressed on the need to reconciliation, saying “There’s an American effort to move the political track, and we’re ready to face any political entitlement, regardless of the US ambassador in Tel Aviv weird statements which indicates their not serious of this team in solving real issues. US administration’s real test is to stop the settlements first. The other test is to end this political process as independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and the right of return for the refugees”.
Dr. Shtayeh proceeded “We are not looking for partial solutions and we’re not looking for a state with temporary borders. We had our share of transitional solutions. This authority was supposed to end on 4/5/1999 and become an independent state, but we still living in a transitional situation. It must end somehow”.
Adding, “Today, we have a great challenge. Number of settlers in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, is 711,000, constituting 25% of the total population. Each village or city is surrounded by number of settlements. Settlers in historic Palestine became 6.5 million last year, while the Palestinians in it are 6.5 million. There is 3.2% increase of settlers in the West Bank. In 2020, we Palestinians will be 52% of the population. Either Israel will accept the two-state solution or we will both slip. President Abu Mazen in his United Nations speech, mentioned that Israel is turning into racist entity in which the conflict and solution dynamics changes. Accordingly, we’re heading into a political situation that’s not easy and the Palestinian leadership is fully equipped to do so”.
“I hope you graduates will do everything you can to succeed in the tasks you are working on. The university has given you an extra quality to improve your performance”, he told the graduates.
He addressed the chairman of university directors board “Congratulation, for your investments” he said. “You, with your brothers and colleagues on the board made this university, making geographical extension from Jenin to Ramallah. Faculty of Maritime Studies will be in Gaza, after accomplishing geographical unity”.
The graduates’ speech by student Mohammad Abu Shamsia, saying “I’m honored to be here. With a heartfelt message of joy and accomplishment, speaking on behalf of my graduate colleagues, class of 2017, today we’re standing on the thresholds of our university saying farewell to a great and hard chapter and getting ready to accomplish our aims”. He saluted the University Boards of Trustees and Directors, who spared no effort to raise the University and its strategy. Making it beacon of science and personality refiner. Greeting, the university academic and administrative elite, who helped achieve the success and excellence vision.
He asked university administrative and academic bodies who instilled confidence in students, calling to be the university best representatives locally and internationally by strengthening this affiliation through feedbacks on educational process progress from students to improve continuously and compete in education quality and effects. Recommending, decision makers and heads of various institutions and companies, to pay attention to youth, keen on the policy of fresh blood and harness new capabilities to achieve comprehensive renaissance.
At the end of the ceremony, Dr. Mohamed Shtayeh, Dr. Yousef Asfour, Dr. Ali Zeidan Abu Zuhri, Governor of Ramallah and Al-Bireh Dr. Laila Ghannam and Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the Arab American University Dr. Abdulrahman Abu Lebded, delivered the certificates to graduates.
- Ameer Radwan Said
- Athar Shareef Hodaly
- Khalid Zraiqi
- Doaa Jameel Al-Deek
- Dema Emad Aldeen Odeh
- Ra’d Isam Badir
- Reem Ahmad Abu-Said
- Sameh Fahmi Sheikh Abdullah
- Sameer Hilmi Fawar’a
- Sana’ Zaki Awadallah
- Areen Abu Alrob
- Azam Ahmad Zaied
- Fadi Asad Ghroof
- Loay Nizar Sisan
- Mohammad Soboh Abu Shamsieh
- Mahmoud Shareef Zaytoon
- Marah Khalil Abu Zeid
- Mays Awwad
- Hisham Qadoumi
- Wisam Yaqob Gatet
- Wala Ghalib Abu Saif
- Walid Basam Odeh
- Hamzeh “Mohammad Ali” Hijawi
- Na’el Abdul-Jabbar Zeidan
- Naiem Taiseer Khalil
- Elaa’ Kabha
- Ameer Zohdi Tamimi
- Anas Mohammad Shawish
- Rahmeh Abdulkarim Salman
- Sufian “Mohammad Attyah” Tamimi
- Seif Ghnaim
- Siren Bashar Jarrar
- Lina Said Mostafa
- Mofeed Mohammad Mostafa
- Monjid Hani Ghaith
- Maisa Ahmad Abu Alrob
- Nigmeh Ahmad Daqam
- Nidaa Ibrahim Fsisi