Palestinian university students celebrate sporting achievements in ceremony on campus

More than 500 students from various Palestinian universities commemorated the end of the collegiate sports season on Monday, July 29, 2019, in a ceremony organized by Birzeit University together with the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and the Palestinian University Sports Federation. 

Featuring students from Birzeit University, the Arab American University, An-Najah National University, the Palestine Polytechnic University, Al-Quds University, Al-Istiqlal University, and the Palestine Technical University - Kadoorie, the ceremony paid tribute to the sporting achievements of Palestinian university students in regional and international competitions. 

In his welcoming remarks, Mohammad Al Ahmad, Birzeit University’s dean of student affairs, praised the efforts of students in national and international contests, lauding that their achievements have solidified Palestine’s status in international sporting circles. 

Al Ahmad also highlighted the role the Palestinian University Sports Federation plays in promoting and encouraging student engagement in a wide variety of sporting activities. 

Jamal Shaker, head of the sports federation, gave a brief overview of its mission and objectives. The federation, as he explained, was established in 1996 and operates under the supervision of the ministry of education to promote sports engagement among university students in Palestine. 

Today, Shaker added, the federation maintains partnerships with 11 Palestinian institutions of higher education and oversees 1500 university students who engage in sports activities in Palestine and abroad. In the future, he said, the federation aims to further bolster sports engagement by introducing athletic scholarships and establishing more sports centers on university campuses across Palestine. 

Raed Barakat, director of tertiary education at the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, emphasized the role of sports in stimulating students and in providing them with leadership and teamwork skills that will help them lead their local communities and build the future Palestinian state.