University celebrates innovative, entrepreneurial students

Ghadeer Nimer, a fifth-year mechatronics student, and Ula Saleem, a fourth-year accounting student, were awarded the Gabi Baramki Award of Excellence and the Yousef Nawas Award for Innovation, respectively, for their innovative spirit and community engagement in a ceremony held on Wednesday, June 19, 2019. 

Nimer created a small business selling hand-made bags with custom designs, and volunteered with many community-based charities and voluntary organizations, while Saleem taught herself graphic design and was able to turn her hobby into a job with contracts with many private-sector companies. 

President of Birzeit University Abdullatif Abuhijleh praised the entrepreneurial spirit of the students and their sense of community toward Birzeit University and the broader Palestinian society, and reminded them that the university will always stand by its students and support during and after their studies. 

The Gabi Baramki Award of Excellence, named after the late Gabi Baramki who served as acting president of the university from 1974 to 1993 and supported all aspects of education in Palestine, aims to honor distinguished students in three major domains: scientific (academic) excellence, excellence in community service, or excellence in university service.

The Yousef Nawas Award for Innovation was launched by Birzeit University in 2006 to encourage creativity and ingenuity in all fields. To be considered for the award, candidates must be regular students who have earned at least 80 credit hours at the university; must have a cumulative grade point average no less than 80 percent; and their contributions to the community must be unique, adapted to the Palestinian context, and of an interactive nature.