Birzeit Secures $1 Million Donation to Renovate Main Stadium
Birzeit University has received a $1 million pledge from Palestinian scientist, businessman and philanthropist Mr. Ali Elhaj, for the partial renovation of the University’s Main Stadium and associated naming rights.
Over the past three years, the Elhaj family has provided numerous scholarships to Birzeit students. “My family and I wanted to do something bigger and better; something that has a higher impact; in the country of our birth,” he explained.
Mr. Elhaj pointed out that this contribution is intended to help youth obtain technical and life skills that they need to find opportunity and succeed in life. “Universities are about the development of the individual as a productive member of his or her society. In this regard, sports play a fundamental role in teaching the ethics of positive competition and fair play.”
He added: “We chose Birzeit for many reasons: the dedication of Mr. Hanna Nasir, Chairman of the Board, in affording a quality university experience to Palestinian students through Birzeit University; and the fact that I attended Birzeit, albeit briefly, where I loved and respected the diversity and freedom of expression that the University afforded to its students.”
It is anticipated that construction and development work will be completed within the upcoming 12 months, with the formal opening of the Ali Elhaj Stadium scheduled for the summer of 2017.
Mr. Elhaj was born and raised in the town of Atara near Birzeit. He studied for one year at Birzeit University in 1979-1980, prior to departing to the U.S. to complete his education. He currently resides in the U.S. with his wife and family. A highly successful businessman, Mr. Elhaj is the Group CEO of a multinational corporation specializing in the manufacture of electrical and electronic automotive equipment.