Maldivian President Visits Birzeit University

The Republic of Maldives President Dr. Mohamed Waheed and his accompanying delegation visited Birzeit University (BZU) on June 5, 2013, and met with BZU President Dr. Khalil Hindi, management staff, faculty members and students.
Hindi briefed the guests on BZU’s history, faculties and offered majors, in addition to its role in community service. He emphasized BZU’s interest to develop its relations with various universities around the world.
The Administrative staff briefed the Maldivian President on BZU’s academic status and future plans, as well as its cooperation relations with worldwide universities, hoping to boost academic relations with the academic sector in the Maldives.
The Maldivian President expressed his admiration for BZU’s progress in light of the prevailing difficult political circumstances in Palestine. He spoke about Maldives islands, which amount to more than 1,100 islands, known to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
The university administrators explained the dilemmas and obstacles facing higher education in Palestine, most importantly the Israeli occupation and its military orders that prevent attracting qualified faculty members from abroad, whereas Palestinian universities can recruit only Palestinians holding Palestinian IDs, who are allowed to reside in the country. Moreover, the Israeli occupation does not allow Gazan students to study at West Bank universities, in addition to precluding the entry of laboratory scientific and medical materials needed for academic purposes, hindering the development of the practical aspect of students’ university studies.
The management staff talked about the financial obstacles and crises afflicting the Palestinian universities, and the difficulty of fund-raising for developing the educational sector, due to the deteriorating economic situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Maldivian President met with BZU students and professors, addressing the deepening of Maldivian-Palestinian academic relations. The meeting was concluded by presenting souvenirs to the Maldivian President and his accompanying delegation.