Students, staff forge Italian connections in exhibition focused on innovation, research

Birzeit University students celebrated Italian Research Day and marked 500 years since the passing away of famed Italian artist and thinker Leonardo da Vinci in an exhibition organized by the External Academic Relations Office and the Deanship of Student Affairs together with the Consulate of Italy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. 

The exhibition focused on five themes that showcase Italy’s continued efforts in research and development: space, health, food, culture, and the environment. 

President of Birzeit University Abdullatif Abuhijleh stressed the importance of establishing and maintaining academic cooperation with international partner universities, adding that the university’s longstanding ties with Italian universities have resulted in joint research projects and faculty- and student-exchange programs. 

Highlighting the university’s Italian language courses, Abuhijleh noted that such extracurricular events help facilitate the students’ understanding of foreign languages and broaden their horizons.  

Fabio Sokolowicz, head of the Italian mission at the Consulate General of Italy in Jerusalem, praised the exhibition as a celebration of both, scientific innovation created by Italians throughout history and the cooperation between Birzeit University, the Italian consulate, and Italian universities. 

Amir Khalil, external academic relations officer at Birzeit University, welcomed that the event fosters an understanding of Italian culture and improves the students’ learning of the language. Additionally, the exhibition bolsters relations with Italian partners, he noted. 

Discussing the impact of the exhibition, Eleonora Iacorossi, the attaché for economic, commercial, and cultural affairs at the Italian consulate, expressed appreciation for the event’s encouragement and stimulation of scientific research, adding that last year, the Italian government has provided seven Ph.D. scholarships for Palestinians to pursue higher education in water and sanitation studies.