The President of Birzeit University, Khalil S. Hindi, paid a visit to Al Habtoor Group Chairman, Khalaf Al Habtoor along with a delegation from the well-known Palestinian university on Sunday March, 17. Hindi was elected President of the Ramallah-based University for a five-year term in 2010. Accompanying him on the visit was Samir N. Abdulhadi, a member of the board of trustees at Birzeit University who has known Al Habtoor for more than four decades; Dr Ghassan Khatib, Vice President for Advancement at Birzeit University and Manal Issa, Director, Advancement Office, Birzeit University. Present from the Al Habtoor Group was Noura Badawi, Director of Media and Communications, Al Habtoor Group; Abdul Salam Al Marzooqi, Director of Community Relations and May Al Bouflasa, Community Relations Officer.
The delegation from Birzeit University, who know how strongly Al Habtoor is committed to the Palestinian cause, briefed the Group about the current situation in Palestine and the difficulties in Ramallah in particular – especially when it comes to the educational challenges. Hindi explained that 20 of the 24 buildings on the Birzeit campus where funded and built through individual funding. He added that the University is very pleased with its accomplishments and its graduates. However he expressed concern that once the students graduate, they tend to look for jobs internationally as the job market is strained due to the political situation at home. He added though, that the money earned internationally helps fight the Palestinian cause as the new graduates send money back to their families living there.
Al Habtoor said, “I have been a loyal supporter of the Palestinian cause for decades. Unfortunately the Palestinian authorities are weak and dismantled. I urge all the parties to work together for the good of Palestine and the people who are struggling every day. Working together is the key to a successful government.”
“It is not necessarily about financial aid,” he added. “What is needed is a five to 10 year plan for the Palestinian people. I would like to see all the Palestinian parties unite to achieve this goal.”
The delegation said they would send a proposal to Al Habtoor for the university. The Al Habtoor Group Chairman said he is committed to the cause and would help in any way he can.
Professor Hindi PhD, DSc, is Palestinian and British. Born in 1944 in Tantura (Haifa), he lived with his family as refugees in Tulkarm, Palestine, from 1948 to 1962. Having won a scholarship, he then moved to Lebanon to study at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He lived in England from October 1971 till October 2002, when he moved to AUB before taking up the presidency of Birzeit University.
Birzeit University is a Palestinian-Arab institution supervised by an autonomous Board of Trustees that is responsible for it and decides its policies. The University is committed to excellence and encourages creativity, experimentation, innovation, accomplishment as well as team work and democratic practices anchored in pluralism, freedom of expression and respect for others.