University of Haifa
University of HaifaMatanya Tausig/FLASH90

United Arab Emirates Minister of Education, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi visited Israel’s University of Haifa last week as part of a delegation of Emirati senior officials who came to learn more about the University's renowned marine sciences research and remarked how education is the antidote for challenges in the Middle East and throughout the world.

"We’re delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with you; education is the future," Minister Al Hammadi said. “All over the world and in the Middle East, we have great challenges ahead. Education is the way to manage them. Through education, tolerance and advocating for peace, we can live together. I’m sure we’re only beginning to develop this relationship.”

University of Haifa President Prof. Ron Robin agreed, adding, “Israel and the UAE have much in common. Both countries are situated alongside the sea, which is a source of food, water and energy. There is no doubt that as we continue to contend with today’s climate change challenges, the sea is the future.”

The delegation, led by Minister Al Hammadi, visited the University’s Morris Kahn Marine Research Station and learned about the importance of deep-sea research amid the background of growing concern for climate change. President Robin said he hopes to build on the working relationship that already exists between Israel and the UAE, and that a future joint research station will open in the Persian Gulf.

Prof. Dan Tchernov, Founder & Scientific Director of the University’s Morris Kahn Marine Research Station, explained why the sea is so critical to the future of the earth’s sustainability as a source of food and water, and emphasized the importance of nurturing “green” technologies in order to maintain the health of the oceans.

Additionally, Dr. Yizhaq Makovsky, a senior lecturer at the Strauss Department of Marine Geosciences and The Hatter Department of Marine Technologies, presented the University’s underwater robotics that are capable of reaching three kilometers below the ocean’s surface, while Dr. Tali Treibitz, who heads the Marine Imaging Lab in the Department for Marine Technologies at the University's Charney School of Marine Sciences also presented her research on underwater vision enhancement solutions based on state-of-the-art algorithms and technologies.

Meanwhile, Prof. Israel Finkelstein, head of University of Haifa’s School of Archeology and Prof. Deborah Cvikel presented findings from a shipwreck during the Islamic Golden Age and 1,500-year-old urns inscribed in Arabic. Since the inscriptions were difficult to decipher, the delegation gladly took photos of them and promised to report back on what they mean.

Earlier this month, University of Haifa also signed an academic cooperation agreement with the UAE's Zayed University which will emphasize environmental issues and spearhead joint research between faculty and students.