Rector Prof. Gur Alroey, Dr. Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Prof. Ron Robin
Rector Prof. Gur Alroey, Dr. Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Prof. Ron RobinUniversity of Haifa
University of Haifa and the Bahrain-based King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a partnership that will promote tolerance and coexistence in the Middle East, marking the third MOU that the Israeli university has reached with institutions in the Arab world following the landmark Abraham Accords.

Under the new agreement, University of Haifa and the King Hamad Global Centre will operate special development programs to promote coexistence between Jews and Arabs as well as educational programs to cultivate leadership among younger generations.

“Tolerance and pluralism are the qualities that characterize the campus of University of Haifa, and we are proud and excited about this historic cooperation with Bahrain for the benefit of all the people in the region,” said University of Haifa President Prof. Ron Robin.

Given Prof. Robin’s past experience as vice provost at New York University, where he was responsible for establishing an international campus in Abu Dhabi, University of Haifa has been well-positioned to build off the momentum of the Abraham Accords through forging new academic partnerships in Arab states.

Previously, the University signed two MOUs in the UAE: with Zayed University, in which the institutions will share information and conduct joint projects across a variety of disciplines, including marine sciences, education, and natural-resources management; as well as between the Soraya and Younes Nazarian Library and the UAE’s National Archives and Library, in which the libraries will collaborate on research and cultural activities as well as sharing resources and exchanging ideas.

At the same time, University of Haifa’s own student body is more than 32% Arab, far exceeding the Arab population share of Israel as a whole. The University runs various initiatives that proactively foster coexistence — including the Jewish-Arab Community Leadership Program, which facilitates dialogue and multicultural social interaction between Jewish and Arab students through joint community projects; and the Haifa Innovation Labs, a start-up incubator whose programs focus on social innovation and impact entrepreneurship. These initiatives mirror the broader spirit of Arab-Jewish coexistence in the city of Haifa as a whole.

“Israel in general and Haifa in particular have so many common values with our center and with Bahrain — especially diversity and pluralism,” said Dr. Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence. “Together, we will work to improve our shared destiny, not only for Bahrainis and Israelis, but for the entire Middle East.”