Dr. Iman Saca has officially assumed her role as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bethlehem University, succeeding Dr. Irene Hazou, who held the position since 2012.
With over two decades of experience in academia, Dr. Iman brings a wealth of knowledge and a multidisciplinary approach to her new role. Her expertise in archaeology and anthropology has been instrumental in safeguarding and promoting Palestine’s archaeological and cultural heritage. She has actively engaged with local communities, raising awareness about the significance of preserving this rich heritage.
Dr. Iman’s academic journey began with a Bachelor’s degree in archaeology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She continued her studies, earning both a Master’s and a Doctorate in archaeology and anthropology from the University of Illinois, Chicago, where she stands as one of the few Palestinian women specializing in Middle Eastern and Palestinian archaeology.
Her professional journey has seen her work extensively in Palestine, including the Palestinian Department of Antiquities and in various Arab countries. She played a pivotal role in the UNESCO World Heritage listing of the Al Zubarah archaeological site in Qatar. In Palestine, she contributed to the preparation of the Battir village file for inclusion in the World Heritage List. Currently, she serves as an international consultant and expert for the nomination of ancient Jericho as a World Heritage site.
Dr. Iman’s commitment to Palestinian institutions, both domestically and internationally, is unwavering. She particularly emphasizes the important role of educational institutions and institutions that focus on documenting and preserving tangible and intangible heritage.
In her vision for Bethlehem University’s future, Dr. Iman aims to align the university’s academic programs with the needs of Palestinian society and the job market. This involves the introduction of new programs and the adaptation of existing ones. She also plans to foster partnerships with local communities, public and private institutions and universities to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, resources, and experiences.
Since research is a vital part of any university, Dr. Iman will work to encourage and promote scientific research, enhancing scholarly productivity within the university, and strengthening international collaborations in the fields of education and scientific research.