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Science4People project in Bethlehem University



From: News Italia

Date: 09/02/2017


The first Science4People project, promoted by Sunshine4Palestine (S4P) NGO, took place at the Bethlehem University in Palestine last week.

The project aims to raise the interest of non scientists in science.

University students from various disciplines are trained to be trainers to inspire pupils from primary and secondary schools by demonstrating the science that lies behind everyday phenomena with simple, practical hands on demonstrations that encourage rational thinking.

The S4P team believes that bridging the gap between scientists and people encourages the involvement of non scientists in public decisions that relate to the future of scientific development, and thus of the living conditions of the community.

The S4P team is composed of five Italian scientists based at the University of Vienna, three Italian communicators who work in Italy, and an English physicist.

The one week long seminars lasts are divided in three sessions: a theoretical physics introduction, a workshop on scientific communication techniques, and an experimental session. 

Dr. Michel Shoukri Hanania and Prof. Michael Shibli Sansur opened the seminar and expressed their interest in the implementation and further development of the project. Barbara Capone, CEO of Sunshine4Palestine, presented the project objectives and the activities of the NGO in Palestine which included the design and installation of a photo voltaic plant on the Jenin Charitable Hospital in Shujaia, in the outskirts of Gaza city, making the structure energy independent in one of the areas most massacred by the 2014 bombing.

While Israel is again heavily bombing the Gaza Strip and its parliament proclaims as legal the misappropriation of others land, the University of Bethlehem shows the positivity of today's Palestine under military occupation. 

Bethlehem University is frequented by Catholic Christians and Muslims in peaceful cooperation between each others. Its fine architecture symbolises the importance given to education in Palestinian culture. As about 75% of the students are women, the group of students taking part to the seminar were interested, involved and lively interactive girls. 

The interfaith interaction, the high level of education among women and the efficient symbolic architecture, while clashing with the living conditions under military occupation, show the resilience of this people. 

In the beautiful and recently expanded University library is a “glass porthole”. Instead of bricking up  hole in a wall hit years ago by an Israeli mortar, the University has  fitted glass, keeping it in remembrance and as an example, a source of light for the darkest of days.

In the upcoming days the Sunshine4Palestine team will meet the mayor of Bethlehem and visit the three refugee camps in which are living tens of thousands of Palestinians, who have suffered the expropriation of their homes and their land by Israel. 

The team, while training the students for scientific dissemination, will learn from the Palestinian people how resilience is the main ingredient against Israeli power and international complicity.

It is S4P hope that, through mutual exchange of knowledge and awareness, the seed for future collaborations will flourish.

Mia Immagine

Patrizia Cecconi
Bethlehem, 09/02/2017

Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine