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5 December, 2011

Ambassador Tim Fischer, Australian Representative to the Holy See Visits Bethlehem University

Tim FischerOn Friday, 25th November, Bethlehem University welcomed Mr. Tim Fischer, Australian diplomatic representative to the Holy See. Welcomed by Bethlehem University officials, Fischer was given an introductory tour of the campus, followed by a luncheon in the Institute of Hotel Management.

The visit and lunch was hosted by Vice President for Development, Brother Jack Curran, who presented to Fischer several Bethlehem University alumni, who work in various sectors in Palestine, including within the University itself. (Names provided below).

Tim FischerVisibly heartened by the optimistic attitudes exuded by the graduates, Fischer noted that “There is hope here.” Graduate and dean of the Business Administration, Dr. Fadi Kattan stressed the need to educate his students for creativity, in order to exploit opportunities present and create opportunities where there are none. “We cannot feasibly manufacture goods, here in Palestine,” agreed Assistant Vice President for Development, Mr. Isaac Sahhar. “We have to create different kinds of products that we can offer the world.” Many of Dr. Fadi’s students have gone on to open different kinds of enterprises, such as their design and print shop, owned by David ’95 and Selena ’98 Nour. “We offer a high quality product and competitive rates which can even attract customers in the UK, which has happened.” The Nours also design and print the University news magazine, a semi annual publication. “In Palestine, we are doing other things than just politics. We are businessmen, family men and many other things. People need to see this side of Palestine – not just the politics.”

Ms. Raphaella Fischer, who studied on a scholarship to Georgetown University, further stressed the importance of how important it is that people, such as Ambassador Fischer, actually visit Palestine and see just what is actually happening and what it has to offer. Ambassador Fischer, an very ambitious man, showed appreciation for the eagerness of graduates to achieve for themselves and their nation. “There is hope for small economies, such as Bhutan. You can also look to the Nokia story for inspiration. It is important that you also maintain your positive attitudes, as did Nelson Mandela, who does not harbor bitterness, in spite of what he suffered.” An accomplished author and politician, Ambassador Fischer lives up to his word. Bethlehem University thanks Ambassador Fischer for his inspirational visit and for copies of his book Seven Days in East Timor: Ballot and Bullets.

"It is important that you also maintain your positive attitudes, as did Nelson Mandela, who does not harbor bitterness, in spite of what he suffered.”

Alumni attending the lunch were Ms. Haneen Musleh ‘07, Alumni Relations Officer; Ms. Rapheala Fischer ‘07, Faculty of English; Ms. Angela Abu-Aita (MICAD) ‘11, Dean of the Business Faculty, and Dr. Fadi Kattan ’90. Alumni, who have maintained their relationship with the University were Mr. Elias Mukarker ’07, Mr. David Nour ’95, Ms. Selina Nour ’98 and Mr. Daoud Nassar ’96, currently known for being the brains behind the Tent of Nations, an educational farm based in southern Palestine.


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