On behalf of Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates’ Minister of Culture and Youth Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a virtual ceremony on Wednesday with Ron Rubbin, president of the University of Haifa, to work together on programs and research.

The agreement will foster shared information and joint projects across a variety of disciplines, including marine sciences, education and natural-resources management. The universities will also conduct student- and faculty-exchange programs for seminars, conferences and workshops.

Also present were Israel’s Ambassador to the UAE Amir Hayek and UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Mahmoud Al Khaja.

Robin said during the signing, “in the wake of many common challenges facing humanity as we grapple with the climate crisis, this kind of academic cooperation is a way to preserve what all of us call home—the planet.”

Al Kaabi affirmed that the partnership will create “cross-border opportunities for students, faculty and the region as a whole. Together, we can lead innovation with regards to food and water security, marine sciences and environmental sustainability.”

Also present at the signing were University of Haifa vice president of international affairs and sustainability Baruch Marzen and director of government, community and external relations Hila Elroy. Representing the Emiratis were Clayton MacKenzie, Zayed University provost and chief academic officer, and assistant provost for research Michael Allen.

Robin, who as vice provost at New York University was responsible for establishing its international campus in Abu Dhabi in 2010, kicked off his remarks with greetings in Arabic, noting the development is significant for him on both professional and personal levels. He also congratulated Zayed University on its 50th anniversary and added that the University of Haifa is also set to celebrate 50 years in 2022.

“Next year, we will also celebrate the 50th year of the university, and I hope that by then, we can all meet here on our campus on Mount Carmel,” he said.


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