Bank of Palestine was the main sponsor for the activities of the Fourth Scientific Conference entitled “Student Researchers: A Window to Creativity,” organized at the Arab American University by the Ministry of Education in Qabatya. The conference was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Education, the Arab American University, Bank of Palestine, civil society organizations, and several school headmasters, teachers, school students and university students.

The conference aimed to demonstrate the results of scientific research conducted by students in the city of Qabatya, which revealed the extensiveness of their experience and their acquisition of scientific research skills and development at the level of their studies. The audience praised the presented research that “competes with that conducted by higher education students in terms of style and methodology,” as described by one university professor.

Mr. Madi Abu Sheikha, the representative of Bank of Palestine at the conference, stated that the aim of the conference and the research prepared by students “reflects our development and the advancement of our students in scientific fields, especially fields led by Palestinian youth.” Abu Sheikha pointed out that education is the light of our hope for a more developed and advanced life in various fields. “Our Palestinian society is rich in individuals who demonstrate creativity in science, research, culture, art, literature and other fields,” stated Abu Sheikha, and “the more we develop the creativities of our children, we increase our ability to deliver an attractive and unique humanitarian and cultural message to the world,” he added.  

Abu Sheikha stated that the bank allocates 5% of its annual profits to corporate social responsibility endeavors, and education forms a major part of this responsibility, and the Zamalah Fellowship Program formed a major part of this responsibility. Zamalah was launched by the bank to contribute to the development of education and the experiences of human resources in Palestinian universities by sending individuals abroad on vocational and training visits, with an aim to increase their performance level, develop their expertise, and acquire experiences from different parts of the world, in order to integrate students in the job market and respond to society’s need for human capacities.

Abu Sheikha pointed out that “so far, over 181 researchers, administrators, technicians and academicians from different Palestinian universities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were sent on the fellowship program.” The program also managed to attract many experts from around the world to come to Palestine and conduct training courses. “Over 50 scientific research papers were published, and networking was created with several international universities, including Coventry University in the United Kingdom and the Polytechnic University in New Zealand,” added Abu Sheikha.

The conference came out with a recommendation stressing the importance of scientific research in schools in order to create a generation of strong researchers, calling upon universities and institutions to support student researchers.