As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the health situation all around the world, the Palestine Young Academy (PYA) decided to hold its first virtual General Assembly and Inauguration Meeting and nomination of the new Members with the presence of PYA Advisory Board, PYA Selection Committee and attended by many academics from Palestine and the world including Palestinian in Diaspora. The meeting included several sessions scattered on 2 days from January 15 to 16 2021.
The PALAST President HE Minister Dr. Marwan Awartani opened the General Assembly by thanking the entire PYA family for keeping the energy of their initiative, continuing to develop the PYA goals and getting prepared for all the events planned in the future. He emphasized, within the scope and outlook of the Academy as it matures, is an addition of a Young Academy under its auspices. The rationale behind the Young Academy is two-fold: To early-on promote and give visibility to promising Palestinian scholars at home and abroad; while providing an intellectual “home” for the next generation of scientists from the diaspora to engage with Palestine in the Arts, Science and Technology.
Afterwards, Dr. Thabat Khatib, a co-founder of PYA, presented Palestine Young Academy (PYA) in a more detailed manner. According to Dr. Khatib, Palestine Young Academy was established in December 2019 as an independent initiative with the support of PALAST in order to stimulate ideas that connect Palestinian scientists and enhance the capabilities of the academic community and young academics in Palestine and abroad. She stressed that the missions of PYA are providing a voice for young Palestinian researchers in Palestine and the diaspora and building a bridge between policymakers, academics and the rest of the Palestinians through initiating a policy-dialogue strategy. She also illustrated the objectives and visions of the academy as well as explained that the logo of PYA was inspired by the Palestine sunbird. Lastly, she emphasized on the hierarchy of PYA.
The meeting included keynote Speaker Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh, addressed his speech on the importance and role of international academies around the world, as well as he clarified the current situation of a group of diverse research and their difficulties they faced, and stressed that Palestinian researchers are interested to have a collaborative cooperation at home and with various partners around the world aiming to raise scientific research and Palestinian researchers at home and abroad.
Following that, Dr. Abdalhadi Alijla, PYA Co-founder, welcomed 9 new members, and thanked the selection Committee for their efforts in nominating them according to criteria, taking in consideration their research record and diversity.
At the end of the first day, Dr. Shadi Albarqouni, PYA Co-founder, announced the results of PYA President and Executive Committee election. PYA members also elected a new Executive Committee (EC), including the first PYA Chair, using the online voting programme “Election Buddy”. The Chair elected for 2021 is a member of the founding committee. The new Chair is Dr. Sandy Lama, and the EC included the following:
On two consecutive days, the General Assembly Meetings were held to address PYA activities, especially the three working groups that were established during the discussions; namely:
- Health and Society
- Digitalization and Innovation
Also a Task Force Meetings were held to nominate PYA members in three Committees:
The meeting also included an orientation session for Writing a Research Grant Proposal, presented by Dr. Samer Raddad, that will take in PYA consideration to strengthen the research infrastructure at Palestinian institutions.