Zayneb Al Shalalfeh, a 2016/17 Said Foundation scholar, recently participated at the first international meeting organised by Scientists for Palestine. Scientists for Palestine is an emerging international organisation created by and for scientists to promote science and support the integration of Palestine into the international scientific community.
On 5-7 January 2018 over 40 scientists from across the world all convened at the University of Cambridge to discuss on how to strengthen science in Palestine and further develop collaborations with the international community. The participants were from different universities and research institutes including Birzeit University, Bethlehem University, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Science for the People and the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) - a research institute in Germany.
During the two day conference several industry experts were invited to discuss their research projects and share their experiences of working in the scientific field in Palestine. Said Foundation alumna Zayneb was invited to present on her dissertation thesis “Governance and sustainable water development in Palestine: pre-paid meters for improving equability of distribution”. Discussions throughout the conference focused on the challenges facing the sector in Palestine, the need for greater international efforts to supporting science and the importance of developing strategies to better enhance it in the future.
One of the main outcomes of the meeting was to create three different committees, each with the aim of strengthening and promoting science in Palestine. The first committee focussed on education and schools, the second on mentoring and exchange programmes (with a particular focus on increasing and supporting women involvement) and the third outreach and media. Zayneb joined the Mentorship and Exchange programs committee and her role includes participating in setting the strategy of this committee and fundraising. It will also involve the mentorship of Palestinian undergraduates on research, academic writing and career advice.