The University of Haifa and the Bahrain-based King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence signed on Wednesday a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to launch a partnership that will “promote tolerance and coexistence in the Middle East,” marking the third MOU that the Israeli university has signed with academic institutions in the Arab world following the landmark Abraham Accords.
Under the new agreement, the University of Haifa and the King Hamad Global Centre will operate “special development programs to promote coexistence between Jews and Arabs as well as educational programs to cultivate leadership among the younger generation,” Haifa U. stated.
“Tolerance and pluralism are the qualities that characterize the campus of the University of Haifa, and we are proud and excited about this historic cooperation with Bahrain for the benefit of all the people in the region,” said University of Haifa’s President Prof. Ron Robin.
Haifa University has previously signed two MOUs in the United Arab Emirates, with Zayed University, in which the institutions will share information and conduct joint projects across a variety of disciplines, including marine sciences, education, and natural-resources management, and with the Soraya and Younes Nazarian Library and the UAE’s National Archives and Library, in which the libraries will collaborate on research and cultural activities as well as sharing resources and exchanging ideas.
The University of Haifa noted that its own student body is more than 32% Arab, far exceeding the Arab population share of Israel as a whole (20%). The University runs various initiatives that “proactively foster coexistence” — including the Jewish-Arab Community Leadership Program, which facilitates dialogue and multicultural social interaction between Jewish and Arab students through joint community projects, and the Haifa Innovation Labs, a start-up incubator whose programs focus on social innovation and impact entrepreneurship.
“These initiatives mirror the broader spirit of Arab-Jewish coexistence in the city of Haifa as a whole,” the University said.
“Israel in general and Haifa, in particular, have so many common values with our center and with Bahrain — especially diversity and pluralism,” said Dr. Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence. “Together, we will work to improve our shared destiny, not only for Bahrainis and Israelis, but for the entire Middle East.”
Several other Israeli academic bodies have signed MOUS with institutions in the UAE and Morocco in wake of the Abraham Accords.