A rare opportunity: Israeli and Afghan educators meet in China

Hebrew U President Ben Sasson: Science is an international language that can serve as a bridge between peoples and nations.

December 9, 2013 22:26
1 minute read.
Hebrew U and Kabul University presidents meet in China

Education conference in China 370. (photo credit: Hebrew University)


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In a rare show of academic cooperation, Professor Menachem Ben Sasson, president of Hebrew University, met this week with Professor Habibollah Habib, president of Kabul University in Afghanistan.

The meeting was held during a conference at the Confucius Institute in Beijing, China.

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According to Ben Sasson, “a meeting between representatives from Israel and representatives from Afghanistan is not something to be taken for granted.”

The Hebrew University president was thrilled to have “the rare opportunity to sit down with the president of Kabul University and discuss bilateral relations and possible collaborations between the Hebrew University and Kabul University.”

During the hour long meeting, the two discussed policy and geopolitical problems facing Afghanistan and Israel, as well as the similarities in dealing with border disputes and neighboring countries. The two also talked about the importance of science to both Israel and Afghanistan, due to the lack of natural resources in both countries.

“Israel and Afghanistan may be perceived as enemy states, but science is an international language that can serve as a bridge between peoples and nations. It is our obligation as researchers to encourage scientific cooperation of this kind,” said Ben Sasson.

Ben Sasson presented a variety of original documents, written by Albert Einstein, about the theory of relativity, the establishment of Hebrew University and the offer to serve as president of the state of Israel. Einstein was one of the founding fathers of HU and bequeathed his personal archives and writings to the university.

More than 2,000 attendees, including university presidents and Confucius Institute representatives from over 110 countries, attended the conference sponsored by the Chinese government.

The Confucius Institute promotes Chinese culture and language in higher education institutions throughout the world.

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