I am genuinely honored by this vote and I am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead.
UNIMED should not be a place where we discuss politics or differences but rather a place where we allocate our resources and experiences and pour our efforts into staying resilient to incorporate technology interventions, plan ahead for the fifth industrial revolution, and combat collective threats like further pandemics, financial crisis, and cyber-attacks.
Our goal is not merely to transfer and export knowledge from one shore of the Mediterranean to the other but to interact, complement and expand our academic efforts to enrich research and equip youth with skills and competencies to combat poverty and unemployment.
During my three-year term as President of UNIMED, I aim to introduce fresh insights and solid perspectives, building on the immense achievements that UNIMED has accumulated and by building on the efforts made by my predecessor Prof. Matte Bon and the previous Board of Directors.
With these inspiring words, the new President of UNIMED, Dr. Kherieh Rassas addresses the audience in her first talk as UNIMED President, on the second day of the UNIMED General Assembly, on March 16th 2023.
Dr. Kherieh Rassas, the first woman covering this role in UNIMED, is the Vice President for International and External Affairs at An-Najah National University since 2007 and a Board Member of An-Najah National University Hospital. An-Najah National University has been an integral part of UNIMED since its inception in 2003, and Dr. Rassas has been personally involved in all its activities and projects since 2007.
We have witnessed UNIMED from its very beginning. We worked closely and learnt a lot from its first pioneer and founder, our late friend Prof. Franco Rizzi who laid the very first foundation of this platform. I was honored to have worked closely with him since 2007 and have learnt numerous lessons that direct my path today.
Along her professional career she has been Personal Advisor to the former Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, and in her roles as an eyecare practitioner in clinics and hospitals – as well as at An-Najah National University – as an academic, dean and founder of the first Optometry College in Palestine, in addition of establishing the only Global Health Institute in Palestine during the pandemic. She has received international awards from two world leaders. In 2005 an award from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for establishing the commuity eye health program in Palestine and, in 2021, she was knighted by the French President Emmanuel Macron the rank of Knight of France’s National Order of Merit, the highest rank granted to French and International figures by presidential decision for promoting French-Palestinian relations at the governmental, educational and private sector levels.
UNIMED President, Kherieh Rassas, will work for the next three years together with the UNIMED Secretary General, Prof. Hmaid Ben Aziza, former Rector of the University of Tunis and to whom the Secretary General position has been confirmed and with the UNIMED Vice Presidents represented by the University of Barcelona (Spain) and by Sapienza University of Rome (Italy).
The Board of Directors that will share the next three-years work is represented by the University of Sétif 2 (Algeria), the University of Cyprus (Cyprus), the Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (France), the International Telematic University UNINETTUNO, the University of Urbino and the International University of Rome (Italy), the Al-Ahliyya Amman University (Jordan), the Lebanese University, the Lebanese International University, the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (Lebanon), the University of Mohamed V of Rabat (Morocco), the Palestine Technical University (Palestine), the University of Evora (Portugal), the University of Sfax (Tunisia), the Istanbul Aydin University and the Bogazici University (Turkey).
The Honorary President of UNIMED, Prof. Wail Benjelloun, Emeritus Professor of Mohammed V University of Rabat, has been confirmed.