Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:48PM
The Gaza Strip is now home to one of the United Nations scientific chairs. An ceremony has been held in the Islamic University of Gaza to mark the chair's inauguration.
Gaza's Islamic University has witnessed a special scientific event, the first of its kind in the Arab world. UNESCO chair in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences is a joint venture with two more Gazan academic institutions the al-Aqsa and al-Azhar universities. Palestinian astrophysicist and former NASA scientist, Suleiman Baraka, is the Chair holder. Dozens of Palestinian scientists attended the event along with foreign visitors. One of the main objectives of this UNESCO chair is to promote teaching, research and activities in astrophysics, astronomy, and space sciences throughout Palestine. Observers say the UNESCO chair will grant Palestinians specially the children of Gaza an opportunity to reach the outside world. Last year, UNESCO admitted Palestine as its 195th member. The United States immediately responded by cutting off funding for the agency. For Palestinians events such as this one are bringing them closer to fulfilling their dream of statehood. Attendants here say that this new Palestinian achievement is a direct result of Palestine's acceptance as a full member of UNESCO in late 2011.