The BA Opens the "Science Diplomacy for the Arab Region" Workshop
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina witnessed yesterday the launch of a regional workshop on "Science Diplomacy for the Arab Region", organized by the Library’s Center for Special Studies and Programs (CSSP) and the World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries' Arab Regional Partner (TWAS-AREP), from 24 to 26 October 2023.
The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. Ahmed Zayed, Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina; Dr. Mahmoud Sakr, President of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT); and Dr. Sabah Al-Momin, Vice President of the World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries’ Arab Regional Partner (TWAS-AREP).
Dr. Zayed said that the Arab region is witnessing major challenges that transcend borders. He pointed out that political practices are insufficient with regard to solving world problems, as some of them exacerbate and overlap with other social, psychological and cultural problems.
He also stressed the importance of culture and science in providing basic alternatives to solving world problems, hence the importance of science diplomacy, as scientists contribute to solving these problems in their own ways.
In his speech, Dr. Mahmoud Sakr said that the closest definition of science diplomacy was developed by the late scientist Ahmed Zewail, who said that it is "the use of the soft power of science to build new bridges of cooperation between peoples."
In her speech, Dr. Sabah Al-Momin said that science diplomacy stems from the role of science in facing global challenges and problems, while guiding politicians to make decisions based on scientific facts and evidence.
The opening speeches of the workshop were delivered by Dr. Hesham El-Askary, Professor of Remote Sensing and Earth System Science at Chapman University, USA; Dr. Rafia Ghubash, President of the Arab Network for Women in Science and Technology; and Dr. Najwa Turki, Professor of Physics at the University of Tunis El Manar. The session was moderated by Prof. Yousry El-Gamal, former Minister of Education.
It is worth mentioning that the workshop aims to discuss the concept of "public diplomacy" in the Arab region and the role it plays in addressing local and regional issues such as climate change, the food crisis, scientific research issues, etc.