Groundbreaking Israeli-Palestinian academic cooperation goes forward

November 28, 2006

The First Middle East Symposium on Dental Medicine - a breakthrough in cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian academics was held Nov. 27 in Jerusalem despite the existing tense political situation.

The symposium, focusing on dental implants, was held under the auspices of the Dr. Walter Cohen, DDS, Middle East Center for Dental Education of the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine.

The symposium is a further expression of the budding relationship that has been launched between the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Al-Quds University, involving in particular the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine and the Al-Quds University Faculty of Dentistry, the first Palestinian school of dental medicine. Under a new agreement between the two schools, significant contacts involving collaboration between senior academics and students in research as well as in teaching and clinical work are being implemented.

Collaborating in the symposium were Case Western Reserve, Drexel and Harvard universities and the University of Pennsylvania in the U.S. and Hacettepe University in Turkey. Leading multi-national companies in dental equipment supplies provided $90,000 in financial support for the event. Internationally known academic figures in dental treatment and research from the U.S., Turkey, France, the U.S., Israel and the Palestinian Authority presented papers at the symposium.

This program is a further expression of the joint statement issued last year in London by the presidents of the Hebrew University and Al-Quds University, Prof. Menachem Magidor and Prof. Sari Nusseibeh, respectively, for continuing efforts "to work together in the pursuit of knowledge for the benefit of our peoples" and to oppose academic boycotts or discrimination.

"We can build bridges at the level of professions and live in peace as human beings. We must be a model for others," stated Prof. Adam Stabholz, dean of the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, and Prof. Musa Bajali, dean of the Al-Quds Faculty of Dentistry. "As dentists, we know that occasionally a bridge may fail due to a diseased abutment. The decayed abutments of the previous bridges will be replaced by the implants we shall place, guided in their placement by our belief in the ability to work together."

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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