In the framework of its education programs to raise public awareness on risk mitigation, the Seismic Risk Mitigation Project in Palestine (SASPARM) receives groups of school students from different Palestinian schools all over West Bank. During January and February school children from Nablus, Jerusalem and Ramallah visited the Urban Planning and Risk Reduction Centre (UPRRC) at An-Najah National University and were welcomed by the center’s director Dr. Jalal Dabbeek and his team. The visiting students were presented on An-Najah efforts in serving the community through its network of scientific research centers, as well on SASPARM projects and activities in the field of risk mitigation in general and seismic risk in particular. A discussion about the importance of public awareness in facing these risks and decreasing disasters through preventive measures.
In his presentation to visiting students, Dr. Jalal Dabbeek, expressed his appreciation to students interests in the subjects, especially the efforts and achievements of those who participated in the competition on writing essays on natural disasters and society’s responsibilities to face the hazards caused by these disasters. Dr. Dabbeek then presented on the Centre and its facilities; the mission of SASPARM which is coordinated by An-Najah; and on the activities that are implemented in the framework of the program.
Students then were accompanied by Mr. Walaa’ Aj’aj, a UPRRC staff member, in a visit to the Centre, where they viewed its laboratories and a watched a lab demonstration using the Earth Sciences and Seismic Engineering Unit’s vibrating table. To conclude their visit students watched a film about the Centre and the various units within it.
Dr. Dabbeek explained that this visit and such activities are planned in cooperation between the center and other partners in Palestine based on the common belief in the importance of community participation in all phases and aspects of SASPARM’s work packages. He added that SASPARM aims to promote cooperation between Europe and Palestine to create a research infrastructure and to develop and enhance international cooperation in the field of scientific technology and capacity building. He also added that these An-Najah’s involvement in serving the community is part of the efforts offered by An-Najah National University’s network of scientific research and community services centres covering a wide range of life aspects.