On Thursday May 3rd, AIES students had the opportunity to travel to the Dead Sea and meet 16 students from the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business. The Saskatchewan students are part of a special course entitled Mining and Entrepreneurship in Israel and Jordan – An International Tour. The Dead Sea Works factory produces 3.7 million tons of potash every year, which was one of the driving points for their trip. Assaf Zohar, a guest lecturer of the Arava Institute and head of the Masters in Sustainability program at Trent University, initiated this partnership between the two groups. To read more about the Canadians’ ten day trip to the Middle East, feel free to check out their student blog at http://esbtour398.ca/.
The students and interns of AIES recently returned from a two day Dual Narratives PELS trip to Jerusalem. The group traveled to the area of Jerusalem and the West Bank in order to hear a large range of perspectives regarding environmental issues and the conflict in the region.
On the first day, students helped to collect 200 bags worth of garbage in Jabal Mukaber as part of an alumni clean-up day with local youth. Afterwards they heard from two speakers working for Engineers Without Borders who told the group about upcoming projects involving biogas and cleaning up the polluted watershed in Kidron Valley. The group then headed to Silwan to meet with Rotem Moore, an Israeli who guided a trip around the heavily disputed neighborhood, and Doron Spillman and Eddie Aloni held a lecture/discussion section on the relevant issues. The tour finished at the home of a Silwan native, who related his personal experiences of living in an area of conflict. At the end of the long 12 hour day, Brian acted as DJ for a dance party to help students let off steam from the thought-provoking day.
- After several months of planning, Ben Gurion University approved the Arava Institute academic program as a minor in “Environment and Society”. Starting this fall semester 2012 students can study one year at the Arava Institute, and the courses will serve as a minor (hativa) and will be officially part of their undergraduate program.
- The Arava Institute was officially approved this month as a branch of the Foreign Ministry’s MASHAV program. As a branch of MASHAV, the Arava Institute will be offering three or four courses every year in various topics related to sustainable development including water management, sustainable agriculture, and renewable energy to participants from developing countries around the world. We were honored this week to host Mati Cohen from the Foreign ministry MASHAV program to kick off the Arava Institute’s new project.
Thank you to Brian Hoefgen and Tess Zinnes for your photos, and to Brian and Shannon for your updates!!