An-Najah National University Makes History as Host of the Fifth Global Goals World Cup in the MENA Region
On Monday, August 7, 2023, a momentous occasion unfolded at An-Najah National University as it played host to the fifth Global Goals World Cup in the MENA region. This remarkable event, brought to life through the efforts of the Human Supporters Association and Rise For Good, was proudly sponsored by Jawwal, Cairo Amman Bank, the Palestine Investment Fund, National Beverage Company Coca-Cola/Cappy (NBC), and Arab Palestinian Investment Company (APIC).
The project's profound aim resonates with raising Palestine's prominence and bolstering the role of women within Palestinian society. It achieved this through spirited competition among teams comprising talented young women from diverse local institutions, spanning practical and academic domains. Their collective endeavor centered on advancing sustainable development goals that hold the potential to serve both society and the environment.
This memorable occasion unfolded in the presence of esteemed figures including Her Highness Princess Lara Al-Faisal, President of Rise For Good; Her Excellency Mrs. Magda Al-Masry, former Minister of the Ministry of Social Development; Dr. Amal Jado, Undersecretary of the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Wajdi Yaish, Director of the Human Supporters Association; Palestinian businesswoman Manal Yaish Izraiq; Dr. Hussam Al-Shakhshir, Deputy Mayor of Nablus; Mr. Firas Al-Saifi, Head of the Media Department in Nablus Governorate; Mr. Raed Debiy, President's Assistant for Community Affairs at the University; and Dr. Sulaiman Amad, President of the Palestinian Football Association, North Branch. Also in attendance were members of the academic and administrative bodies, participating teams, supervisors, and enthusiastic students.
In the University's address, Mr. Debiy extended a warm welcome to all attendees and conveyed his pleasure at the strategic partnership with the organizers of the fifth Global Goals World Cup. He emphasized the University's commitment to hosting this event as part of its social responsibility to disseminate sports culture, raise awareness about sustainable development, and promote the power of sport in advancing peace and development goals. He highlighted the University's dedication to integrating sustainable development goals into its educational and developmental policies, recognizing their universal language in addressing global challenges.
Mr. Yaish underscored the project's significance in terms of raising awareness about and achieving sustainable goals. He affirmed that the project's core objective is to empower women and facilitate their instrumental role in earnestly pursuing sustainable development goals that contribute to society, the environment, and the advancement of the Palestinian state. He elaborated on the criteria used to evaluate the competing teams, encompassing their approach toward chosen development goals, creativity in designing team uniforms, fan engagement, football prowess, and goal-scoring ability.
He expressed gratitude to the pioneers who brought the Global Goals World Cup to Palestine, particularly Her Royal Highness Princess Lara Al-Faisal, aligning with the objectives of the Human Supporters Association. He commended the University's role in hosting this event, a reflection of its belief in empowering Palestinian women and propelling positive societal change through the attainment of sustainable development goals.
The heart of the competition beat within the spirited efforts of ten teams. Each participating group showcased their accomplishments and the journey they undertook. Subsequently, the football tournament unfolded on the University's New Campus Football Field, with the teams divided into two groups of five. Ensuring smooth proceedings were female students from the Department of Physical Education, supervised by Dr. Amad, and referees from the Palestinian Football Association.
Claiming the top spots in the total points tally across all criteria were the "Free Pulse" and "Switch" teams. At the close of the tournament, accolades were extended to all participating and triumphant teams, as well as partner institutions.
These victorious teams will go on to represent Palestine in the global arena, competing against ten other countries in the ultimate tournament scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia in December 2023.
The Global Goals World Cup, a five-a-side football competition, embraces teams of women from all walks of life and skill levels, channeling the unifying power of sport toward a brighter, more sustainable future.