An-Najah Takes Active Role in Arab Forum for Earthquake Hazard Prevention
An-Najah National University, driven by its commitment to social responsibility, proudly took part in the inaugural Arab Forum for Prevention of Earthquake Hazards. The event, organized by the Arab Center for the Prevention of Earthquakes and Other Natural Hazards (ACPENH), was held in the Algerian capital on June 5-6, 2023. Mr. Hassan Abu Al-Aila, Head of the National Center for Disaster Risk Management in Palestine, and Prof. Jalal Al-Debik, Director of the Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Center, represented Palestine among other distinguished representatives from various Arab countries.
The two-day forum served as a platform for experts, policymakers, and delegates from the region to gather and exchange knowledge. Interactive workshops were conducted, enabling participating Arab nations including Palestine, Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Lebanon, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Syria, and the Sultanate of Oman to share their experiences, studies, maps, and plans related to earthquakes and risk reduction.
Additionally, the forum facilitated visits to Algerian research institutions focused on earthquakes and earthquake-resistant buildings. Prof. Al-Debik delivered a presentation that shed light on the Palestinian situation, highlighting the challenges imposed by the occupation and the resulting difficulties in land use planning. Furthermore, he provided an overview of significant accomplishments during the period of 2021-2023, including comprehensive risk assessments, map production, development of resilience-building guidelines for cities, strategic planning for disaster risk reduction at the city level, design guidelines for critical infrastructure, fortification and seismic rehabilitation of existing sensitive buildings, national strategic planning for disaster risk reduction, and the formulation of a public awareness plan for disaster risk reduction in Palestine.
During the event, the Palestinian delegation held productive meetings with representatives from other Arab countries. As a result, several recommendations emerged, with the State of Palestine emphasizing the need for countries to evaluate and mitigate potential risks to sensitive and important installations. Additionally, the delegation called upon the League of Arab States and its members to leverage international and regional platforms for disaster risk reduction, in order to raise awareness among the international community regarding the practices of the Israeli occupation.