Palermo University delegation visits Aqaba
Trip marks launch of cooperation between institution, ASEZA14 January, 13:29
(ANSA) - Aqaba, January 14 - An Italian delegation headed by Professor Roberto Lagalla, the chancellor of the University of Palermo, has visited the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA). Professor Kamel Mahadin, the Chief Commissioner of ASEZA, announced that this important visit marks the launch of collaboration efforts between Aqaba and the University of Palermo.
ASEZA signed an agreement with the university in which both parties agreed to cooperate in the academic and technical fields. The agreement includes programs for the exchange of knowledge and experience between both parties.
"Academic cooperation, particularly with the University of Palermo, Italy's second-largest university, is of great benefit for Aqaba in every way," Mahadin noted.
The University of Jordan, the University of Palermo and ASEZA are to cooperate on establishing a faculty of Medicine in Aqaba.
Mahadin also announced the establishment of a number of technical committees mandated to determine the technical requirements, documentation and data needed to establish a Faculty of Medicine at the University of Jordan in Aqaba. He added that this agreement is particularly important now that the Prince Hashim Bin Abdullah Hospital is fully operational in Aqaba, with another hospital is coming up as part of the Marsa Zayed project.
Professor Lagalla spoke of the excellent reputation Jordan has as far as higher education and the medical field is concerned, noting that Palermo University is set to do its best to advance academic and medical cooperation with the University of Jordan, particularly in Aqaba.
"We can develop means of cooperation between both universities in the fields of postgraduate programmes and PhD programs and maximize on the accumulative knowledge and experience that both parties have in ways that capitalize on the common Mediterranean culture both counties have," Lagalla said. The Italian delegation accompanied by Mahadin also visited the Prince Hashim Hospital, which is run by the Royal Medical Services, and received a detailed brief about the hospital's facilities and the excellent capabilities it offers should it become a teaching hospital to support the soon-to-be-established Faculty of Medicine.
The Aqaba Development Corporation, the central development arm of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, is also part of the cooperation agreement as it plays a significant role in achieving the vision for Aqaba under the ASEZA umbrella.
It is important to note that Dr. Mahadin has signed a number of cooperation agreements between ASEZA and economic, tourism, and industrial institutions in several cities in the Italian region of Sicily.
Mahadin and a delegation he led from Aqaba conducted visits on the basis of King Abdullah II's directions to build and develop international cooperation ties between Aqaba and other cities to promote economic and cultural cooperation.
In Sicily, Mahadin met with Sicilian Governor Rosario Crocetta, members of the Sicilian regional assembly, the CEO of Trapani-Birgi Airport and the presidents of several chambers of commerce and industry.
Mahadin spoke of the strategic importance of Aqaba to Jordan and to the region and explained the competitive advantages of Aqaba as a business hub and leisure destination.
He also listed the numerous investment opportunities Aqaba offers, ranging from tourism and real-estate development to education, health, light industries, transport and logistics.
During a visit to the University of Palermo, Mahadin and his delegation met Lagalla and spoke of the deep relations between Italian and Jordanian universities in the educational field.
Mahadin stressed the importance of universities from both counties cooperating together.
Palermo, the second-largest university in Sicily with over 50,000 students, can play a significant role if a training and student exchange programs between it and Aqaba universities are applied.
Professor Lagalla welcomed Mahadin and the delegation, expressed appreciation for the visit and he spoke of the importance of creating training and capacity-building in different specialties and fields, including tourism, culture, the environment and beach management.
He also showed great interest in the growth Aqaba is witnessing.
At Trapani Airport, one of the largest airports in region thanks to its connections to Europe and Africa that deals with around two million passengers annually, Mahadin received a detailed brief about the airport.
During the trip ASEZA, represented by Dr. Mahadin, signed three twinning agreements with the cities of Paceco, Aci Castello and Alcamo.