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Saturday, July 4

We need Nature but Nature doesn't need us
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Wir brauchen die Natur aber die Natur braucht uns nicht
We need Nature but Nature doesn't need us
نحن بحاجة للطبيعة ولكن الطبيعة ليست بحاجة لنا 

I like this slogan which I saw in many places. My 13 day trip to Europe comes to an end after visiting 10 cities including 9 museums of Natural History and several botanical gardens and giving over a dozen lectures. It was tiring, exotic, beautiful, and productive. Most of all I thank the many, many kind people (hard to list over 100) who helped me along the ways with hosting, with time, with ideas, with books, and much more. The potential for collaboration with the great European museums is very high. Excellent people there and we need their support. I miss Palestine and now I am thinking about the hundreds of follow-up items I have to do from this trip and many more accumulated for me because of my absence from Palestine (museum, students, volunteers etc). I stop by in Jordan to visit my friend Zuhair and for a potential small/minor surgery. I look forward to see colleagues upon my return and to welcome any of the global visitors who wish to see us including those who like to volunteer.
 
Good news: Now is the time to apply to two master programs that I am affiliated with
- Master program in Environmental Biology at Birzeit University http://registration.birzeit.edu/ar/admission/MA
- Master program in Biotechnology at Bethlehem University http://www.bethlehem.edu/academics/science/biotechnology

According to survey that we did for UNESCO and the Ministry of Higher Education in 2012, Research & Development in Palestine suffers from significant obstacles but has certain potentials and possibilities for improvement. We highlighted that certain areas are missing even from the poor structure of R&D in Palestinian areas. These include R&D in sectors like biodiversity, agriculture, and healthcare (including environmental issues affecting human health). Creating the human resources in these areas is critical. At Bethlehem University we created a minor in medical technology in the biology department (for Bachelor Degree) and (with the Polytechnic University in Hebron) established a Master Program in Biotechnology. The Palestine Museum of Natural History and the Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS) at Bethlehem University were established in 2014 to research, educate about, and conserve our natural world and our Palestinian culture and heritage, and to use this knowledge to promote responsible, empowered human interactions with all components of our environment. Thus, we now have an integrated system for research and education to address areas in need in Palestine: healthcare, environment, and agriculture (especially permaculture). Thank you to those of you who responded to volunteer your time and in some cases your money for the Palestine Museum of Natural History (palestinenature.org). The museum is important to present young people with alternatives to the harsh reality and a new way of looking at themselves and their environment (empowerment and nature conservation). Things are moving along: a beautiful garden is flourishing, animals are happy in natural settings, research is expanding, we were nominated for an environmental award and for membership in many professional societies, our database is growing, students are here learning every day, and much more.  But we could still use your help in many areas so do contact the museum via info@palestinenature.org and do come visit us in Palestine where we would be happy to host you.

United Church of Christ Votes (80%) to Boycott & Divest from Companies Profiting from Israel's Occupationhttp://www.uccpin.org/#!pressrelease/c1a36
http://www.ucc.org/news_general_synod_israel_palestine_resolution_06302015
But the Episcopal Church Bishops gathering in Chicago ignored theology and justice and calls from Palestinian Christians and succumbed to pressure in rejecting calls for BDS

Israel once again commits an act of state piracy in the Mediterranean
https://freedomflotilla.org/news/25-israel-once-again-commits-an-act-of-state-piracy-in-the-mediterranean

The Obama administration has clearly stated it will not enforce the ant-boycott language of the Trade Bill it signed, which extends protection to the disputed territories.[sic]
http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-wont-enforce-anti-bds-provision-language-in-trade-bill-he-just-signed/2015/07/01/

Stay human...

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Professor and Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH)
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS)
Bethlehem University
Sustainability, Youth Education and Empowerment
http://www.palestinenature.org
info@palestinenature.org
Tel 970-22773553


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