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Her Royal Highness Princess Somaya Bint al-Hassan, the President of the Royal Scientific Society, sponsored the opening of the 5th International Conference on Medical Engineering in the Middle East and Africa (MECBME) 2020. The conference was organized remotely by the Hajjawi Faculty of Technological Engineering at Yarmouk University in collaboration with the Institute of the Electrical and Electronic Engineers in Jordan (IEEE) and the Engineering Branch of Medicine and Biology in Jordan (IEEE EMBS Jordan Chapter).

Speaking at the opening session of the conference, her Highness stressed the need to explore more effective ways for providing scientific information in accurate and attractive ways and for promoting the dialogue between scientists and society. She emphasized the need to strengthen the field of medical engineering in order to be able to have a skilled scientific workforce for the future. Her Highness praised then the great efforts of the medical engineering staff of the Royal Scientific Society who serve our beloved country and congratulated the students of Princess Sumaya University of Technology on the occasion of obtaining the first place in the world championship in the IEEE Xtreme competition.

In his turn, the President of the University, Prof. Nabil al-Hillat, thanked Princess Somaya Bint al-Hassan for her generous sponsorship of the opening of the conference , which is an opportunity for engineers, researchers, scientists, medical experts, and decision makers to exchange experiences, open channels of cooperation and investment, work to meet current and future challenges, and create better opportunities for future generations.  He stated, "the time has come to emphasize the importance of the outstanding contributions that biomedical engineering makes to the development of healthcare institutions and to maintaining the highest standards in engineering systems and applications that directly affect our health".

The chairman of the preparatory committee for the conference, Dr. Awad al-Zaben, welcomed the participants in the conference and noted that this conference brings together distinguished figures and scientists from different countries around the world. He then explained that the first day of the conference will be attended by three distinguished keynote speakers, namely Dr. Nitish Thakur of Johns Hopkins University in the United States, Dr. Emad al-Abini of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, USA, and Dr. Mohammed Odeh of the University of the West of England in the United Kingdom. He added that the conference will include 33 papers divided into seven axes, namely medical imaging, medical signal processing, medical imaging processing, medical devices and techniques, bioinformatics systems and artificial intelligence, artificial limbs, and biomechanics. He also mentioned that the papers submitted through the conference for publication will be presented to the IEEE Xplore Digital Library and indexed in Scopus.

The opening events, which were held remotely under the direction of Dr. Mohammed Al-Abed of The Hashemite University, were attended by Dr. Muwaffaq al-Omoush, the Dean of al-Hajjawi Faculty of Technological Engineering, Dr. Muwaffaq al-Otoom, and a number of faculty members at the faculty and a group of its students.

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During his reception of Dr. Muwaffaq al-Ajlouni, the International Advisor of the Accreditation Authority of Universities, Institutes and International Schools of the United Kingdom and its Inspector General Ambassador, Yarmouk University's President, Prof. Nabil al-Hilat, confirmed that part of the university's strategic plan is to move forward towards quality and international reliability in all disciplines and academic programs. He stressed that Yarmouk University has the ability and requirements to gain the accreditation and enhance its academic status, rank, and reputation.

Al-Ajlouni emphasized the importance of getting the accreditation of (ASIC) for Yarmouk University as it contributes to university's status and reputation among other international universities and scientific center. He pointed out that gaining such an international accreditation should positively reflect on the University graduates as it may help them compete in the labor market. He added that the accreditation should help the university strengthen its cooperation with other universities accredited by the Authority and attract more international students.

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The Jordanian Journal of Educational Sciences whose editor in chief is Dr. Shadia Al-Tal of the Faculty of Education at the University and that is published by the Deanship of Scientific Research and Graduate Studies at Yarmouk University, receives the accreditation criteria for Arcif, a comprehensive database providing citations of peer reviewed academic journals in the Arab world that complies with the (31) international standards. The Journal was ranked third in the Arab world out of the (681) total number of journals under Arcif, and its rank was (0.9559), according to the annual 5th report for journals for 2020.

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The University's Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Prof. Riad al-Moumani, patronized the graduation ceremony of the participants in the third session of the psychological and social support project implemented by the Refugees, Displaced Persons and Forced Migration Studies Center in partnership with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), for 12 Jordanian and Syrian trainees.

During his speech, al-Moumani stressed that Yarmouk University has been a distinguished leader in its scientific and academic career and has served the society and the humanity by supporting all activities with societal and humanitarian projects. He added that given the negative effects of wars, conflicts, and crises in the world, there is a need for the psychological and social support, whether at the level of individuals or family and community relationships as it strengthens personality and relieves the physical and emotional suffering.

Dr. Anas Al-Subh, the Director of the Refugees, Displaced Persons and Forced Migration Studies Center, said that despite the challenges posed by the Corona pandemic, the center worked within the framework of the psychological, social and trauma support project in Jordan of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and completed the third phase of this program for 12 trainees of Jordanian and Syrian nationalities. He added that this course included four comprehensive units to cover the different aspects in the context of refugees and keep up with the development technologies.

Dr. Christine of the GIZ pointed to the importance of the psychological support for the individual and society, especially in these difficult circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, which has had its economic impact on families and several psychological effects on children and mothers.

Hanan al-Nimrat, one of the participants in the project, thanked Yarmouk University and GIZ for participating in this training, stressing the event's importance in adding a lot of new skills on both the personal and professional levels. However, at the end of the ceremony, al-Moumani handed the certificates to the trainees participating in the project.

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The conference entitled "Prolonged Displacement - Hopes, Aspirations and Solutions" was remotely organized through zoom by the Refugees, Displaced Persons and Forced Migration Studies Center at Yarmouk University in cooperation with several institutions, namely the German-Jordanian University and the Syrian-Jordanian Education Program (EDU-Syria), the Academics in Solidarity Program at the Free University of Berlin (AIS), the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the German Agency for Scientific Exchange (DAAD), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The conference, which was supported by the German University Project Office at the University of Magdeburg-Stendal for Applied Sciences, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and the European Union, addressed several issues associated with asylum and displacement and their implications.

On the first day of the conference, two sessions were held. The first was entitled "Prolonged displacement as a regional and international phenomenon," and it was conducted by the German Jordanian University whose Vice-President for International Affairs, Prof. Ralf Roskov, explained that the main objective of the conference was to highlight the main issues and challenges related to the fate of refugees, thereby contributing to enhancing the response of the host communities to refugees. Prof. Roskov focused on the role of the social action and the activities of the civil society institutions in promoting the mental and psychological health of refugees. He then expressed his thanks to the Center for Refugees and Displaced Persons at Yarmouk University for its important and active role in supporting refugees and implementing projects that are concerned with empowering refugees and enhancing their abilities, pointing out that the German University of Jordan and Yarmouk University have carried out many joint projects in this field, as evident in the Syrian/Jordanian education project (EDU-Syria), which has provided the opportunity for many Syrian refugees to complete their university studies.

Dr. Anas Al-Subh, the director of the Refugees, Displaced Persons and Forced Migration studies center reviewed a set of figures on the reality of asylum and displacement in the world, noting that at least 80 million people around the world have been forced to leave their homelands in the past 10 years and that 26 million refugees have been registered under UNHCR records. Al-Subh said that the war in Syria left 6.6 million displaced people by the end of 2019, explaining that Lebanon hosted (1 out of 7) refugees, Jordan (1 out of 15) refugees, while Turkey (1 out of 23) refugees.

Dr. Diya’ Abu Tair, the project officer of the (EDU-Syria), explained that the project provides scholarships for Syrian and Jordanian refugees who are less fortunate to pursue higher education or participate in vocational training programs in Jordanian universities and colleges. He explained that the project began in 2015 and will continue until 2023, adding that the (EDU- Syria) is an educational and humanitarian project funded by the European Union and that it supported more than 1,000 graduates so far.

Dr. Floren Costal of the Academics in Solidarity program at the Free University of Berlin, Germany, spoke about the program that aims at establishing a network of researchers in Germany, Lebanon, and Jordan and at strengthening the research and scientific cooperation among them, which opens up new horizons for researchers and enables them to learn about other cultures and civilizations.

For his part, Mohammed Sayasana, a Syrian student studying at Yarmouk University, reviewed his experience in facing the challenges and difficulties he faced since coming as a refugee to Jordan in 2013, pointing out that he was able to obtain a scholarship to complete his university studies in the Department of Civil Engineering at Yarmouk University as part of the international projects that focus on empowering refugees in the educational aspect.

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