Photo: Haim Hornstein
Ben Gurion campus (Archive)
Photo: Haim Hornstein

Jordanian student receives Israeli MA

Dana Rassas becomes the first student from Jordan to complete degree at Ben Gurion University

A Jordanian student has made history by completing her Master's degree at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev this week.


Dana Rassas studied in the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies at the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research and examined the effect of Israel's new desalination program, the university said in a press statement.


"She examined a range of environmental challenges associated with desalination and made concrete suggestions as to what must be done if desalination is to be sustainable," the university added.


Speaking to Ynetnews, Rassas said her Palestinian origins actually made studying in Israel easier.


"At the beginning it was a little bit hard because I was the only Jordanian one there," she said. "It was a little bit easier later on because others came too," she added.


"It's also easier for me because I'm a Jordanian-Palestinian so in my family it's not as a big a taboo to come to Israel," Rassas said.


She added that her friends and family in Jordan had "no problem" with the fact that she was studying in Israel. When it came to looking for work in Jordan, however, Rassas said she would have to be "selective of where I'd work" due to her Israeli degree.


"I didn't tell everyone...But in general, in my close circle, it wasn't an issue. It's a well acclaimed program and it gives me a chance for the future," Rassas said.


Asked whether she thought Israeli students could comfortably study in Jordanian universities, Rassas replies: "Sure, why not? There are great programs in both countries. The best thing is to benefit from them both."


Professor Alon Tal, one of Rassas' thesis advisors, described her as a "uniquely talented woman that showed significant personal courage in coming to Israel as a graduate student in order to acquire the knowledge and skill sets that she will need for her professional future."


"Dana's work is among the very first efforts to understand the implications of this new era into which we have entered – where Israel and its neighbors can now utilize the sea for providing domestic water needs.


"There is no doubt that desalination is going to be an important part of our region's water infrastructure, and it is particularly valuable to have research conducted by a Jordanian about Israel's experience in this area," he added.


פרסום ראשון: 06.21.07, 09:28
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