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August 20, 2021 3:38 pm
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Haifa Nursing School to Welcome First Emirati Woman to Study at Israeli University

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Sumaiiah Almehiri speaking from her home in Boulder, Colorado. Photo: Twitter screenshot

The Israeli embassy in Dubai on Friday introduced the first Emirati woman to attend a university in Israel, days after the United Arab Emirates and the Jewish state marked the anniversary of their 2020 normalization deal.

“Sumaiiah Almehiri, the first female Emirati student to attend an Israeli university. Hear out her story!,” tweeted the General Consulate, linking to video of her speaking in Arabic.

“Blessed Friday and Shabbat Shalom,” she said. “I want to tell you that I am attending the University of Haifa, I am coming to Israel, [and] I want to meet you.”

An electrical engineer hailing from the UAE and Boulder, Colorado, Almehiri said she is also the founder of the first Arabic-Hebrew language exchange program in the Gulf.

“And, God willing, I will be the first [female] Emirati student that will study in Israel,” where she will specialize in nursing at the University of Haifa in the hopes of becoming a midwife.

The “best thing” she has learned about Israeli society, Almehiri said, is that it is a “multi-religious society.”

“Multicultural, multiracial, there are Muslims, there are Jews, there are Christians, there are Druze,” she continued. “I want to be among the beautiful society, the tolerant, the diverse; God willing, soon.”

August 13 marked the one year anniversary of the Abraham Accords, the US-brokered deal to open diplomatic relations between Israel, Bahrain, and the UAE. Since then, bilateral trade between the UAE and the Jewish state has reached $712 million, with Israel aiming to bring that figure to $1 billion by the end of the year.

Responding to Almehiri’s video, the Israeli government’s Arabic-language Twitter account said, “It is a great honor for you to choose to study at the Israeli University of Haifa, where the atmosphere of coexistence and pluralism that prevails in your country, the UAE, awaits you.”

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