Letters from HUAP

Ms. Reem AbuKmeil

Technical coordinator, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Palestine Office by February 2020, Appointed as a Hokkaido University Partner in November 2016

It was a sincere honor to be selected as a HU Partner. I cannot express enough how grateful I am to my supervisor Prof. Naoyuki Funamizu for his solid leadership and support during my stay at HU. Being a HU Partner is a great chance to disseminate my HU story and what I have done after coming back to many passionate young people in my hometown, Gaza, who strive for education having different academic backgrounds.

I am a Palestinian from Gaza. We are eleven in total, six sisters, three brothers and my parents. I got my bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from the Islamic University in Gaza in 2012. I travelled to Japan in April 2013, enrolled in e3 program*, and got my master’s degree in environmental engineering from Hokkaido University in 2015. This program succeeded in giving me a break from the monotonous research life by enjoying various events. Such events help me to promote international exchanges between foreign and Japanese students. I acted as a financial manager for the e3 social activities for one year. This opportunity gave me a strong bridge to formulate friendships with many international students. It was a unique experience communicating with different cultures and backgrounds. My stay at HU really felt like home.

I got a position to work for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Palestine Office, where I reflect the knowledge and confidence of HU to lead environmental projects in Gaza, Palestine. My education at HU was the reason I became who I am now: confident and realistic. So, from the bottom of my heart, I hope I can help in facilitating many other talented Palestinians to experience the amazing chance of HU, which stands as one of the top universities in the world. I will continuously encourage many young people in Palestine to enroll in graduate studies at HU.

Education at HU empowered me to realize the control and direction I can instill once back in my country. Holding a master’s degree in environmental engineering, I was a minority in Gaza. I have been working in a sector that many think I am unable to endure with its kind of work environment. My first big mission was to lead the medical waste management project in Gaza through the JICAPalestine Office. I was the only female working in this field. I want to change the stereotype of women in the workforce in my community and show that women do well in leading society.

HU is a charming place with magnificent nature. I come from Gaza where it is considered one of the most crowded areas in the world. Once I arrived in Hokkaido, I was absolutely amazed by the power of nature. I heartily consider Sapporo as my second home town.

There are remarkable differences between my current city, Gaza, and Sapporo. As a semi-arid region, in Gaza, we never experience the snow, whereas Sapporo is really cold in winter and very snowy. It was a unique experience for me to enjoy the astonishing Sapporo snow festival each year. My city is located along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The terrain of Gaza is flat with the highest point being only 105 meters above the sea level, whereas Sapporo is surrounded by a number of mountains, as well as many rivers. Both Sapporo and Gaza have amazing tastes in sea food, but in Gaza we don’t eat raw fish. Sushi in Sapporo has an exceptional taste. It is very fresh and tasty hontoni oishi.

I believe learning is the weapon we should equip ourselves with. So, I invite you to explore the many possibilities in the engagement of Palestinian universities with HU.

* English Engineering Education Program: Degree program in English for postgraduate level education to cover almost all fields of engineering. At present, about 250 courses are available in English for 203 students from 43 countries including Japan.








 ガザと札幌には大きな違いがあります。まず、ガザは半乾燥地帯で雪は降りませんが、札幌の冬は本当に寒く雪が多いです。札幌雪まつりを楽しめたことは得難い経験でした。また、ガザが地中海沿岸にある平地で最高点は海抜わずか105 メートルなのに対して、札幌は多くの山と川に囲まれています。さらに、ガザでもおいしいシーフードを味わうことはできますが、生の魚は食べません。札幌の寿司は格別の味です。


* English Engineering Education Programの略称。工学院に設置されている「英語特別コース」で、日本を含め43ヶ国から203名の学生が在籍(2019年現在)している。