The idea and initiative for the institute came from Dr. Sari Ghanem, a Palestinian mathematician born in Jerusalem and a French citizen. Dr. Sari Ghanem is born in Jerusalem yet with an Israeli passport – a situation which is uncommon for Palestinians in Jerusalem who usually do not have any form of citizenship –, went to a Palestinian Catholic elementary and middle school in Jerusalem – yet, his family comes from a Muslim background, and he himself is a non-religious absolute Agnostic –, thereafter, at the age of fourteen, he attended the secular French high school in Jerusalem, then moved to France for his undergraduate and graduate education, got impregnated with French culture and became a French citizen. He also spent four years in the United States of America during his graduate studies and during part of that time, he was a Research Assistant at Yale University, and completed his Ph.D. at Université Paris VII Jussieu in France. Thereafter, he worked at the Max-Planck Institute in Germany, and now he works at the University of Hamburg.
Dr. Sari Ghanem
While pursuing his research in pure mathematics, Dr. Sari Ghanem wishes for young Palestinians to have equal opportunities in mathematical research at the highest international scientific level. Currently, there is not one single Palestinian in the world who has attained the level of a research full professor in pure mathematics at an international level, and there is almost no one in applied mathematics. Since Dr. Ghanem thinks that separation is a tool of power designed to keep the “inferior” inferior, he decided to overcome this by promoting top quality mathematical activities between Palestinians and persons from all backgrounds and communities including primarily Israeli individuals, however AKNI will not work with the Israeli governmental institutions. Consequently, Dr. Ghanem founded the Al-Khwarizmi-Noether Institute, a non-profit and non-governmental world class institute for mathematics.
It is part of the registered founding articles of the Al-Khwarizmi-Noether Institute that Dr. Ghanem will always remain volunteer, working on a purely voluntary basis without any payment for any of his activities whatsoever, but he can hire persons with a salary to work for AKNI. The officially registered goals of AKNI were composed by Dr. Sari Ghanem. The institute has several objectives, the main one being the promotion of mathematics in Palestine and among Palestinians in the world, ultimately leading to Palestinian and Israeli individuals working together, on equal terms, on mathematical research projects. AKNI also wishes to encourage women and minorities of all kinds (ethnic, sexual orientation, etc . . .) to engage in mathematics. Finally, AKNI would like to support the study of the mathematics educational system in Palestine so as to improve math education everywhere in the world. The goals of AKNI are:
- to promote top quality mathematics, research in mathematics, the tradition of teaching and learning mathematics, and the culture of mathematics, in Palestine and among Palestinian communities elsewhere in the world;
- to promote full equality based on universal human rights between Palestinians and Israeli individuals, by dialogue through mathematical activities between Palestinians and other communities including Israeli individuals, however AKNI will not work with the Israeli governmental institutions;
- to promote diversity in mathematics and support the role of Palestinian women in mathematics; to promote as well the participation of minorities in mathematics, whatever their religion, ethnic origin, colour of skin, sexual orientation or gender are;
- to promote the study of the Palestinian educational system to the benefit of promoting mathematics in the Palestinian educational system and also in other educational systems in the world.
The members of the Al-Khwarizmi-Noether Institute are: first class research Professors; Associate Professors; Assistant Professors; Postdoctoral fellows; instructors and lecturers; graduate and undergraduate students; educators and administrators to run the institute. The Professors of AKNI are only extremely serious mathematicians at the highest international level.
The Scientific Advisory Committee of the Al-Khwarizmi-Noether Institute comprises Professor Sir Michael F. Atiyah (Fields Medal, 1966), Professor Laurent Lafforgue (Fields Medal, 2002), Professor David B. Mumford (Fields Medal, 1974) and Professor Edward Witten (Fields Medal, 1990).