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Friday, October 26, 2012

Arab Israelis saving the world

Arabs aren't stupid - their politics are.

Here are three examples of what smart Arabs worldwide could be doing if they would just decide to make peace with Israel and work together with the Jewish state instead of against it.

From Israel21c:
Arab-Israeli scientist Amal Ayoub is going for the gold –not aiming for a medal in an Olympic sport, but to help cure cancer.

Ayoub’s startup, Metallo Therapy, is premised on her earlier research showing that metal nanoparticles – especially gold – introduced into malignant tumors can enhance the effects of radiation therapy while reducing damage to neighboring healthy cells.

“Gold is a big atom containing a lot of electrons,” she explains to ISRAEL21c. “Under radiation it can absorb the rays better than smaller atoms can, and its electrons can emit secondary radiation efficient in destroying the cancer cells.”

Working with two Arab-Israeli employees – a male chemical engineer with a degree from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and a female biologist – Ayoub is perfecting a method to produce the gold nanoparticles efficiently on an industrial scale, and has developed a molecule to coat them so that they do not cause toxic interactions with body tissues.

Isn’t gold a very expensive material to work with? “Yes, but since we are talking about very small amounts — a couple of milligrams — the price is not an issue,” she explains. “It’s the same cost as developing any other drug.”

So far, she’s done all this with three years’ worth of funding provided by the Israeli Chief Scientist’s Office through the NGT Technology Incubator in Nazareth, the only applied sciences company devoted specifically to the Arab-Israeli community’s scientific, technological and entrepreneurial potential.

In addition, Metallo Therapy recently received $300,000 from the pharmaceutical division of Arkin Holdings, a fund established by Israeli healthcare entrepreneur Mori Arkin, to begin advanced animal trials using mice.
Also from Israel21c:
In the unrelenting Middle East sun, one thing is very clear when you build a new home: it must work with the elements. Standing the test of time are traditional Arabic buildings that kept families and worshippers cool for centuries, long before air conditioning was invented.

A new “green” teaching and research center in the Israeli-Arab town of Sakhnin showcases some of the best traditional approaches to construction in the hope that it will inspire modern building practices. And on a less concrete level, the building is seen as a “green bridge” between the Arab and Jewish communities.

The Union of the Mediterranean recently awarded it first prize in a competition on energy conservation.

Architects anywhere can pick up on traditional Arab building techniques as a means to improve building efficiency, says Hussein Tarabeih, director of the Towns Association for Environmental Quality (TAEQ) for the six Arab-Israeli towns in the Beit Natufa Valley in the Lower Galilee. This is the association that commissioned the building.

We have a lot of energy-saving elements built into the building,” Tarabeih tells ISRAEL21c. “And it was important for us that we use the community. We conducted a survey asking them what they wanted and involved the older people quite a bit. The truth is that much of the knowledge on the traditional elements has been lost so we had to learn from the beginning. But this is one of the purposes for creating this building. We wanted to preserve the old traditional techniques.”

From NoCamels:
Arab-Israeli company Yafa has developed a unique way of harvesting the sun’s energy for clean energy purposes. The company’s founder, Salih Manasra, has recently won a prestigious European Union EUREKA (Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration) grant for this innovation.

Yafa Energy, a four-person company, is the first Arab-Israeli firm to win the EU grant, which was awarded to Mansara by Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office, and he hopes it will be the first Arab-run company to put energy into the hands of people who need it most.

After two decades of work with such automotive giants as Opel and GM, developing innovative efficient car engines, Yafa engineers, alongside a German partner, have developed a kind of solar trough, which collects energy from the sun.

The solar thermal energy is converted directly to steam to drive turbines in factories, or cool industrial processes, while additional energy derived from the system is turned into electric power that can be used by the factory or sold back to the grid.

The hybrid system aims to make a solar thermal system cost-effective, smart and capable of radically changing energy usage by manufacturers of traditional commodities like cement, textiles and edibles. These industries tend to be based in poorer countries, operate in hot climates, and consume more energy than high-tech industries.

Manasra says that Yafa Energy hopes to use its Arab-Israeli team to crack into the Middle Eastern market, approaching countries like Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Jordan. The company has already obtained the attention of the World Bank’s International Financing Committee, which recognized the technology as a “product of major interest.” The World Bank is involved in negotiations toward a commercial deal in Jordan, where solar thermal energy is recognized as a renewable energy priority.
Three stories, all from this past month, all about brainpower of less than 1.5 million Arabs in Israel using the state's educational and research infrastructure.

Imagine what hundreds of millions of Arabs across the Middle East could accomplish if they got rid of their hate and decided to work together with their neighbors in Israel.