ICTP is deeply saddened to learn about the killing of Professor Sufyan Tayeh and his family in Gaza. “This is a great tragedy. Tayeh was a prominent researcher in theoretical physics and applied mathematics and was the President of the Islamic University of Gaza, the largest university in Gaza,” said ICTP Director Atish Dabholkar, adding, "He visited ICTP in 2001 and again in 2004 as a fellow in our Training and Research in Italian Laboratories program. He had recently been appointed the UNESCO Chair for Physical, Astrophysical and Space Sciences in Palestine."
Tayeh earned his bachelor's, master's and PhD degrees in physics from the Islamic University. He was the head of that university's physics department from 2008 to 2011, and was appointed president of the university in August 2023. His research had earned him international recognition: Tayeh was winner of the Palestine Islamic Bank Award for Scientific Research for the years 2019 and 2020, recipient of the Abdul Hameed Shoman Award for Young Arab Scientists and the Islamic University Award for Scientific Research for the year 2021.
“Tayeh was a mentor and inspiration to several researchers coming to ICTP," Dabholkar continued. "There are a number of young scientists from the region on our campus today who are in great distress with an uncertain future and no place to return to. On behalf of ICTP I appeal to the international community to find an urgent resolution to this humanitarian crisis to ensure long-term peace, security and justice for all citizens of the region."
"ICTP has been playing an active role in promoting international understanding through science," said Dabholkar, adding, "A shining example is the Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) in Jordan, which offers an alternative vision for the future of peaceful coexistence and cooperation."
Director Dabholkar underscored the importance of ICTP's role as a meeting point for scientists from around the globe speaking the common language of science which makes dialogue possible. "We will continue to be a safe haven for scientists suffering from political strife or social upheavals," he said.