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About Sina Institute

“Sina Institute for Knowledge Engineering and Arabic Technologies”, in short “Sina Institute”, is a newly established research institute at Birzeit University, Palestine. It aims not only to advance the Palestinian society with innovative technical solutions, but also to contribute to the world knowledge with state-of-art research. The institute’s long term strategy is to be a world-class center of excellence in Arabic Knowledge Engineering.

Sina institute consists currently of two research groups: OnToGroup, and ALTIR Group. The OnToGroup (lead by Mustafa Jarrar, Associate Professor) focuses on Arabic Lexical Semantics, Ontology Engineering, Knowledge Management,  Database and Semantic Web. The ALTIR group (lead by Adnan Yahya, Full professor) focuses on Arabic Language Processing, Information Retrieval, and localized IT solutions for people with disabilities.

It is worth mentioning that although Sina Institute is newly established, it is the largest research center in ICT in Palestine and among few centers in the region specialized in Arabic and knowledge management technologies. The institute has been awarded a grant from Google Int; for its research excellency in Arabic search engines and tools. It is also the coordinator and grant holder of several projects, such as the EU-FP7 SIERA project (for developing multilingual and multicultural knowledge sharing technologies), The Arabic Ontology project (for building an ontology for the Arabic Language), MOSAIC (Establishing platforms to support and link EU Mediterranean ICT industries), The EU-TEMPUS PalGov project (for capacity building in e-governance and establishing the Palestinian e-Government Academy), among several other projects .

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Sina Institute aspires at becoming a world-class research institute and a primary reference for research focusing on Knowledge Engineering and Arabic Language Technologies.


Sina Institute is dedicated to advance human knowledge with innovative research and applications in Knowledge Engineering and Arabic Language Technologies, with attention to the Palestinian and Arab society needs; enabling an environment for faculties and students to realize their highest potential of intellectual development, as well as enriching the educational process of the university with advanced and multidisciplinary courses.


1) Scientific Objectives:

  • Create innovative knowledge and applications, considering the Palestinian and Arab needs.
  • Share and publish scientific output, through reputable scientific journals and conferences.
  • Establish close cooperation with national, regional, and international research centers.

2) Pedagogical Objectives:

  • Establish Master and PhD programs, and co-supervise theses in cooperation with international universities.
  • Facilitate an inspiring environment for faculties and students, and enable them to produce quality research.
  • Introduce new courses and organize summer schools in advance and multidisciplinary sciences.
  • Develop new courses in advance and modern topics and deliver these courses to other faculties and universities

3) Outreach Objectives:

  • Provide Birzeit University departments & institutes with innovative IT solutions to support their R&D needs.
  • Enrich the Palestinian public and private sectors with innovative technologies for a socio-economic welfare.
  • Transfer knowledge and encourage research among other universities and societies.
  • Represent the University and facilitate its participation in international committees and standardization bodies.