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Book details
  • SubGenre:Educators
  • Language:English
  • Pages:308
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667800455

The Journey

Finding Relevance through the Pursuit of Learning

by Saleh Jabarin

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This book is intended to document my story for my children and grandchildren. There will be a time when they become interested in finding out more details about their own heritage and family history. It is becoming increasingly clear that there must be a cooperative approach in solving issues facing nature and humanity between educational institutions and private industry. I was fortunate to have performed that function through my academic career at the University of Toledo. Community service and engagement can be a very rewarding experience. In this book, there are many examples of that type of service. These examples may inspire younger generations to take on additional responsibilities for the service of the community.
After my retirement from teaching and research at the University of Toledo, I made a resolution to become a serious reader of non-scientific books. Among the first books I read was Searching for Fatima: A Palestinian Story, by Dr. Ghada Karmi, a physician and a political activist in London, England. Dr. Ghada was born in Jerusalem, Palestine in 1939. She and her family lived in a villa in a nice section of Jerusalem. The neighborhood was a mixture of Arabs, Jews, and Europeans who worked for various consulates and embassies. In 1949, the war for Israeli independence led to violent outbreaks in multiple neighborhoods in Jerusalem. The Karmi family fled to Syria, since Ghada's mother had extended family in Syria. In Jerusalem, the Karmi family lived a very comfortable life as the father was working in the Ministry of Education of Palestine under the British Mandate. Fatima was a maid who helped caring for the three Karmi children. When the Karmi family migrated to Syria, Fatima had to go back to her village outside of Jerusalem. The children missed Fatima so much, especially Ghada, who treated Fatima like her mother. The Karmi family left Syria a year later to settle in London, England. Their father worked in the Arabic section of the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). The children enrolled in local schools. Ghada finished graduate school with a medical degree and started to practice medicine in London. She was also attracted to writing and being an advocate for the Palestinian cause and a political activist. She became a well-known person in the circles of various activists of Arabs, Jews, and other nationalities. Ghada takes a trip to visit Jerusalem to search for her family's house as well as Fatima. The book Searching for Fatima captivated my imagination. As I was reading the story, I was reminded of the similarities of Dr. Ghada Karim's experiences and my own situation―age, fleeing from our homes, migrating to villages, Palestinian refugee hardships, and the description of Arab life and culture. I continued to read her other books, such as Return and Married to Another Man. I became fascinated with her writing style. She presented the Palestinian experience in such a strong and convincing manner. I was sharing my feelings about her books with Linda Mansour, a close friend. Linda was able to connect with Dr. Karmi on Facebook and introduced me to her. Dr. Karmi asked me to briefly tell her my story. I wrote a few pages describing my background, my family's experience in 1948, my journey to―and accomplishments in―the United States. My children and friends strongly encouraged me to finish writing my story. This book is the result of my effort. I must extend a great thank you to Dr. Ghada Karmi for her inspiration. I usually spend my winter months of January through March in Bonita Springs, Florida. On February 16, 2019 at the start of my morning walk, I saw a neighbor standing in front of his garage. The city had recently been required to put in a water main and residents had been put under a water boil advisory. I asked the neighbor, after greeting him, if he knew when the advisory would be lifted, and it would be safe to drink the water. He thought seventy-two hours, which meant this day around 3pm. The municipal water department was supposed to give us a blue note to that effect. He was skeptical if they would do that on a Saturday. He then asked, "What is your home origin?" "I am a Palestinian Arab," I said. He told me that he knew people from Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Then he asked, "What brought you to our country?" I recounted my schooling and my professional experiences in the United States since 1962. The neighbor was formerly a minister in Cincinnati, Ohio. He and his wife winter in Florida, since they are retired. We said our greetings again and I continued my walk. I hope this book gives the minister and all of the readers the complete reason for me coming to the United States.
About the author
Dr. Jabarin is the founding director of the Polymer Institute and professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of Toledo. He holds a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Dartmouth College, a master's degree in Polymer Science from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. He has fifteen years industrial plastic research and development experience, ranging from fundamental plastics R&D and product development to manufacturing start-up and support. Prior to joining the University of Toledo in 1987, Dr. Jabarin was manager of the Plastics Technology Department and Owens-Illinois There he served as the principal researcher and author of a number of patents and trade secrets which resulted in successful commercial products and licensed technologies for Owens- Illinois. Dr. Jabarin was the driving force in planning, organizing, and financing the 1987 establishment of the Polymer Institute. He initiated and coordinated industrial and university contributions and responsibilities. Since that time, as its Director, he has been responsible for planning, budgeting, staffing, directing, supervising and allocation of the Institute's technical resources for conducting research and development projects for the industry on a contractual basis. Dr. Jabarin is also the director and the lead investigator for the PET/Polyester Industrial Consortium and the Active Barrier Consortium which have enjoyed the support of national and international companies. The consortium research objectives are to discover new applications, improve barrier properties, as well as processing and property improvements for the versatile polyester materials. Overall research income generated by the Polymer Institute since 1987 exceeds $12M. Dr. Jabarin has served as the principal and/or co-principal investigator for major projects. Funds generated from these projects alone total over $6M. His research interests are in the areas of polymer science, technology and engineering with a special emphasis on the interrelationships among polymer processing and polymer structure and properties. He teaches courses in Chemical and Environmental Engineering at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. 36 M.S. and 16 Ph.D. students have completed their research under his direction. Dr. Jabarin is the author of more than 100 technical papers and presentations, and holds 35 U.S. and foreign patents. Dr. Jabarin was elected Fellow of the Society of Plastics Engineers in 2007. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Blow Molding Division of The Society of Plastics Engineers in 2005, the 1991 International Institute's "Key to the Golden Door" award, The University of Toledo's "Outstanding Faculty Research Award" in 1995, Best Paper Presentation at the 1992 Annual Meeting of The Society of Plastics Engineers, Blow Molding Division, and the Outstanding Paper Presentation to the American Oil Chemists Society in 1987. He was designated a "University College Fellow" at The University of Toledo in recognition of outstanding cooperation and solid teaching in 1997 and became a member of the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars in 1994.