The University of Haifa decided to add an Arabic script to its 40-year anniversary logo, university president Prof. Aharon Ben-Ze’ev announced on Tuesday, after was criticized for omitting it from its new logo.
Several lecturers recently noticed the missing Arabic script in the new logo, which now appears on official university documents, and demanded it be reinstated. In response, the university said that in official documents, the university uses the Hebrew logo, adding that it is not a new policy, and that it permits the addition of English and Arabic text in certain cases. Arabic and Hebrew are both official languages of the State of Israel.
To the formal statement, Ben-Ze’ev attached the new logo for the 40-year anniversary, this time with the Arabic script. Concerning the old logo, Ben-Ze’ev explained that each faculty of the university is allowed to use "whichever logo it sees fit."
“The university’s logo was and still is the Hebrew logo that was introduced in 1966,” said Ben-Ze’ev, adding that “in 1999 the university’s management decided to allow adding English and Arabic text to the logo. The decision has not changed since.”
Ben-Ze'ev further explained that In preparations for the next Board of Governors meeting, the university decided to design a new logo, and since all the documents for the meeting is both in Hebrew and English, the same policy was applied to the logo. Ben-Ze’ev stressed that the new logo is not replacing the old logo, but rather is an addition to it.
Ben-Ze’ev also pointed out that the University of Haifa is the only university in Israel that allows the use of Arabic script in its official logo. “Other universities, and even ministries of the government, only use Hebrew text in their logos. The university implemented a unique decision when it decided to allow then, as as it does now, the addition of the Arabic text.”
Lecturers at the university stated they intend to make sure that the university’s administration would only use the logo with the Arabic script. Dean of the Faculty of Humanities Prof. Reuven Snir said that his faculty will use the new version of the logo, and that he intends to ask other deans to do so as well.
After Haaretz reported that the Arabic script was not included in the university’s new logo, Ben-Ze’ev insisted there was no change in policy and that he also thought it should include Arabic text. However, Ben-Ze’ev did guarantee that formal university documents will exclusively include the logo with the Arabic addition.