Members of the Harvard team with Mr. Al Sawabi.

Palestine’s Ahlia Insurance and Harvard team launch groundbreaking behavioral economics study


A team of graduate students and alumni from Harvard University arrived in Ramallah on 17 January to begin research on a groundbreaking behavioral economics study with one of Palestine’s leading insurance companies, Ahlia Insurance.

The study will bring together minds from one of the world’s most prestigious universities and leading Palestinian professionals at Ahlia to explore the behavior economics of Palestine’s insurance sector.

Such a study is unprecedented for Palestine and the first of its kind for Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

The study was conceived between Dr. Max H. Bazerman, Jesse Isidor Straus, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and Mr. Khaled Al Sabawi, CEO and Vice Chairman of Ramallah’s Union Construction and Investment (UCI), during the Young Global Leaders’ Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in which Mr. Al Sabawi was attending in October of 2015.

Mr. Al Sabawi, also a board member of Ahlia Insurance, was awarded a Young Global Leaders honor in 2015, bestowed by the World Economic Forum to recognize the most distinguished leaders in the globe’s economic and business sectors under the age of 40.

“I first approached Dr. Bazerman out of curiosity to learn more about his fascinating behavioral economic research,” stated Khaled Al Sabawi. “I did not imagine that our conversation would lead to a first-of-its-kind study in Palestine. We’re very excited to see the results in the coming year”.

Ahlia Insurance is one of the first public shareholding companies first listed in the Palestine Securities Exchange in 1997. Established in Gaza as Gaza Ahlia Insurance in 1994, the group subsequently opened several branches in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, emerging as Ahlia Insurance Group (AIG), one of Palestine’s leading providers of risk management and insurance.

“We are proud that Ahlia Insurance is will participate in research with Harvard University. Ahlia has always upheld is goal to innovate itself and Palestine’s insurance sector. We view this groundbreaking moment as an exciting opportunity to dig deeper into the dynamics of Palestine’s insurance sector whiling building a relationship with one of the most renowned academic institutions in the world” stated Dr. Mohamed Al Sabawi, Chairman and General Manager of Ahlia Insurance.

Ahlia is also one of Palestinian leading investors in real-estate development, such as the popular TABO project, and in renewable energy, through MENA Geothermal, a landmark green energy start-up that specializes in the use of geothermal energy and has installed the largest geothermal systems in the MENA region.

Among many achievements, Ahlia was awarded the Certificate of Integrity and Transparency in 2007.