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Welcome Note by Prof. Abdul Rahim Sabouni  
Vice Chancellor and CEO, ALHOSN University

At the Inauguration of ALHOSN University’s American Corner
ALHOSN University, Abu Dhabi, UAE
October 27, 2010

Your Excellency, Ambassador Richard Olson
Excellencies, distinguished Guests,
Good Evening.

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to ALHOSN University for the inauguration of the American Corner. It is with great pride that ALHOSN University unveils this latest symbol of Abu Dhabi’s friendship with the United States of America, accentuating our University’s dedication to promoting mutual understanding through education.

While the purpose of our “American Corner” is to foster more goodwill between Emiratis and Americans, we also see it as an important platform for advancing our university’s vision of “Global Knowledge with Local Vision.” By learning more about the cultural, political and economic dimensions of the US and other nations, our students become better prepared to meet the challenges of a global society while staying true to their own heritage.

But before anything else, please allow me to commend the special committee at ALHOSN University that coordinated the establishment of the corner and planned tonight’s activities. I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the American Embassy and the American Business Council for sharing our vision and for providing us with valuable financial and logistical support. Special thanks are due to my friend, Engineer Elias Al Sayah, Vice President of the American Business Council, with whom I shared the idea of setting up an “American Corner” at ALHOSN University, after the successful opening of the American Children Corner in the UAE University in Al Ain last year. We are indeed very delighted to see the fruits of such initiative, which could have never been materialized without the great support and guidance of his H.E Ambassador Olson.

Why set up an American Corner? Many of the people who helped us create our world-class academic programs came from American universities, and a number of our faculty members are from the US. We are also establishing close partnerships with prominent American educational institutions. Next month, I will be signing memoranda of understanding between our university and two American Universities in the US. We are also pursuing linkages with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Moreover, ALHOSN maintains close professional and academic ties with various distinguished American institutions such as the American Concrete Institute, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, and the US Green Building Council. These count among the main motivations for us to celebrate the role of Americans in building up our university through the American Corner.

But beyond being a bridge between our two nations, the American Corner affirms ALHOSN University’s commitment to Research and Community Service. We take our responsibility of molding professionals as future leaders for a modern community very seriously. We believe in the vital role of collaborative educational strategies that promote the value of service, research, teamwork, and a realistic world view. Our American Corner offers a new venue for lively dialogues on these matters and how our students can become true agents for change and diversity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Just six years after first opening its doors, I am pleased to say that ALHOSN University has emerged as one of Abu Dhabi’s finest learning hubs. We are close to achieving full accreditation with the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for all of our programs, and many of the graduates of our two commencement exercises have gone on to assume key positions in industry and government.
As tonight’s event shows, we fully recognize the need to give back to the community and encourage greater social interaction, understanding and growth as well. Through initiatives such as our American Corner we will continue to affirm the importance of our global partners in achieving our university’s ambitious goals.

Once again I would like to thank all of you for being with us here tonight, and I wish you the best in your present and future endeavours.

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