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AUSAA launches AUS Alumni Ramadan Series with a Sharjah Iftar
The American University of Sharjah Alumni Association(AUSAA) launched this year's AUS Alumni Ramadan Series by hosting a SharjahRamadan Iftar on August 17. The Iftar returned to AUS main campus 550 AUS. Thiswas a significant percentage of the total alumni who have graduated during thepast few years and who are now living in dozens of countries.
AUS Chancellor, Dr. Peter Heath, expressed gratitude in seeing so many of thealumni journey back to what he termed "their academic home." "As His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, AUS President, has pointed out, youare the youngest ambassadors in all walks of life. You are living testimony tothe exemplary conceptual and technological skills learned at AUS forapplication throughout the world."
Dr. Heath also congratulated the Alumni Association on the wide range ofactivities that brought together alumni from far and wide this year under theumbrella of the University's Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. Theseactivities ranged from leadership capacity-building conferences andentrepreneurship workshops, the founding of new chapters in the GCC and beyond,and the hosting of business forums in the UAE. In the several businessconferences, alumni invited key business leaders to analyze economic trends inthe Gulf.
Chancellor Heath remarked, "The goal of the AUSAA is toactively involve as many alumni as possible and to have them lead variousprojects and events so that they continue as life-long-learners to perfectvaluable skills with their former classmates. The AUSAA is the most activealumni group in the Gulf," Dr. Heath pointed out, and he invited all alumni toactively participate. "The many opportunities of the Alumni Association, likeleadership in the Board, the Council, as well as the very active chapters areexcellent ways to hone your leadership skills while assisting your Associationand University," he remarked assuring the alumni of the unwavering support ofthe University and its Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. The Chancelloralso commended the very active chapters' leaders of the Alumni Association suchas alumnus Farid Abdullah (Dubai Chapter), alumnus Samer Al Jamal (Abu DhabiChapter), and alumnus Rami Jaber (Events Chapter), as well as Ali Abu Khamseenand Bishr Challah from the regional chapters in Kuwait and Syria respectively).
Dr. Heath extended his gratitude to MAF Dalkia, Pepsi Co., and EmiratesNBD, for their generosity in sponsoring the well-attended Iftar. As with mostof the alumni events, seriousness of purpose mixed with celebration andgood-natured fun; raffle prizes were awarded.
In welcoming the alumni back to AUS, Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, Vice Chancellorfor Development and Alumni Affairs, noted that "Although the holy month is aparticularly busy time for family and friends, the sheer number of returninggraduates for this first Ifar shows the very special place AUS holds in thealumni's identity. A university family trains students in how to evaluate theworld around them so that you may make the necessary improvements for societywhen it comes to your turn to assume the mantle of leadership. Superbly trainedyoung workers will make the critical difference in devising new solutions foryour companies and for your countries to push beyond economic slowdowns thatmay materialize from time to time." Dr. Mourtada-Sabbah also commended thefirst elected Board of the Alumni Association for their energetic efforts inpresenting a wide variety of events and programs.
On behalf of the AUS Alumni Association, AUSAA Vice President Musbah Abu Jaradreviewed the most memorable achievements of the year. He invited his fellowalumni to join one of the many active chapters. Our activities are both skillbuilding and fun, and especially under the proactive presidency of Sheikha AzzaAl Nuaimi, the new AUSAA President. Vice President Abu Jarad likened the styleof the Association to "rolling up your sleeves and taking on tasks that a younggraduate would have only imagined but would not have thought possible. The AUSAA, however, is the vehicle with talent and resources to make anythinghappen."
As the Distinguished Guest of Honor of the Iftar, Mr. Khalifa Bin Braik, VicePresident of Sharjah Holding, discussed how the AUS graduates could continue toperfect their fine leadership skills, along with AUS's famous "can-do-attitude,"to succeed in the marketplace. He also reviewed the essential tenets ofentrepreneurship from the perspective of the many business divisions of SharjahHolding. Guest speaker Mr. Maher Al Aghbar, Business Development Director forthe Middle East at MAF Dalkia, introduced the alumni to the widely-rangingoperations available for them at MAF Dalkia. The firm is looking forward toemploy several AUS graduates. Representatives of sponsoring companies attendedto meet with alumni, such as Alumnus Ibrahim Fikri, HR Manager Emirates NBD,and Alumna Reema Al Shamekh GCC Beverages BU, PepsiCo., as well as Samir Cardy,Business Development Manager MAF Dalkia, Samir Mukatash, HR Director MAFDalkia, Radia Boussalia, Marketing and Communications Manager MAF Dalkia, Additionalevents in the AUS Alumni Ramadan Series include an Iftar sponsored by the AbuDhabi Chapter. AUS Alumnus Suhoor, the Events Chapter and the Dubai Chapterhave organized the Second Annual Ramadan Sports Tournament, with playoffs formen's and women's basketball and soccer. This tournament draws on the alumnicamaraderie and their wish to participate in good health and social practicesduring the holy month.