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Sultan attends AUS Alumni Reunion Dinner
His Highness SheikhDr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjahand President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), urged AUS alumni tobecome an inspiration to society through their good deeds as well as shiningexamples of the positive values of AUS. His Highness Sheikh Sultan also thankedthe alumni for finding the time to travel back to their alma mater to attendthe fifth Annual Alumni Reunion Dinner held at the university's Main Plaza onThursday, February 23, 2012.
Organized by theOffice of Development and Alumni Affairs, the annual reunion dinner is a majorevent for alumni who convene at AUS from all around the world and this year'sdinner was attended by over 2,500 alumni.
At the dinner, HisHighness welcomed back graduates from the last 15 years and said, "I amgrateful to each of you for finding time to travel back to Sharjah. I know thatit takes considerable time from your busy work and family schedules, along witheffort to make the local and international travel arrangements. But I am surethat the rich experiences of this evening will revive the excitement that youfelt as a student in constantly pushing into new intellectual frontiers."
"Fifteen years ago in1997, AUS was still getting started as the initiation of a vision with only adozen pioneer faculty members and some 250 students. Today, our alumni coverthe globe in their quest to build and innovate in whatever career they chose.Most of you have come to hold key positions of influence. Please remember thatyou should provide in your careers a shining example of the positive values ofAUS and be an inspiration to society through good deeds," added His Highness.
The ceremony startedon the arrival of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, with an address by Dr.Peter Heath, AUS Chancellor who greeted the Ruler of Sharjah and the alumni. "Thealumni among us tonight, who keep up with the university through their veryactive Alumni Association, are well aware of the great developments at AUS. Inthe intervening year since we last came together, we have proceeded with thetask of forever strengthening the academic programs under the continuousguidance of His Highness," said Dr. Heath.
"The AUS community,our alumni, students, faculty and staff, have created a proud tradition for 15years to take on the odds, to work harder than the competition, and to turndreams into solid reality. The 'can do' ethic is the hallmark of AUS. As AUSmoves closer towards its goal of becoming a premier university among elitepeers, we too will continue to do everything within our power to ensure successfor our most important product - you, the AUS alumni," concluded Dr. Heath.
Dr.Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs, alsocommemorated on behalf of all AUS alumni the return of His Highness to his almamater. She reminded the audience that, "Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad AlQassimi has recently been called the 'conscience of the nation' for his uniqueinput into many of the critical issues faced during the past four decadesof the UAE's history and for contributing in leading in the development ofhigher education and invigorating cultural heritage to perform new tasks of theglobalized world."
"His Highness not only conceptualized what AUS couldbecome when there was little more than sand where we now convene, but guidedthe university through every step along the way to AUS's rapid rise toexcellence," Dr. Mourtada-Sabbah added.
AlumnusMusbah Abu Jarad, Vice President of AUS Alumni Association (AUSAA), alsoaddressed the gathering, speaking on behalf of the AUSAA President and thealumni.
HisHighness also inaugurated an exhibition organized by the Office of Developmentand Alumni Affairs for renowned artists Dr. Najat Meky and Ismaeil Al Refaientitled Art through University and Community Dialogue. The acclaimed Emirati artist, Dr. NajatMeky, dedicated three monumental paintings (3 m x 5 m each) to HisHighness Sheikh Dr. Sultan in appreciation of his pioneering efforts inpreserving the fine arts in Sharjah's museums and in celebration of the SharjahRuler's return in good health.
Onthe occasion, AUS alumni presented His Highness with a special bookentitled The Arabian Antiquities of Spain, which depictsthe architecture, sculpture and paintings of al-Andalus.
Theevening also saw 14 alumni win scholarships to attend graduate school at AUS inthe fields of their choice. Winners of the scholarships were: Waleed Anwar,Rawad El Haj Ali, Nader Aly, Rashed Kabbara, Yousef El Haj, Fida Al Salamin,Samah Hajj, Rida Aref, Osama Darraj, Eman Al Raeesi, Taha Dahraba, Tamer Al-Deek, Abdulrahman Abbas and Kamal Saadeddin
Alumna Ahlam Kaddoura won a 2012 model MitsubishiLancer offered by The Construction Machinery Center, as the winner of a contestto determine the most active alumnus or alumna involving her fellow alumni inactivities of the AUS Alumni Association.
Thedinner was also attended by alumni leaders who have attained distinction intheir young careers, including Salah Al Shamsi, former Chairman of the AbuDhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of Liwa Investment Holding;Sheikh Khalid Bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Public WorksDepartment; Yousuf Al Bastaki, Vice President of EMAL; Sheikh Mohammad FaisalAl-Qassimi, AUSAA Founding Board President; and Sheikha Azza Al Nuaimi, AUSAlumni Association President.
Alsopresent were AUS trustees Hamid D. Jafar, Chairman of the Board and CEO ofCrescent Petroleum; Riad T. Sadik, Chairman of Al Habtoor Leighton Group; and MarounSemaan, President and CEO Petrofac International Ltd.
Otherinvitees included Dr. Amr Abdul Hamid, Advisor to His Highness the Ruler ofSharjah for Higher Education; Ahmed Ismail, Chairman MAF Dalkia; Walid AlHashimi, CEO of Sharjah Holding; Faizal Kottikolon Chairman, the KEF CompanyFZC; and Shabana Faizal, Managing Director, the KEF Company FZC; senioruniversity officials, graduates, staff and faculty members.