AAU Celebrates Opening New Campus in Ramallah

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Under the auspices of the President Mahmoud Abbas “Abu Mazin”

Arab American University celebrated opening its new campus in the distrect of Ramallah and Al Berieh under the auspices of the President Mahmoud Abbas “Abu Mazin”

Ramallah campus opening ceremony

The opening ceremony included, President Representative Secretary General of the Presidency Mr. Al-Tayeb Abdul Rahim, with the guest of honor Martin Luther King Jr., Chairman of the University Board of Trustees Dr. Mohammad Shtaya, President of University Board of Directors Dr. Youssef Asfour, University President Dr. Ali Zeidan Abu Zuhri, AAUP founder President Dr. Waleed  Deeb, Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Ziad Abu Amr, Governor of Ramallah and Al-Bireh Province Dr. Laila Ghannam, Minister of Local Government Dr. Hussein Al-A'raj, Minister of Culture Dr. Ihab Bisiso, Secretary of the Central Committee of Fateh and the Palestinian Olympic Committee president Major Jibril Rajoub, member of the Central Committee of Fateh Movement Major Mohammad Al Madani, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education Dr. Basri Saleh, Chairman of the National Commission for Accreditation and Quality Dr. Mohammed Al-Sobaoui, Ambassadors and Consuls and representatives of accredited diplomatic bodies at the State of Palestine, university's legal advisor, former university presidents, representatives of international, official and popular institutions, deans and directors, and members of the university teaching and administrative staff.

After the ribbing cut, they took a tour in the university’s new campus. Then headed to the conferences hall to proceed the ceremony, where they heard the Palestinian Anthem, took a minute of silence and solidarity with the prisoners’ hunger strike and then pray for the martyrs.

University’s Board of Directors speech

The Chairman of University Board of Directors Dr. Yousef Asfour opened the ceremony with his speech greeting the audience, and said “This day have two significantly important events in the Arab American University history, when the university were established 17 years ago Mr. Al-Tayeb Abdul Rahim opened the campus then on 28/9/2000 representing our former diseased President Yasir Arafat and today he join us representing President Mahmoud Abbas in the Arab American University Ramallah campus opening. I also remember having Mr. Marwan Al-Barghothi with us in 2000, wishing he was among us now, but he is standing with us and the Palestinian People, and in all of our names and the Arab American University’s we salute him and our prisoned brothers in their dignity hunger strike, wishing them to be set free soon”.

Adding, 54 years ago in 28/8/1963 a man stood in front of the former US President Abraham Lincoln shrine and gave his famous speech “I HAVE A DREAM”, a dream for all African Americans to get all their civil right and treated equally. His dream started decades before 1963 where he worked with every peaceful way to serve this equality and justice. In 4/4/1968 this hero was assassinated, but not his dream, he was the Winner of Nobel for Peace award “Martin Luther King the 2nd”, the father of our guest “Martin Luther King the 3rd”. Many parts of the dream were accomplished yet it’s not complete so the son had to follow his father’s path, he helped in Obama’s campaign saying “Even if he won the dream is yet to complete”. I have a dream phrase lightened the path for everyone aiming to achieve the impossible.

Dr. Asfour said “When we thought about establishing the Arab American University in Jenin, we were told, This dream is difficult. However the dream didn’t die in our souls, and today in Jenin we are proud to have AAU, yet, this impossible dream was for many, we did not feel the dream was fully achieved the road is still long so we started to create this new campus in Ramallah, dedicated for graduate studies, offering quality programs with partnerships with international universities, this wasn’t enough to say the dream came true, we felt that there’s many areas we can contribute in”.

Adding, you’re witnessing the establishment of "Policy Studies and Conflict Resolution Center" under the auspices of our friend Martin Luther King III, the first of its kind in Palestine. We are also about to complete the specialized center in dentistry and genes and medical analysis laboratory, which is also the first in Palestine. Also we aim to have PhD in Optics and PhD in Business Administration in the near future.

He pointed, such achievements weren’t going to happen without the support of the Palestinian President, Minister of Higher Education, The Accreditation and Quality Authority, Chairman of Board of Directors Dr. Mohammad Shtaya for developing the university, along with the university academic and administrative staff, adding “Welcome to AAU, hope you will join us in our coming achievements”.

Board of Trustees speech

The chairmen of Board of Trustees Dr. Mohammad Shtaya congratulated the audience of Isra and Maraj anniversary, where Palestine were connected to the sky and holly lands where connected “KSA & Palestine”, this anniversary met our new achievement in the Arab American University who is celebrating the opening of this extraordinary building not only architecturally, but also its possibilities for students, teachers and administrators. Today, our heroic prisoners insist on gaining freedom, to see themselves and for us to see them and fight for them. Without set them free no political action is complete, one of our Palestinian national constants is Jerusalem as the capital on the 1967 borders, the refugees right to come back and emptying prisons from all the prisoners became one of our Palestinian national constants.

He said, “This year it’s 100 years on Balfour Declaration, 50 years of occupation, 69 years on the Nakba and 100 years fighting for our people injustice. Palestine was a target for occupation way before the first Zionest conference this colonization wasn’t religious or political, but primarily strategic and economic, then State of Israel were established in Palestine’s most fertile lands”.

Shtaya added, “We are living in a world with exceptional circumstances. This world is turning right, as what happened in France elections and different parts of the world. Its demagogic populist regime planting fear in people. And the populist is selfish, narcissistic and can’t be predicted, and we have to know how to deal with these populists”.

He said, “We want a price for this stability, which is end the occupation, establish Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, the refugees right of return. We have been the region’s riot since 1965. Today, we a group of stations; the university elections, which we won with the youths, municipal elections on the upcoming May 13th, we also have to renew the next Palestinian National Council because the PLO is the umbrella which we all live under. Central Imp For the refugees right of return and represent the Palestinian diaspora, we have to improve them and keep the Palestinian people’s umbrella”.

As for Gaza he said “We told Hamas reconciliation dialogue seems to be not working, yet the reconciliation will be with one way or another. Our main goal is not to be a regional puppet for all, Palestine was and will continue to be our first priority that is why we need Presidential and Parliament elections to make the people our judge and to end our split”.

About the President Mahmoud Abbas upcoming visit to Washington to meet President Trump he said, “We trust the President as he is Palestine’s political representative. All we say is any political solution needs a plan built on number of factors, most important, having a clear reference for any negotiation within specific timeframe. And as Israel doesn’t have good intentions, we aren’t accepting their regional solution to have economy without politics, and wants normalization without Arabs. Bothe us Palestinian and Arabs won’t accept this, and this is the stand of Arab counties not only Palestine”.

Shtayeh greeted the Chairman of the Arab American University Boards of Directors Dr. Yousef Asfour and the investors who achieved a Palestinian success story, improving education with amazing buildings and making it a survival strategy. Pointing, Palestinian wealth scale is its people Higher Education degrees.

Explaining, the real pain experienced by Palestinian society is unemployment among young people aged 19 to 29. 56% of the unemployed people are educated, but the labor market is closed for them. He called the university to qualify students with university degree that can provide jobs for them. The university considered center of excellence and creativity, sponsor the best things and pay attention to, noting that the university unites Palestinian people as there’s more than 50% of the university students from the 1948 Palestinians.

President Mahmoud Abbas “Abu Mazin” representative speech

His Excellency Mr. Tayeb Abdel Rahim declaimed a speech on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Mazen, in which he said: "This great event, the opening of the university building in Ramallah, comes while our valiant prisoners’ hunger strike enters its eighth day and their foreheads hugging clouds of their pride, glory and insistence. This insistence will not hesitate to face the compulsion of the oppressor jailer and his infringement of human rights guaranteed by all international laws. The occupation wants to undermine this nation determination, persistence, roots and legitimate resistance, but our comrades of Marwan Al-Barghouthi, Karim Younis, Ahmed Saadat, Mahmoud Abu Sorour and Anas Jaradat underlining by the battle of freedom and dignity epics of championship that will be recorded by history with letters of light and fire and it will be added to the journey of our immortality and victory. To assure for all the freedom advocates, Sir Martin Luther King, and to the whole world that the chains of the jailer and its solitary cells have not and will not be able to impose the volition of tyranny and to break the desire for life with honour and pride. This is our whole people in the big prison, and all those who love peace in this world are united with their brothers and with our children to say that we are all one, we are all confident in victory and there is no political solution without emptying prisons. We are sending our love and support for our all beloved behind bars. Asking God from the bottom of our hearts to strengthen your hearts and volitions, so that you will attain the freedom that all nations who fought before us have achieved.

He added, on behalf of Mr. President Mahmoud Abbas, I am sharing you today the opening of the new site of the College of Graduate Studies at the Arab American University here in Ramallah governorate, after I participated the opening of the university in its headquarters in Jenin governorate by nearly 17 years ago. We are proud of this university and its achievements and permanent growth, and of the fingerprints added by them to the march of education and science in our country despite the short life and the different experience being the first private university in Palestine. Where this university managed to be in the foreground by the wisely of its board of trustees, the creative management of its board of directors, and the seriousness of its professors and their dedication. This is what granulate the students to belong to it and to be pride to carry its certificates without ego or arrogance, and therefore we see the popularity of all new disciplines developed by the university from the beginning to meet the needs of the community, in addition to the turnout of hundreds of students from within the Green Line to study and contribute to this national leading educational castle.

His Excellency Abdul Rahim stressed, our Palestinian People both in home and diaspora knows that education is our main pillar of building and advancing nations. Our people have become an example, place of pride for contribution to build Arab sister countries and world admiration for its scientists, doctors, engineers, intellectuals and educators. All of them stressed that the Palestinian people deserve to have a proper independent state that is a beacon of creativity, innovation and service of mankind.

"Today I congratulate you on the anniversary of Israa and Maraj, which increases the stability for truth, our right in this holy land and deepens our belief that Jerusalem will be present in mind, conscience and faith, it’s the capital of our eternal state despite all their demolition, digging, witchcraft and even sifting the soil”, he added.

He continued, I’m happy to welcome Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. the son of the freedom, equality and justice fighter for a human to live in freedom and justice. His father’s memory will remain in our hearts and minds to deepen our confidence and will in the inevitability of victory over injustice, oppression and arrogance.

He explained, “These days so many talks about reconciliation, Is there a possibility to achieve it on clear and well-known grounds by resorting to the people? We are working on that, so we sent a new offer to Hamas and we’re waiting their response in the next couple of days. Our people won’t accept dodging, twisting, rotation or bypass roads anymore, thus we want to prevent and take decisive measures without waiting for the regional variables or receive orders from abroad. In this regard, we are going to municipal elections and student elections in universities to restore the pulse of democracy life in Palestine, the people voice will be louder and stronger than divisions”.

Mr. Abdul Rahim confirmed that in a few days the President Mahmoud Abbas will meet President Trump in Washington, to start a new relation between the counterparts. We’re heading to the White House with constant principles; the first is Arab peace initiative and two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, including East Jerusalem, it’s the only way for peace. All we can say before jumping to conclusions, this meeting is a unique opportunity, preceded by the visit of King Abdullah II and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to make the two-state solution work and the Arab peace initiative has emphasized this is the right way to establish comprehensive peace and coexistence in the region. Which without, we will jeopardize everything.

He summed it, “Once again congratulation, I wish the Arab American University to continue its grow and creative we’re used to, in order to fill the country with innovative excellences. Thanks to my brother Dr. Mohammad Shtaya chairmen of Board of Trustees, Dr. Yousef Asfour head of university Board of Directors and all university staff”.

By the end of ceremony, the chairmen of Board of Trustees Dr. Mohammad Shtaya, the head of university Board of Directors Dr. Yousef Asfour and the University President Dr. Ali Zeidan Abu Zuhri honored the Palestinian president by giving his representative Mr. Tayeb Abdul Rahim the university shield for opening the ceremony along with honoring the guest of honor Mr. Martin Luther King Jr.