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Abu Dhabi’s first “American Corner” opens at ALHOSN University

ALHOSN University, has been selected as the site for the city of Abu Dhabi’s first “American Corner.”  The facility is the third of its kind in the UAE, which has similar corners in Fujairah and the city of Al Ain. The ALHOSN corner was inaugurated today (Sunday, January 23, 2011).

The American Corner is a resource center for US history, culture, policy and business.  Prof. Abdul Rahim Sabouni, Vice Chancellor and CEO of ALHOSN University and founding president of the American Concrete Institute’s (ACI) - UAE Chapter, originally approached Engineer Elias B. Sayah, American Chamber of Commerce Vice President in Abu Dhabi, with the idea of establishing an American Corner in the capital in 2008. The US Embassy in Abu Dhabi issued its approval in June 2010.

American Ambassador, Mr. Richard Olson, formally opened the facility in the presence of dignitaries from across the UAE and the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi. The ALHOSN University Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Holding Company also took part in the festivities marking the event.

“The American Corner embodies our commitment to our university motto of ‘Global Knowledge with Local Vision.’ ALHOSN is honored to be home to Abu Dhabi’s first American Corner and as such will develop programs to promote better understanding between the people of the US and the UAE. The corner is also intended as a vehicle for reinforcing our ties with key professional, business and civic organizations in the US and creating partnerships with them on various academic, economic, and social projects,” said Prof. Sabouni, Vice Chancellor and CEO, ALHOSN University.

The corner is located at the ground floor of ALHOSN’s newly renovated Community Resources Center along with other international outreach offices, including a virtual lab connected to the University of Salford in Manchester, England, and a bureau for the ACI-UAE Chapter.  The corner will host special events via video-conferencing to the US and other parts of the world as well as house a collection of US-related books and electronic resources. Computer stations for student use and a conference room for students and faculty to hold informal discussions will also be part of the venue.

“This new facility reflects both our close ties with America and our emphasis on research and community service. Many of ALHOSN’s faculty members graduated from American universities, so the corner is a fitting tribute to their contributions. The corner will be an excellent venue for our young citizens to learn more about our rich relations with the US and how we can achieve greater success by cultivating our partnerships. Moreover, it was imperative for Abu Dhabi to have its own American Corner, being the capital of a country that has shared excellent bilateral relations with the United States,” added Engineer Elias B. Sayah, Vice President, American Chamber of Commerce Abu Dhabi.

The opening of ALHOSN’s American Corner was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a garden reception next to the Community Center. University students, faculty and staff as well as other community representatives attended the festivities.


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