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Dubai model of shared prosperity: Bill Clinton

Staff Reporter / 11 April 2013

Captivating, charismatic, remarkably clever, motivating and inspiring are but a few words to describe former US president Bill Clinton, who was at the American University in Dubai on Wednesday. It was his sixth visit to the campus since he spoke at the university’s graduation back in 2002.

Bill Clinton poses with students for a photograph at the American University in Dubai. — Supplied photo

Clinton kicked off the open session saying, “I first came here to AUD 11 years ago and I love this place! AUD represents the future of this region and the larger world. But don’t get careless and keep doing what you do best here in Dubai.” 
He lauded Dubai’s resilience to the economic crisis and expressed his belief in Dubai’s bid for Expo 2020.

“Places that have come back from the tough economic crisis the best and the quickest are the ones which have an operative model which creates cooperation across all sectors of society, races, religions, and ethnic groups, where people find a way to celebrate and are proud of their differences and they work together in shared responsibility,” said Clinton. “That’s what Dubai and the UAE represent and I think you are in a strong position to win the bid for Expo 2020 because Dubai’s model of shared prosperity is more important today than ever and an inspiration to many countries in the Middle East.”

The event was being hosted in the presence of AUD president Dr Lance de Masi, US Consul-General in Dubai and the Northern Emirates Rob Weller and AUD Governing Board members Joseph Ghossoub and Justin Cooper.

Students took turns asking questions on peace in the Middle East, the conflict in Syria, and North Korea, as well as the former US president’s view on Africa as a developing continent.

Clinton also toured the studios and facilities of the Mohammed bin Rashid School for Communication with dean Ali Jaber and met with some of the school’s students studying under the Mohammed bin Rashid Scholarship Programme stating that this programme opens the door to top-flight media education to students who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to pursue their dreams; such an outstanding example of wisdom and generosity is highly uncommon.

“Welcoming Clinton back on campus is always a great thrill for us at AUD. We are proud to call him a friend, and a true inspiration to everyone,” said university executive vice-president Elias Bou Saab in a cafeteria packed with more than 500 students.

He also met with the currently enrolled Clinton Scholars at AUD, who happily took a picture with him, celebrating the enrollment of the 155th scholar in the programme. He also took the time to chat with the AUD Student Government Association members.


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