The American University of Sharjah announced the establishment of "The Ahmed Seddiqi Chair in Gulf and Middle Eastern Studies" through a generous gift of AED 15 million by Mr. Abul Hamied Seddiqi, Vice Chairman of Ahmed Seddiqi& Sons. The announcement followed a visit to Mr. Abdul HamiedSeddiqi by AUS Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath and AUS Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs, Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah who have been discussing the need to develop a focus in the scientific study of the distinctive cultural traditions of the Gulf with the Seddiqi family. While countries naturally concentrate on building economic infrastructure first, creating the knowledge disciplines that relate to the Gulf, as the unique eastern edge of the Arab world, should closely follow in a country's development. The Chair will anchor a wider educational and research program to train future generations of researchers about this strategic part of the world through the eyes of the Gulf.
As the Vice Chairman of Ahmed Seddiqi& Sons, Mr. Abdul HamiedSeddiqi oversees the entire operational real-estate and marketing activities of the family enterprise. He is also a member of the Board Directors of Dubai Chamber of Commerce since 1997. Abdul Hamied’s professional reputation, vast knowledge of mechanical, technical and precious fine watchmaking as well as continuous support of the ethics and values of the watchmaking art, makes him a recognized personality that promotes the foundation’s culture and tradition.
As a leading University, AUS prides itself with the high caliber of its students and graduates, the parents of whom continually express their profound gratitude for the vision of High Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of the American University of Sharjah, who has availed their sons and daughters with such high standards.
The establishment of the Chair adds a vital component to the education endeavors of the University whose design and mission was laid out by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of the American University of Sharjah. His Highness has also published many scholarly volumes on the history of the Gulf. In this scholarly tradition, the Chair will conduct research in Gulf and Middle Eastern Studies. He/she will organize a multifaceted program including coursework, research projects, annual academic conferences, and a publication series about the region and its rich heritage. Chancellor Heath stated, “Through the processes of globalization, many regions of the world are rapidly undergoing unprecedented degrees of change. As AUS graduates, many future business and government leaders will now have the opportunity to be thoroughly immersed in the region’s unique history, cultural ways and unfolding patterns.” “This will help them immensely as they guide the region through many new enterprises, though grounded in the understandings and ways of Gulf culture,” he added.
Dr. Mourtada-Sabbah expressed the University’s thanks and appreciation to Mr. AbdulHamiedSeddiqi, for his unwavering commitment in providing state-of-the-art education about and for the peoples of the Gulf and for his generous support to the University’s mission “The Ahmed Seddiqi Chair in Gulf and Middle Eastern Studies will further enhance the University’s endeavors to remain at the forefront of Gulf studies. It will give our students the opportunity to make deeper and more informed contributions to the community around them," she said.
Mr. Abdul HamiedSeddiqi remarked “all of the parents of AUS students are in debt to the vision of His Highness, who has given our sons and daughters the opportunity to study at a first-rate University at home, which is also very keen on preserving the values of the Arab culture and Gulf societies as entrusted by His Highness, the President and the Founder of the University.Students have the same or better opportunities at their doorstep, rather than having to travel abroad for four or more years. Mr. Seddiqi is the father of two AUS alumni: Ms. Reem Seddiqireceived a degree in Visual Communication in 2001, and Hind Seddiqi graduated in 2005 with a degree in Mass Communication, who has risen to the position of Vice President of Ahmed Seddiqi& Sons, Marketing Division.