One day AUS was the dream of one person. Today you have made that dream a reality. It is the victory of one man’s vision. He (Dr. Sheikh Sultan) freely gave us his vision. And today his victory is our own.
The Arab world is on a threshold of information explosion, like the rest of the Asian countries. They are experimenting with new ways to bring back the days of past glory.
The memories of Cordoba are fresh in the minds of modern Muslim. Many attempts are being made to rejuvenate the broken spirits so that a new generation is brought up to face the modern challenges. But very often, this task has brought about unnecessary bloodshed among many nations. Cultural revivalism is becoming a nightmare for many.
But the world saw a different kind of revival when the Vice Chancellor of Cambridge university spoke at the graduation ceremony of the American University of Sharjah. History was made when the British Vice Chancellor described, on the sands of Sharjah, the legacy of Arabian learning.
“It was the Spanish Muslims who first thought about the concept of university. Cordoba University was the result of such thought. Today’s universities are following the example of Cordoba. The first model of Cordoba was set up in France. Such institutions spread across Europe.” – Dr. Sir Allama Iqbal
He said: “The buildings we see around today which have been carefully crafted by His Highness enshrine the idea of those memorable centuries of skill and tradition.”
It was the with the single-minded efforts of of the Legend of Arabia, Dr. Sheikh Sultan, that the world re-affirmed its gratitude for the contribution made by the Arabs and world of Islam.
Dr. Roderick French, the Chancellor of AUS, said while welcoming the Cambridge Vice Chancellor, who worked in IBM as Electrical engineer and manager and is presently known as an innovative academic administrator, “His leadership at Cambridge has become a model for the successful adaptation of traditional institutions to the rapidly changing contemporary world. AUS has been fortunate indeed to enjoy his support and advice as a trustee.”
Speech by Cambridge Vice Chancellor
By western standards, Cambridge is one of the oldest universities among the half dozen that survives. If we look back 8 centuries ago when Cambridge began, we find ourselves at the end of Roman Empire; the soldiers withdraw from England in that year. There is little or no connection between our university and the classical Greek or Rome. More plausible scholars say that it was the legacy of the Islamic schools of learning.
It was the changing philosophy, natural science, and mathematics, Medicine that far outshines anything that was found in Europe. It has been argued that modern university is an Arab invention. For instance, the Islamic institutions of learning gave the source of the idea of calling together student from many lands… more important still is the universal validity of qualifications as an Arab concept. Equally certain is that Mathematics derives from Arabic roots. Anyone who tries to solve arithmetic using Roman numeral will see what I mean. The great tradition of natural science founded on Mathematic on which Cambridge is pre-eminently known in Science and technology would not have been possible without the Arabic tradition.
From Mathematics, the Arabs gained expertise in Astronomy and navigation, which laid the foundation of systematic sea travel. From the study of medicine, the Arabs were centuries ahead of Europe. The buildings we see around today which have been carefully crafted by His Highness enshrine the idea of those memorable centuries of skill and tradition.
His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qassimi under whose guidance, Sharjah has developed in a way that it is admired throughout the world, especially through the learning of this university. Your Highness, May I wish you sincere congratulations for what you have achieved”. Watch video>>
Note: Text prepared by Jaihoon. The speech given here is an abridged version.