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US ambassador to the UAE visits Masdar Institute as part of UAE national day celebrations

altAbu Dhabi-UAE: 1st December, 2011 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today marked the UAE’s 40th National Day with traditional festivities at the sustainable campus.

His Excellency Michael H. Corbin, US Ambassador to the UAE, was the special guest on the occasion. The US Ambassador, who was at the campus to deliver a lecture, was joined by His Excellency Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President of Masdar Institute, Dr Joe Cecchi, Provost, Hamza Kazim, Vice-President for Operations and Finance, Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Executive Director, Public Affairs, other officials, faculty and students.

The day’s events began with the playing of the UAE National Anthem by the 50-member Abu Dhabi Police Music Band and the arrival of guests in the Courtyard area around the 45-meter high Wind Tower, the modern interpretation of the traditional barjeel.

In his lecture titled ‘Masdar’s and the US’ role on Regional Energy Strategies’ on 29 November at the Masdar Institute campus, Ambassador Corbin said: “As we celebrate the UAE’s 40th anniversary of the formation of the federation, it is important to note that the US and UAE have long enjoyed a dynamic, multi-faceted partnership based upon strong political, security, trade, and economic ties. Energy and education, two sectors you know well, are areas of partnership that were well under way even before the founding of the UAE.”

“The Middle East is currently facing immense challenges and yet also offers immense opportunities. The UAE’s vision, and the path it has taken to develop to where it is today, offers a path for the region to transform itself; a paradigm for how we can work together and use our combined economic, diplomatic, and security assets to bring positive change. The UAE, for its part, has become a regional leader in renewable energy, finance, education, intellectual innovation, media, construction and diplomacy, to name only a few fields. Renewable energy is a vital component, with significant room to expand.”

Ambassador Corbin added: “The world needs more clean energy initiatives like Masdar and despite the current challenges to the global economy, President Obama is still committed to creating green jobs in the US and bolstering American innovation in the renewable energy sector.”

He concluded: “Like the UAE, the Obama Administration recognizes the importance of developing new sources of energy, even as we continue to rely on hydrocarbons. The US Department of Energy has established the Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy (ARPA/E) to fund cutting-edge innovation in renewables. We feel there is substantial basis for cooperation between the US and the UAE in the area of research into and application of renewables and clean technology.”

The US Department of Energy has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Masdar for a wide range of cooperation including in areas such as solar, and carbon capture and storage.

Dr Fred Moavenzadeh said: “The celebrations at Masdar Institute campus to mark the 40th UAE National Day had all the ingredients to make it a special occasion. The visit by the US Ambassador and his lecture on energy that applauded the role of Masdar in advanced energy provided an additional impetus to the day’s events. We are grateful to the insights the US Ambassador shared with our faculty and students, as well as his participation in the National Day celebrations.”

Earlier, Ambassador Corbin joined the celebrations at the Masdar Institute campus, where students and members of Emirati Club responded to visitors’ queries about the UAE’s history and the region’s time-honored customs.

The entire complex of the sustainable Masdar Institute campus wore a festive look with arrays of images adorning the walls signifying the glorious past and the various phases of the UAE’s steady economic progress.

The ‘Video Wall’ displayed an animation graphics of the flag, while a white board beckoned Emirati staff and students to leave their fingerprints in the colors of the country’s flag.

A specially decorated Bedouin tent was erected to enable visitors to be instantly photographed, while a lady clothed in a dress made from recyclable items offered to pose with guests against an exclusively designed backdrop for photo-shoots.

Guests flocked henna artists and the Emirati food corner, while Ayallah dancers performed to traditional music at the Courtyard. A falcon with an Arab trainer and two camels with their handlers brought a true desert touch to the campus as eager visitors gathered for a closer look.

Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Executive Director of Public Affairs, Masdar Institute, said: “The participation of dignitaries in the celebrations to mark the 40th UAE National Day at the Masdar Institute campus brought a distinct touch to the day’s events. The enthusiastic participation by Masdar Institute employees, students, and faculty members made the event more memorable to the visitors. We remain confident that the wider community will continue to carry the message of unity, complementing the economic progress achieved under the country’s wise leadership.”

Integrating theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, Masdar Institute works towards developing the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the Institute is committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change.

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