KFAS News

The signing ceremony of the Agreement to establish The Altaf Salem al-Ali al-Sabah “Women and Development Studies Chair”

May 03, 2017

KFAS hosted the signing ceremony of the Agreement to establish The Altaf Salem al-Ali al-Sabah  “Women and Development Studies” Chair in memory of the late Sheikha Lulwa al-Nasser Al-Sabah and Sheikha Sheikha al-Ali al-Sabah in cooperation with the American University of Beirut.

The Chair and its associated programs aim to support research, studies and mutual cooperation leading to enriching the trek of knowledge and science and in enabling women in our contemporary societies to enhance their potentials to play a more effective role and be armed with productive capacities.

The ceremony was attended by the Minister of State for Women's Affairs in Lebanon, H.E Jean Ogasapian, the Ambassador of the Republic of Lebanon in the State of Kuwait, Mr. Maher al-Khair, and a number of senior guests and officials. The agreement was signed by Sheikha Altaf Salem al-Ali al-Sabah, the President of the American University of Beirut, Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, and the Director General of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, Dr. Adnan Shihab El-din, as KFAS has been designated as the consultant and coordinator of the new Chair and Program.

On this occasion, Sheikha Altaf Salem al-Ali al-Sabah said that "the original purpose to establish this trust is to support science and education and as an acknowledgement of the two esteemed women in my family and of their insightful vision and conviction in science as a torch to guide the march of every individual in society."

She added: "This Chair is a tribute to them and to all women and men who believe in knowledge and science and their enlightening role in the development and advancement of societies."

It is noteworthy to mention that the Program’s overall objective is to promote collaborative research and exchange of experiences that support initiatives in women's and development studies. It also promotes excellence in education, science and development, as well as establishing a network of scientists, policy makers, proactive government agencies, and community partners to enhance and encourage women's studies.

Dr. Fadlo Khuri commented on the event by saying: "We do not aim to clone western women in our Arab societies, but we aim to support Arab women to serve their communities in various ways, without neglecting our culture and traditions. This initiative is essential for the support of studies on women’s issues, which is a positive incentive not only for the American University of Beirut but for the Arab world at large. "

A delegation from the AUB attended the event in Kuwait. The visitors included the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Nadia el-Sheikh, and the Assistant Vice-President for Development, Dr. Imad Baalbaki, and the Associate Assistant Vice-President for Development, Dr. Salma Aweida. Mr.Farouk Gabr, member of the AUB Board of Trustees, also attended the ceremony with his wife.

Dr. Adnan Shihab El-din expressed his aspiration that the Chair would become a platform for discussions and deliberations of research and studies done on women’s issues and the challenges faced by the contemporary Arab world, and the GCC countries in particular. These issues are widely debated but still with little appreciation and understanding of these vital issues and their impact on the lives of women and men in the region. He added that more in-depth and accurate deliberation of these issues is essential to promote and encourage discussions, to field alternative viewpoints, and to develop new analytical frameworks.

The Director General added that the role of the Foundation is to stimulate participation and engagement in science, research and capacity-building through establishing partnerships opportunities in the various sectors of society within a regional and international framework. Hence, I sought to provide the advisory support to augment this noble initiative towards enriching the long-standing education and research heritage.