The best way to dispel misleading and negative images of the Arab world is through the encouragement of educational, professional and business excellence and by building bridges between Arabs living abroad and their host countries, said Nadhmi Auchi, President of the Anglo-Arab Organisation, at a speech he gave in London in October 2010.
Mr Auchi spoke at a reception given in his honour by the American University in Cairo at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington in recognition of his role in creating the university’s “Nadhmi Auchi Young Leaders Fellowship Programme”.
Mr Auchi, who is chairman of the Luxembourg-based General Mediterranean Holding group, told a distinguished audience of public figures, academics and business leaders:
“There is an immense amount of talent and skill in the youngsters from the Arab world. My own conviction is that we should do everything possible to remove the stereotypical image that is widely attached to the Arabs these days.”
“The most effective way to achieve this is by encouraging the youth to build Arab pride, to strive for excellence in their fields and to inspire future generations thereby. Let our young people rise above social and cultural barriers. Encourage them to attain success through outstanding performance whether in sports, health, education, trade, industry, commerce or technology.
“I also believe very strongly that the new generation of young Arabs who for economic or other reasons find themselves working or studying in the West, have a responsibility to play a role in the public lives of their host countries – and to build bridges between the two. In these two ways, I believe we can dispel misleading or erroneous stereotypes and improve the reputation of the Arab community world-wide.”
“My message to the young students at the AUC is: Aim for the highest standards in research, technology, commerce. The Nobel prize is not restricted to a certain part of the hemisphere. The Noble prizewinner in chemistry, the Egyptian Saif Ahmad from Alexandria University, proved that. We look forward with confidence to the day when the illustrious list of Nobel prizewinners includes graduates from the American University in Cairo.”