AMU VC praises Saudi alumni for excellent contributions

AMU Vice Chancellor Professor Tariq Mansoor, seated 5th from right, with AMU Old Boys Association Jeddah Chapter office-bearers and other guests in Jeddah on Thursday. (AN photo)
Updated 10 November 2017
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AMU VC praises Saudi alumni for excellent contributions

JEDDAH: The Jeddah-based alumni of India’s historic Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Thursday celebrated the bicentennial celebrations (1817-2017) of the university’s founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.
The most prominent guest at the event at Jeddah’s Crowne Plaza Hotel was AMU Vice Chancellor Professor Tariq Mansoor. The event was organized by the AMU Old Boys Association’s Jeddah Chapter.
The university’s alumni hold many responsible and prominent positions in Saudi Arabia in the fields of academia, industry, health care, media, medicine and engineering.
Among the other guests were Consul General Noor Rahman Sheikh, Ameer Ahamed, chairman, Manappat Foundation, and prominent Riyadh-based educationist Nadeem Tarin.
The Jeddah Chapter of the AMU Old Boys Association is headed by Azizurrab A. Mohammad. Nooruddin Khan is vice president; Asim Zeeshan is general secretary and Ather Rasool is treasurer.
Talking to Arab News, the vice-chancellor praised the alumni community in Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia’s alumni network is one of the best because of the active participation in AMU work. The alumni are helping in the development of the university. Recently, they donated a significant amount for the smart classroom project. I have thanked them for their hard work and commitment,” he said. “The alumni association in Riyadh, in cooperation with the Jeddah association, is constructing a hostel for 15,000 students at AMU India, named Riyadh Hostel,” he said.
The vice-chancellor discussed the virtues of tolerance, pure morality, knowledge, large-heartedness, and free inquiry among AMU students and staff.
“Our top priority is to develop research and innovation at AMU. We are starting new employment-oriented courses such as a college of nursing, paramedical college, veterinary college and institute of pharmacy,” he said.
He added that the central government had recently given the university a total of 900 million Indian rupees ($13.9 million) for the development of these projects at AMU.
“Total integrity will be my priority. It is non-negotiable,” he said.
Mansoor said: “My aim is to maintain transparency within our system. We have a clear transparent system provided by the Indian government in order to avoid the misuse of funds.”
Mansoor said that there were many issues related to teachers, students, non-teaching staff including law and order problems on the campus. There are always some undesirable elements trying to disturb the peace of the university.
“I want the AMU campus to become more tolerant, democratic, with a greater scientific temperament. It should be open to ideas,” he said.
AMU is offering thousands of scholarships for Indian and foreign students with the aim of providing a high-quality education.
“We are a residential university and 16,000 students live on campus. We have students from 31 states and union territories. AMU has more than 800 foreign students from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen, Jordan, Syria and North African countries,” he said.
AMU offers hundreds of courses in 303 departments. The university has approximately 22,000 students at the higher level and 15,000 students in school.
“We are open to collaboration with Saudi universities in the field of geology, petrochemicals, petroleum studies and chemical engineering and West Asian studies. The AMU library is one of the best in the world. Many scholars from Egypt, South Africa, West Asia come for the library. We have also established a modern Qur’anic center in collaboration with Oxford University,” he said.
Mansoor said that AMU had a large alumni network spread all over the world including in the US, Europe, West Asia, the Middle East, and New Zealand among others.
He said that the university had signed agreements with different universities including the University of Washington, Ohio State University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Sharjah, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the UK, among others.
“Kuwait University is eager to sign an agreement in the field of petrochemicals, chemical engineering and management; hopefully we will sign the agreements in the near future.”
A surgeon by profession with a special interest in breast and thyroid diseases, Mansoor has 33 years of teaching and 35 years of clinical experience. He has 90 publications to his credit and has guided 49 postgraduate medical students for their theses as supervisor/co-supervisor.


Ascott debuts in Africa with Kwarleyz Residence

Updated 15 October 2018
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Ascott debuts in Africa with Kwarleyz Residence

The Ascott Limited has cemented its footprint on the African continent with the opening of its first property in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Kwarleyz Residence, which is managed by Ascott, will be the first upscale international -class serviced residence to enter the flourishing Ghanaian market.
Thomas Wee, Ascott’s deputy managing director for the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India, said: “Ascott has been managing world-class serviced residences globally for over 30 years. The opening of our first property in Africa, Kwarleyz Residence, enables our worldwide network of corporate clients and the growing international travelers to experience Ascott’s award-winning hospitality on another continent.
“Africa is the world’s second fastest-growing economy after Asia and we see great potential in the region’s hospitality market. Africa’s huge economic growth is fueled by massive infrastructure development, favorable investment policies, and a young population.
With our strong expertise in hospitality management, Ascott aims to set the benchmark in the region by offering business and leisure travelers world-class extended stay accommodation and superior customer service.”
Wee added: “In addition to Kwarleyz Residence, we have secured a contract to manage Ascott 1 Oxford Street which will open in the heart of Accra in 2019.”
Located in the upscale airport residential district, Kwarleyz Residence is surrounded by embassies and the headquarters of gold mining companies. About a five-minute drive from the Kotoka International Airport, the property is within easy access to the Marina Mall at Airport City and Tema Industrial City, via the motorway.
Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional general manager for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, said: “We are proud to partner with Wonda World Estates to bring the first-of-its-kind hospitality offering to the Ghanaian capital and introduce sophisticated living in Accra with the opening of Kwarleyz Residence.”
Nana Kwame Bediako, president for the Kwarleyz Group of companies, which includes Wonda World Estates, said: “We see this collaborative project with our colleagues at Ascott as another example of Wonda World Estates, Kwarleyz Group, Cola Group and Kensington Residential Partners showcasing, either individually or as a collective, a commitment to the improvement of emerging markets across the African landscape.”
The 40-unit serviced residence provides a variety of studio and one- to three-bedroom apartments.
The property includes facilities such as a restaurant, coffee lounge, sky bar, rooftop garden and basement parking. Guests can relax and rejuvenate in the gymnasium, outdoor pool or spa.
The International Monetary Fund forecasts that Africa’s economy will be the second fastest growing in the world with an annual growth rate of 4.3 percent from 2016 to 2020. Ghana is ranked Africa’s fifth most attractive investment destination. Its foreign direct investment increased by nine percent to a record $3.5 billion in 2016.