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Towards Enhanced U.S-Muslim Collaborations
Alexandria, 16 June 2010  -- Following a preparatory workshop held at the Divinity School of Yale University in February 2010, the international conference Initiatives in Education, Science and Culture Towards Enhanced US- Muslim Countries Collaborations opened today at the BA with delegations of writers, politicians, journalists, moderate clergy and youth, from the US, Canada, and Islamic countries. The conference is organized by the BA, together with a number of academic and cultural institutions and libraries in both the US and Egypt, in recognition of the potential impact of President Obama’s speech in Cairo on 4 June 2009, and the urgent need to encourage the creation of a new relationship between the US and the Muslim world.

In his inaugural address Serageldin pointed out that President Obama’s speech was “a gesture with an outstretched hand that promised a new beginning”, that it created “a new climate of collaboration and open doors between American institutions and the Arab and Muslim world”. Serageldin called for “using the conference as a way to identify projects and programs that we can implement together”.

The opening session of the conference witnessed speeches by Mr. Rashad Hussain, Special Envoy of the US President to the Islamic Conference Organization; Ambassador Margaret Scobey, American Ambassador to Egypt; Farah Pandith, Special US State Department Representative to Muslim Countries; Hesham Youssef, Representative of the Secretary General of the League of Arab States (LAS); Mohamed Ben Saleh, Representative of the Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) - on behalf of the Director General Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri; Minister Ahmed Darwish, Egyptian Minister of State for Administrative Development.

The conference discussions will focus on three principle areas for cooperation: Culture; Education; and Science and Technology, while exploring each of these areas in conjunction with four tracks, namely; Youth, Information Technology, Media, and Women. The uniqueness of the conference lies in that it will come up with a number of specific follow-up projects and activities, and will focus on building a digital social networking to connect people together, particularly youth.

Click here to view a webcast of Serageldin’s presentation

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