February 23, 2015, Cairo – The American University in Cairo (AUC) announced today, in a press conference, the establishment of the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Scholarship, which will allow 10 outstanding Egyptian students from the “far corners of Egypt” and outside for Greater Cairo the opportunity to study at AUC. Once the program is fully funded, two students will receive the scholarships each year and two will graduate, maintaining 10 Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Scholarship students at AUC in perpetuity. Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, a longtime supporter and friend of AUC, is a philanthropist and business leader. He is the owner and chairman of Al Habtoor Group in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Hosted by AUC President Lisa Anderson at AUC New Cairo, the signing ceremony attendees included Arab businessman Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor; Amr Salama, AUC counselor; Mahmoud El Gamal, AUC provost; Tarek Shawki, dean of the School of Sciences and Engineering; Brian MacDougall, executive vice president for administration and finance; Dina Abulfotuh, vice president for institutional advancement and communications and Khaled Dahawy, vice president for student affairs.“In establishing this scholarship, I have a dream to one day see the children of the 21 Egyptians brutally murdered in Libya receive the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Scholarships,” said Al Habtoor. “It is only through the light of education that we can overcome the darkness in the world. This scholarship program will ensure that the bright and deserving children of Egypt, from every corner of the country, have the best education possible to build their communities, their country and our region. I am a believer in the value of education and its ability to transform the world.”
Throughout his distinguished career in business, Al Habtoor has been an advocate for quality education. In 1975, he founded the Al Ittihad School and became its first chairman of the board of trustees. In 1991, he founded the Emirates International School, the first school in the UAE to provide an international curriculum to the Emirati and expatriate communities. In the United States, Al Habtoor established a leadership program and lecture series at Illinois College to foster young leaders at the university.
“The establishment of Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Scholarship is a great investment in Egyptian youth, who will come from the far corners of Egypt for a life-changing opportunity at AUC. Outstanding and deserving students will have the chance to follow their dreams and acquire the expertise, knowledge and education to become engaged citizens of their communities and the world,” said Lisa Anderson, AUC president, in the signing ceremony. "We are grateful to Dr. Al Habtoor, a longtime friend and supporter of AUC, and a remarkable philanthropist, for his vote of confidence in the University. His dedication to youth and transforming the future through education is inspirational for us all."
Known for his extensive knowledge of international political affairs; his philanthropic activity and his efforts to promote peace, Al Habtoor has long list of awards, including Global Humanitarian and Business Achievement Award from the National Council on US-Arab Relations at the 23rd annual Arab-US Policymakers Conference in Washington in recognition of his leadership in education, philanthropy, and building bridges between East and West. Also, he received the Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from AUC in June 2014 in recognition for his continued efforts in fostering cross-cultural understanding, supporting humanitarian causes, and advance academic inquiry. He is also the recipient of many other awards and honors from throughout the Arab region for his generosity and commitment to business and to the health and welfare of residents throughout the Arab world.
Al Habtoor has long been a supporter of AUC, he previously donated $5 million to finance Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Football and Track Stadium, an Olympic-standard facility boasting a full football field and a 400 meter, 10 lane track. The stadium has provided AUC with the ability to train and improve the athletic skills of its students in an ideal environment. The facility also provides the university with a prime venue for regional and international competition.