Transforming the World through Education
“Today’s youth face fierce global competition and are expected to battle their way to the top, armed with university degrees and a broad diversity of knowledge on a range of topics. They must wrap their minds around such subjects as financial markets, IT, international marketing, geopolitics, stem cell research and DNA. In their hands rests the planet’s survival. They are the ones who must tackle global warming, dwindling natural resources, the problems of overpopulation, nuclear proliferation, ideological extremism and threats from rogue states.”
Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor: The Autobiography
Succeeding and fulfilling one’s dream in today’s challenging world is not easy; it is rather like a battle that requires persistence, self -determination and a strong will. Not everyone is born fortunate. However, hard working individuals who aspire to make a difference, change their destiny and the world around them, are more likely to succeed and fulfill their dreams than others who accept life as it is! Arab societies need those individuals who are not only eager to lead a better life, but who are in a constant quest to develop their homeland, lead change around the world and make an impact, despite all difficulties.
A self-made man, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, chairman of the Al Habtoor Group, is an active member of society and an established entrepreneur and philanthropist, whose giving across various levels throughout the region has had so many tangible effects on human wellbeing. A longtime supporter and friend of AUC, Al Habtoor supported the construction of the AUC New Cairo campus through naming the 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 competitions.
He has also recently established the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Scholarship, which will allow 10 outstanding Egyptian students from the “far corners of Egypt” and outside of greater Cairo the opportunity to study at AUC. Once the program is fully funded, two students will receive the scholarship each year and two will graduate, maintaining 10 Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Scholarship students at AUC in perpetuity.
“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.”
Who is Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor?
An advocate for education, Al Habtoor founded the Al Ittihad School in 1975 and became its first Board of Trustees chairman. In 1991, he founded the Emirates International School, the first school in the United Arab Emirates 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. In addition, he has been a pioneer in bringing polo and women’s tennis programs to the forefront in the region. More than 15 years ago, demonstrating his pioneering spirit and strong belief in the value of sport participation, Al Habtoor launched the first professional ladies’ tennis tournament in the Middle East, the Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge.
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 U.S.-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 Doctor of Philosophy from AUC in June 2014 in recognition of his continued efforts in fostering cross-cultural understanding, supporting humanitarian causes and advancing 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 people throughout the Arab world.