On November 26, the NYU Abu Dhabi community gathered for an evening of celebration to pay tribute to the 43rd UAE National Day. The event, held in the central plaza of NYUAD's Saadiyat campus, honored the rich history of the UAE and provided opportunities for guests to experience traditional Emirati culture, and explore local cultural themes and customs.
Students, faculty, and staff indulged in authentic Emirati food, watched folk dances, and listened to traditional Emirati music while children had the chance to learn and play Bas Bas Baseena, hold a falcon, and visit a model of a Dukan (or baqala), the small grocery store that served up candies and memories for many Emirati children.
NYUAD Vice Chancellor Al Bloom spoke at the event, praising the UAE's leadership for forging "a nation that sensitively and effectively balances its cultural and national tradition with embrace of an international world." NYUAD, Dr. Bloom said, fits comfortably into this vision for a more cooperative, just, and peaceful planet.
"Five years ago, in partnership with this remarkable nation and with our remarkable parent university, we set out to create a great institution of higher learning, one that we dreamed would prove singularly effective at attracting outstanding students, faculty and staff from across the UAE and around the globe, a university that would prove singularly effective at developing a community of shared respect, understanding and purpose across the differences that would enrich that global community, and a university that would prove singularly effective at placing education and research at the service of a more united, productive and peaceful world," he said.
"Today the quality and dynamism of the students, faculty and staff assembled here and the excellence in community building, education and research achieved here already distinguish NYU Abu Dhabi across the UAE and the world. Let us on this National Day, and on each one that follows, express our profound appreciation to our host nation and at the same time recommit to the energetic pursuit of the global vision that we have set for ourselves, and that this nation has enabled us to nurture and realize."
Click here to read Al Bloom's full speech.