Media & Communication Directorate
Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)
King attends American University of Madaba inauguration
Amman, 30 May 2013
His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday attended a ceremony marking the official inauguration of the American University of Madaba (AUM).
The university, which comprises seven faculties built on an area of 400 dunums, provides students with bachelor’s degrees in 18 specialisations in the fields of science, information technology and humanities.
King Abdullah, who was accompanied by HRH Crown Prince Al Hussein, was shown an architectural model depicting the university’s various facilities and was briefed by Majdi Dayyat, assistant to the president for administrative and executive affairs, on the faculties and educational centres on campus.
Several Royal Family members and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the Pope’s representative, attended the ceremony, during which AUM President George Hazboun highlighted the university’s mission.
Hazboun underlined the university’s efforts to enrich students’ personal and professional experiences, commending King Abdullah’s support for the higher education sector.
He said the university has acquired accreditation from the Higher Education Accreditation Council in Jordan and the New Hampshire Higher Education Commission in the US, and is working to become a model higher education institution.
Addressing the attendees, Patriarch Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, stressed the importance of higher education in establishing good relations among the followers of the three monotheistic religions and in building an environment of openness and acceptance of religious and cultural traditions.
In his speech, Cardinal Sandri conveyed Pope Francis’ greetings to His Majesty, praise for his efforts to secure peace in the Middle East, and appreciation for his support for the new academic institution.
At the end of the ceremony, which was also attended by Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and several senior officials, the King was presented with a painting of the Holy City of Jerusalem, as a token of appreciation.
The university, for which Pope Benedict XVI laid the cornerstone in May 2009, began accepting students around two years ago and now has 800 students. Jordanians represent 92 per cent of the university’s academic staff and 95 per cent of its administrative staff.