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Provost of American University of Beirut seeks cooperation with PKU

MAY . 03 2014

Peking University, Apr. 20, 2014: Invited by the Department of Arabic Language and Culture of PKU, Ahmad Dallal, Provost of American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon and a professor of history in its Department of History and Archaeology visited PKU from April 6 to 10, seeking to establish cooperation in multiple areas.

In a meeting with Ahmad Dallal, Professor Wu Zhipan, Executive Vice President of PKU said that PKU is looking forward to cooperating with academic institutions in the Middle East to enhance mutual understanding. He emphasized that the interaction between the two schools should not be confined to languages. Ahmad Dallal agreed and said he was willing to make more effort to establish multi-area cooperation soon, adding that the rich and vibrant academic atmosphere at PKU and the teachers and students he met proved to him that PKU is a world-class university.

During the visit, Li Hongquan, Deputy Director of the Office of International Relations, Chen Feng, Deputy Dean of College of Engineering, Fu Mingzhi, Dean of the Department of Arabic Language and Culture met with Ahmad Dallal respectively and reached consensus that PKU and AUB should carry out academic exchange activities more frequently and work closely to further promote cultural communications between China and the Middle East.

On April 8, Professor Ahmad Dallal gave a speech titled “Science and Religion in the history of Islam.” He clarified some common misunderstandings about Islam during history introduction and demonstrated that Islam has been constantly evolving along with science. He emphasized that religion and science are not incompatible. In fact religious views have been changing with how people perceive and understand the world. After the lecture, he further communicated with the students and teachers present from different academic backgrounds by answering their questions.

Professor Ahmad Dallal also attended a seminar with graduate students and teachers from the department of Arab language and culture. During the seminar he discussed the problems facing the discipline of Arab language and envisioned research topics of Islam language, culture, history and national conditions.

Upon leaving PKU, Ahmad Dallal sincerely hoped that the cooperation between PKU and AUB can bring about broader and deeper communication between China and the Middle East, equipping young students with international visions and enabling them to contribute to the development of the whole world.

Extended Reading

Founded in 1866, the American University of Beirut bases its educational philosophy, standards, and practices on the American liberal arts model of higher education.  It is a leading comprehensive university in the Middle East with six faculties: Agricultural and Food Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Architecture, Health Sciences, Medicine and the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business. The University encourages freedom of thought and expression and has established cooperation with universities in U.S. and Europe on multiple levels.

Written by: Jiang Zhihui
Edited by: Chen Long
Source: PKU News (Chinese)