Category: International

A semester devoted to music

March 7th, 2012 in 2012, International, Newsmakers, Students in the News, Study Abroad 0 comments

Auckland City Harbour News
BU student profiled

Boston University student Fred Williams is bucking the trend when it comes to studying acting and music…

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Boston University Researcher’s "Desert Development Corridor" Plan Accepted by Egypt’s Government

March 1st, 2011 in College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, International, News Releases, Science & Technology 0 comments

Contact: Kira Jastive, 617-358-1240 |

(Boston) – A visionary plan for a “Desert Development Corridor” in Egypt, researched and created by Boston University geologist Dr. Farouk El-Baz, has been adopted by the country’s interim government as its flagship program. According to El-Baz, the plan – which includes the construction, along 1,200 kilometers, of a new eight-lane superhighway, a railway, a water pipeline, and a power line – would open new land for urban development, commerce, agriculture, tourism and related jobs. It installs new transportation routes to an undeveloped area of desert running parallel to the Nile River Valley and Delta.

The Egyptian-born El-Baz, director of BU’s Center for Remote Sensing, has for decades been researching Egypt’s deserts using satellite imagery and space-age techniques. He had originally proposed the plan to Egypt’s former government in 1985. Following the recent revolution, El-Baz traveled to Egypt to meet with government leaders and the general public to explain the plan that would reinvigorate the country and expand the living space near the banks of the Nile River.

“This project includes opening up a vast strip of Egypt just west of the narrow living area along the Nile that can be utilized in establishing housing communities, expanding agriculture, initiating industrial compounds, and enhancing the potential of tourism,” said El-Baz. “Most importantly, the activity opens up the possibility of a bright future for the young generation. One that is full of new opportunities where they may innovate and excel.”

The Development Corridor plan has been highly popular among young Egyptians, with several university student clubs and six Facebook pages devoted to the project. El-Baz has lectured extensively about the project at Egyptian universities.

El-Baz’s idea has two components: first, an axis composed of a north-south running eight-lane highway, a high-speed train, an electricity line, and a water pipeline for human consumption along the 1,200 kilometer strip of desert; and second, 12 east-west axes that connect large population centers to the north-south corridor.

According to El-Baz, the project would begin with the east-west connectors to ease the pressure on high population density centers and provide immediate job opportunities. He estimates that this phase would take approximately five years to complete. The second period, another five years, would be required to complete the infrastructure of the north-south segment.

El-Baz has suggested to the government that the project be run by an internationally recognized Board of Trustees and initial funding should be sought from bonds to be offered to the Egyptian people – the “owners” of the project, according to El-Baz.

Details of the project have been laid out in El-Baz’s book (Development Corridor: Securing a Better Future for Egypt), published in Cairo in 2007. The book served as the basis for technical evaluation and feasibility studies, the latter indicating that the infrastructure of the project would cost approximately $24 billion.

El-Baz, a veteran of NASA’s Apollo program of lunar exploration, is well-known for his role in the selection of landing sites for the Apollo missions and the training of the astronauts in visual observations and photography. He is a pioneer in applying space images in the fields of geology, geography and archaeology. Under his direction, the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing was selected in 1997 by NASA as a “Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing.”

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

Boston University College of Fine Arts professor Simon Estes performs at “Celebrate Africa – The Grand Finale”

July 13th, 2010 in Arts, College of Fine Arts, Entertainment, International, News Releases 0 comments

Contact: Ellen Carr, 617-353-8783 |
Contact: Jean Connaughton, 617-353-7293 |

Boston, MA – Boston University College of Fine Arts Professor of Music Simon Estes performed as part of the “Celebrate Africa – The Grand Finale” concert at the Coca Cola Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa on Friday, July 9, 2010. The world-renowned bass-baritone was joined by the Simon Estes Music School Choir in a performance of Save the Children, Save Their Lives, arranged by Michael Golemo, a professor and chair of music at Iowa State University. Mr. Estes and the choir opened the concert, which also featured Canadian singer Bryan Adams; popular South African soprano Patty Yende; and renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. The event honored the 2010 FIFA World Cup and generated support for United Against Malaria, an organization dedicated to raising awareness for the fight against malaria. Save the Children, Save Their Lives will be featured on Mr. Estes’ upcoming CD, with some of the proceeds benefiting the Simon Estes Music School in South Africa.

Simon Estes is an operatic bass-baritone of African-American descent, and has enjoyed a major international opera career since the 1960s. He has sung at most of the world’s major opera houses, as well as in front of presidents, popes, and internationally renowned figures and celebrities. He was notably part of the first generation of black opera singers to achieve global success and is viewed as part of an instrumental group of performers who helped break down the barriers of racial prejudice in the opera world. Estes is a Professor of Music at the Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Music and the F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Artist in Residence at Iowa State University.

The Simon Estes Music School Choir is part of the Simon Estes Music High School Trust. The school was established in 1997 after Estes visited a number of school choirs on the Cape Flats. He was particularly impressed by a group of high school choristers from the Khayelitsha Township community. Though the pupils were from a socially and academically disadvantaged background, they could still produce a very high standard of music performance. He was moved when told that the majority of those pupils were musically gifted but because of the social economic situation and general poverty these children would never have the opportunity to realize their full potential. Today this project, which started with 60 learners, has grown into an institution catering for three hundred learners from grade 8 to 12 (secondary school level) with the ages ranging from 13-19 years old. The Simon Estes Music School promotes the formal training and teaching of Western classical and traditional African music specifically to disadvantaged learners.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission. The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a rich center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.

Professor Farouk El-Baz to be honored by American University of Beirut

June 15th, 2009 in College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Education, International, News Releases, Science & Technology, University Affairs 0 comments

Contact: Ronald Rosenberg, 617-358-1240 |

(Boston) — American University of Beirut will honor Boston University professor Farouk El-Baz with a Doctor of Science degree for his outstanding contributions to geology and a better understanding of the Earth and its environment.

The recognition will occur on June 27, 2009 as part of the university’s commencement program.

A veteran of NASA’s Apollo lunar exploration program, Farouk El-Baz is director of the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing. He is renowned for pioneering the use of satellite images in the study of desert landforms. His research resulted in the location of groundwater resources in numerous desert regions, particularly in Arab countries.

Professor El-Baz is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the Arab Academy of Sciences. He served as science adviser to the late President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and for the past eight years was chairman of the U.S. National Committee for Geological Sciences.

He is also a board member of the Geological Society of America Foundation, which established two awards in his name to encourage and reward scientific research in the desert.

The Boston University Center for Remote Sensing was established in 1986 under his direction and has advanced the applications of satellite images in the fields of archaeology, geography and geology. In 1997, it was selected by NASA as a “Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing.”

American University of Beirut, Lebanon is one of the most distinguished higher education institutions in the Middle East and its graduates hold many leadership positions throughout the Arab world.

Botswana’s Former President Festus Mogae Newest Boston University African President-in-Residence

March 10th, 2009 in College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, International, News Releases 0 comments

Contact: Richard Taffe, 617-353-4626 |

(Boston) – Former two-term President Festus Mogae of Botswana has accepted an appointment as the sixth African President-in-Residence at Boston University’s African Presidential Archives and Research Center (APARC), it was announced today by APARC Director Charles Stith, a former U.S. ambassador to Tanzania.

Funded by a grant from the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation, the residency enables democratically elected former African leaders to spend up to two years at BU sharing insights on contemporary trends in Africa. President of the world’s biggest diamond-producing nation from 1998 to 2008, the Oxford-educated Mogae will live on the BU campus through May.

Mogae, 79, has been credited with putting in place one of Africa’s most comprehensive programs for tackling AIDS in a country of 2 million where one in three adults is estimated to be infected with HIV. For leading the fight against AIDS and guiding Botswana along a stable, prosperous path, last year he was awarded the $5 million Mo Ibrahim Prize for African leadership.

“I am both honored and excited to serve as the next APARC African president-in-residence and bridge the distance between the United States and the African continent,” said Mogae. “I am looking forward to my time in Boston and anxious to interact intellectually with the Boston University community.”

Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda was named the first Balfour President-in-Residence in 2002. Since then, Ruth Sando Perry of Liberia, Karl Auguste Offmann of Mauritius, Sir Q. Ketumile Masire of Botswana (Mogae’s immediate predecessor as president), and Antonio Monteiro of Cape Verde have been APARC guests.

“As the Obama administration inaugurates its new era of engagement, a statesman of President Mogae’s stature can provide an interpretive framework for Americans to understand the importance of engaging Africa in new ways,” Stith said.

Stith founded APARC to complement BU’s African Studies program — one of the nation’s oldest, established in 1953. APARC organizes annual forums regarding Africa’s global relationships, hosts the residency program for African former heads of state, and publishes an annual “State of Africa” report with perspectives from former heads of democratic African nations.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is the fourth largest independent university in the United States, with more than 30,000 students in its 17 colleges and schools. BU has established an international reputation for excellence in teaching and conducting research on Africa, and has built and maintained broad collaborations with institutions in Africa.

For more on APARC visit

UN Secretary-General Nominates Boston University Professor Adil Najam to Committee on Development Policy

February 19th, 2009 in BU In the Community, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, International, News Releases 0 comments

Contact: Ronald Rosenberg, 617-358-1240 |

BOSTON– Adil Najam, director of Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, was nominated to serve on the United Nations Committee on Development Policy (CDP) by UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon.

The CDP provides input and independent advice to the UN Economic and Social Council on emerging cross sectoral development issues and an on international cooperation for development, focusing on medium and long-term aspects. The CDP is also responsible for reviewing the status of “Least Developed Countries” (LDCs). The LDC designation is important for poor countries because it allows them differential rules and treatment, including trade regulations.

Najam, who is professor of International Relations and Professor of Geography and the Environment at Boston University, will serve on the CDP until the end of this year. Najam was chosen in part, because of his expertise in global climate change, sustainable development, human development and international environmental policy.

“Although these appointments are made in an individual capacity, this is also relevant to the Pardee Center, because the focus of the Pardee Center’s work is directly relevant to that of the CDP” said Najam.

“From the Pardee Center’s perspective, I hope to use this opportunity to continue trying to bring the UN to BU as well as take BU to the UN.” For example, as part of an ongoing Pardee Center project on food and development, the Center will host a seminar at the UN in New York this May during the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.

Najam also noted that he is particularly honored to serve on the 24-member CDP whose previous members have included Dr. Mahbub-ul-Haq, the founder of the Human Development Reports and Index, Robert McNamara, the former US Defense Secretary under President Kennedy and later World Bank President, development scholar Ester Boserup, and Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum (Davos).

Prof. Najam, who becomes one of the very few non-economists to serve on the committee, has earlier served as a lead author for the Third and Fourth Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a blue ribbon panel of leading climate scientists, which was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

Boston University & UK’s University of Warwick Launch Partnership

May 9th, 2008 in International, News Releases, University Affairs 0 comments

Contact: Colin Riley, 617-353-2240 |

(Boston) – Boston University and the University of Warwick, one of Britain’s leading research universities, have announced a partnership to leverage the strengths of each institution through research collaboration in new and emerging disciplines.

The announcement coincided with a BU visit and speech by Rt. Hon. John Denham MP, the British Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, who echoed the recent statements by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for more inter-university collaboration between the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

“Speaking as a government minister, I recognize that these days, national leaders must be concerned with both competition and collaboration,” said Denham. “But it is equally a feature of the modern world that scientific quality, academic eminence, and successful businesses depend on international cooperation — scientific collaboration, the interchange of academics and partnerships between universities, relationships between global corporations and innovative start-ups.”

Prime Minister Brown, writing in the April 16 issue of “Wall Street Journal,” stated “…I want to suggest how our Atlantic relationship….can be renewed and extended into new areas for a new generation. First, I am proposing moving cooperation between our universities at a far higher level.”

For nearly a year, BU and the University of Warwick, located on the edge of Coventry and just 15 miles from Birmingham in England’s Midlands, have explored ways to establish ties that will lead to sustainable, long-term collaborations.

“The prime minister’s statement and Secretary Denham’s comments could not have been timelier, given the work that BU and the University of Warwick have been doing to connect the two institutions,” said BU Associate Provost and Vice President for Research, Andrei E. Ruckenstein.

The two universities have already staged two workshops in complexity science and materials science, and have committed resources for further exploratory workshops in healthcare optimization, clean energy and infectious diseases. Also, the planners are exploring a broadening of the collaboration to include the Humanities and Social Sciences, and identifying more substantial, long-term funding for the next three years.

“Our strategic vision calls for expanding our international programs, particularly to new opportunities for interdisciplinary research that will provide more opportunities for our students to study abroad and for their international collaborators to come to Boston,” said BU President Robert A. Brown. “We expect that collaboration with the University of Warwick will provide an exciting array of just such opportunities.”

Added BU Provost David K. Campbell, “The BU-Warwick initiative is driven by our respective faculty’s shared understanding that modern research universities must expand their presence beyond traditional geographic, scholarly and educational borders.”

Technology transfer and the commercialization of intellectual property have been identified as key objectives, noted Ruckenstein.

“With this new alliance, the discussion of technology transfer is acquiring a broader, more global dimension,” he said. “From a more immediate and practical perspective, the two universities are exploring the possibility of serving as ‘soft landings’ for each other’s spin-off companies and building a network of educational and mentoring programs that would serve and strengthen both institutions.”

The University of Warwick, straddling the boundary between the City of Coventry and the County of Warwickshire, was founded in 1965, and enrolls over 11,000 undergraduates and more than 7,000 post-graduate students. It employs over 1,600 professors and more than 800 researchers. The university is comprised by 29 academic departments and over 50 research centers and institutes. Based on regular assessments conducted by the British government, it has consistently ranked among the top half dozen universities for the quality of its research.

Professor Nigel Thrift, the vice-chancellor at Warwick, believes that the two universities can together achieve results that neither institution could deliver alone.

“What this relationship is about,” he remarked, “is deep, lasting and meaningful collaboration across the Atlantic that allows each of our universities to leverage on the strengths of the other to achieve even greater impact from its research endeavors.”

Boston University School of Dental Medicine Opens Institute of Dental Research & Education, and Dental Health Center at Dubai Healthcare City

February 26th, 2008 in Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Health & Medicine, International, News Releases, University Affairs 0 comments

Contact: Mary Becotte, 617-638-5147 |

(DUBAI) — The Boston University Institute of Dental Research and Education Dubai, and the Boston University Dental Health Center at Dubai Healthcare City were officially opened today at ceremonies held in the United Arab Emirates, announced Boston University Executive Vice President Joseph Mercurio and Goldman School of Dental Medicine Dean ad interim Jeffrey Hutter, both of whom attended.

Saeed Al Muntafiq, executive chairman of Tatweer, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding; Ahmad Sharaf, senior vice president Energy and Healthcare of Tatweer; and Dr. Muhadditha Al-Hashimi, chief executive officer-Dubai Healthcare City, represented the emirate.

The institute will focus on furthering dental research in the region and on training graduate dentists in the dental specialties. The training programs will be developed and overseen by faculty of the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. The Dental Health Center will provide comprehensive and prevention-oriented dental services to residents of the region as well as to the many visitors to Dubai. The institute is in the process of submitting an application for accreditation from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Dubai Healthcare City is a medical free zone within the Emirate of Dubai in the UAE. Dubai Healthcare City has been developed with the goal of becoming a world-class academic medical community which will be developed around the Harvard Medical School Dubai Center, Boston University Institute for Dental Research and Education, and a major university hospital. The campus will also contain a wellness center offering integrative medicine, private clinics and branches of several international medical and pharmaceutical corporations that will be available in the medical community.

“The collaboration with such a renowned world-class American medical and academic institution will further consolidate our position as a regional healthcare hub,” said Dr. Muhadditha Al Hashimi, CEO of Dubai Healthcare City. “This strengthens our status as a center for quality and excellence in the Middle East, offering healthcare services and advanced health-related educational programs in addition to scientific research.”

The Boston University Dental Health Center Dubai will begin seeing patients immediately after the grand opening, and the first class of residents will begin their graduate training program in July 2008.

“We take our responsibility as educators and researchers in the global community very seriously,” said Dean ad interim Hutter. “The Goldman School of Dental Medicine is very proud to be in partnership with Dubai Health Care City to provide world class oral health care and education in the region.”

Mercurio extended congratulations on behalf of President Robert A. Brown adding, “Boston University is focused on the pursuit of excellence in its core mission of teaching, research and service. Under Dr. Brown’s leadership, the university has added a strategic goal: The creation of new opportunities for students from around the world to experience a BU education.”

The Boston University School of Graduate Dentistry was founded in 1963 under the leadership of Dean Henry M. Goldman. In 1996 the school had outgrown its designation as a school of graduate dentistry and was renamed the “Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine” to better reflect the scope of the school’s education, research, patient care, and community missions. With a faculty of more than 325 educators, clinicians, and researchers and more than 250 staff members, the school offers a full spectrum of pre-doctoral and postdoctoral specialty education programs and a complete range of graduate programs and degrees to more than 700 students.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.

Banker to the Poor: Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus To Speak at Boston University

October 12th, 2007 in Business, International, News Releases 0 comments

Contact: Erin Whipple, 617-358-1688 |

Boston – 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Muhammad Yunus will give a lecture entitled The End of Poverty: Because Poverty Is the Absence of Every Human Right on Saturday, October 13 at Boston University. One of the most prominent world leaders and activists for peace and the end of poverty, Dr. Yunus is founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and a leader in microfinance.

Event Details
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2007
Time: 2:30 – 5:00 PM
Location: GSU Metcalf Hall, 775 Commonwealth Avenue (2nd Floor)
Admission: Free, Open to the Public

The lecture will focus on the ongoing War on Poverty and how micro-lending can be instituted to liberate the poor worldwide. Dr. Yunus will discuss his vision to start a bank that provides credit to impoverished people in rural Bangladesh, without any collateral, for the purpose of starting small businesses. A question-and-answer session led by the audience will follow the lecture.

The event is co-sponsored by the BU Bangladeshi Students’ Association, Office of the Dean of Students, BU International Students’ Consortium, BU Student Union, ONE at BU and the MIT Bangladeshi Students’ Association.

US Journalists Win Boston University Fellowships

October 20th, 2006 in College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Humanities/Social Science, International, News Releases 0 comments

Contact: Richard Taffe, 617-353-4626 |
Contact: Elizabeth Amrien, 617-358-2778 |

(Boston) — Three American journalists have been awarded Milena Jesenská Fellowships for research in Europe. Sponsored by the Institute for Human Sciences at Boston University, the program enables journalists enlarge their knowledge of European social and political issues. The 2006 recipients follow in the footsteps of recently slain Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a Jesenská Fellow in 2001.

The Fellowships are named for the Czech journalist whose resistance to Nazism led to her death in a concentration camp in 1944. The $12,500 stipends for each will enable the journalist to spend up to three months working in Europe while establishing working contacts with European Journalists, politicians, and opinion makers. The latest Jesenská Fellowship recipients include:

Julie Denesha — A photojournalist based outside Washington, D.C., working as picture editor at the Washington Times, her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Time, Newsweek, and The Christian Science Monitor (see Her project takes on the centuries-old difficulty of the Roma being accepted and justly treated in Europe as the European Union moves its boundary further eastward.

Meline Toumani — A freelance writer based in New York City working at The New York Times Magazine as an assistant to editor-in-chief Gerald Marzorati, she will write about the influence of EU membership negotiations on the Turkish legal system and the role of the Turkish courts in shaping Turkey’s international image in the early stages of negotiations. She is in the early stages of writing a book about Turkish-Armenian relations.

Alexandra Starr — A New York City-based journalist and a frequent contributor to Slate Magazine, she will to write a series of dispatches for Slate on how immigration is being understood and handled in three European countries: Austria, Ireland, and Spain.

Each recipient gets an office, PC with Internet connection, and access to research services and programs of the Institute’s sister institution, the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM) in Vienna, where they will be based. The IHS fellowships are in their second year; the IWM has sponsored similar fellowships for European journalists since 1998.

Politkovskaya, who was shot dead in Moscow October 7, spent three months at the IWM in Vienna as a Jesenská Fellow writing on her book about the second Chechen war, “A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya.”

For more, see