Speech of Patriarch Fouad Twal

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My Dear Graduates,

Brothers and Sisters,

We welcome you to the American University of Madaba on this wonderful occasion, the graduation ceremony of the first cohort of students, class of 2015. We welcome you and thank you for taking part in this ceremony, which signals the beginning of so many achievements to come which will distinguish the American University of Madaba as a minaret for science, supporting scientific breakthroughs and participating in achieving them, and as fertile soil for bringing up a generation of youthequipped with knowledge, wisdom and readiness to serve their communities.

Some may consider a university as a place from which a diploma is obtained and consequently a professional career is guaranteed. AUM is not only that. AUM is also the place where science is produced, not just consumed, the place that not only develops man’s technical knowledge, but also builds him in a comprehensive way that meets his various needs. The university is a place for innovation, not imitation, a place for building man and refining his character, not for placing him in ready molds.

Since the re-establishment of the Latin Patriarchate in 1848, charity, development of society, and educating people have been among its priorities. It has built schools before churches, and supported the coming of various monastic associations specialized in education to establish schools in the Kingdom, especially in villages where no public schools existed, due to our conviction that our mission is raising the status of man irrespective of his faith, gender, or social background. Each person has the right to be educated, as education plays the greatest role in the development of the nation.

After 150 years of hard work in the field of education at the school level, we felt it was high time we moved to the university and higher education level. The idea of establishing the American University of Madaba was then conceived. It started as a dream; it then developed into a vision which has been realized in this university, which has been distinguished from the very beginning by its faculty, staff and students. The realization of this dream has never been easy.But when we see students graduate from this university, we instantly forget about the difficulties we faced. In fact, we feel gratified when we realize that our graduates have been equipped with science and wisdom, and are characterized by professionalism, integrity, leadership, and creativity which will distinguish them while serving our beloved country Jordan, in particular, and the region, in general.

The knowledge and skills that AUM students acquire are means to be used wisely in finding creative and ethical solutions to support the development of our country. Such solutions are supposed to preserve the principles on which we have been brought up, to keep the coherent social structure, to respect diversity and pluralism, and to advance in all fields to serve our dear country.

My dear graduates

Congratulations on your graduation from our and your university, the American University of Madaba. Congratulations on your qualification for work after having been equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for the labor market and the sense of responsibility towards your society.

You do not hold just a certificate; you hold a mission, the mission of the American University of Madaba, namely, merging science and ethical principles, protecting the environment for future generations, and keeping religious values that bring mankind up, values that see in God Almighty a great creator who takes care of His creation, man, to continue building and offering, not destroying and demolishing, and to live in dignity, not in humiliation, on this earth.

My dear graduates

You are the ambassadors of this university. Wherever you go in this life, you represent the university through what you have learned of sciences and ethics.

Ladies and Gentlemen

We congratulate the parents of our dear students. This achievement would not have been possible if it were not for the sacrifices made by the parents and their support to their children. Therefore, their happiness is as big as their children’s. Mabrook to you all.

The congratulations are also extended to all AUM faculty and staff, Prof. George Hazboun, in particular. You have worked hard, and you have exerted so much effort to make your university distinguished for its achievements and academic level. You have succeeded in doing that, overcoming all difficulties by your hard work in serving your students. Thank you all for what we have reached today.

We sincerely thank the Hashemite leadership, in particular, Al Al-Bayt Leader, His Majesty King Abdullah II, and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, for their great support for the university. We also thank the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Higher Education Accreditation Commission, and the State of New Hampshire Senate for their continuous support for the university to achieve its goals. We also thank the Chairman of the AUM Board of Trustees, H.E. Dr. Marouf Al-Bakheet , and the Board members for their continuous follow-up of AUM affairs, which has led to its development. We, finally, thank all philanthropists and friends of the university who have contributed towards its construction.

Ladies and Gentlemen

We thank you for your attendance and for your participation in thisjoyous event today, celebrating the graduation of the first cohort of AUM students, Class of 2015. We will continue doing our best to make sure that this university continues taking firm steps towards a bright future, towards becoming a minaret dissipating the darkness of ignorance and rejection of the other, and towards making tangible contributions in the development of our society by spreading knowledge and the values of assiduous and sincere work.

May God help us all!

Thank you.

† Patriarch Fouad Twal

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem