Abu-Ghazaleh delivers keynote speech at Columbia University in NY

16-Oct-2018

New York – H.E. Dr. Talal Abu Ghazaleh delivered a keynote speech at the prestigious Columbia University in New York upon an invitation from the Columbia Arab Students Association (Turath), in collaboration with Columbia Global Centres.

Dr. Abu Ghazaleh spoke about his vision for a knowledge-based Arab world, a goal he dedicated his life to achieve as he stressed in his remarks, describing himself as "a knowledge worker since 1965", devoted constantly to transferring knowledge to young people in the Arab World and encouraging them to excel.

In his speech, he focused on what he dubbed as wealth creation based on creative information production, citing examples of individuals who built huge fortunes, solely relying on their creativity, such as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp's inventor Jan Koum. He stressed that the Arab World is rich in talents, who are no less creative than these well-known figures.

Abu Ghazaleh said such examples are a source of inspiration for Arab youth to change their reality and achieve their dreams through stepping into the world of creativity, innovation and excellence through the gate of technological knowledge. He described such knowledge as "invaluable and the source of wealth," so much so that knowledge firms are way ahead of the richest companies in fields like oil, banking, weapons, food production, pharmaceutical industry and others worldwide.

Abu Ghazaleh stressed that these convictions of his have been the drive behind his decision to launch Talal Abu-Ghazaleh University College for Innovation (TAGUCI), which will commence its operation within weeks. TAGUCI, he noted, seeks to graduate Arab inventors with a record of knowledge innovations, leading eventually to Arab societies that produce knowledge and transform from civil to creative communities.

Based on that, Abu Ghazaleh pointed out to his vision for building a modern Arab society through a comprehensive knowledge plan that would have the same impact, but culturally, of the famous Marshal Plan, devised to rebuild Europe in the aftermath of WWII.

Meanwhile, Dr. Abu Ghazaleh made reference in his speech to his new book "The Brave New World", which he will launch soon to elaborate on his vision and philosophy that have evolved throughout decades of his life and his insight into the knowledge revolution and its impact on humanity. In this context, he recalled his first computer lesson in 1968 and how the world has changed since then as a result of massive advancements in technology and ITC.

During his speech at Columbia University, Abu Ghazaleh outlined the milestones in the evolution of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Group, which started with a simple dream and progressed, with perseverance, patience and openness to the world, to become a leading professional services provider worldwide. It boasts a network of more than 100 branches and representation offices, including the largest intellectual property rights protection firm in the world.

In his response to questions by the audience following the speech, Abu Ghazaleh pointed out the "prosperous" future of the Arab World, which, he said, explains the world's deep interest in this region. He predicted that there will be a reconstruction phase in the coming years in the aftermath of the so-called Arab Spring, which he called "Arab Autumn", leading to an Arab awakening in various fields that would restore the Arab nation's role as a major contributor in the making of human history.

As he introduced Dr. Abu Ghazaleh, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University, Dr. Safwan Al-Masri, praised Abu Ghazaleh's success in building and leading a pioneering Arab business group, not only in the Middle East but globally.

He valued the group’s global policy of allocating half of its annual profits to support local communities throughout the Arab world and Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh's advocacy of knowledge in various Arab, regional and international arenas.

He described Abu-Ghazaleh as the inspiration for many creative Arab individuals, who look at his career with pride and admiration.

President of Columbia Arab Students Association, Rahma Elsiesy, welcomed Dr. Abu Ghazaleh and thanked him for his time and efforts to meet and talk with Arab university students despite his tight schedule.

She said the association looks forward to maintaining contact with a leading Arab figure such as Abu Ghazaleh to benefit from his experience and the services he extends to Arab youth to empower them and help realise their aspirations.

On the sidelines of his speech at Columbia University, Dr. Abu Ghazaleh received a plaque in recognition of his outstanding efforts and achievements in the knowledge realm at the Arab and international levels.

Columbia Global Centres introduced Dr. Abu Ghazaleh on its website as a "prominent business leader and a visionary contributor to the socio-economic development of the Arab World. He is the founder of the Talal Abu Ghazaleh group, which operates out of more than 100 offices worldwide. He led numerous international and regional successful capacity-building initiatives over the past 45 years in the fields of education and scientific research, youth empowerment, wealth creation through information and communication technologies."

Dr. Abu Ghazaleh's keynote speech at Columbia University followed previous ones he made in April at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University in Boston, in recognition of his prominent social status and notable role in the fields of science and knowledge regionally and internationally.