This is the speech delivered by Dr. David Schmidt, president of the American University in Dubai, on October 9, 2019 during the opening of the university’s Tolerance Forum. Held by the School of arts and Sciences, the conference sought to bring together professionals from various disciplines across art, organizations, and education to discuss the aspect of tolerance in their fields. The different panels discussed the various ways to connect people from various experiences and backgrounds…
A special thank you to Dean Joseph and all of the faculty and staff who have dedicated their time to organizing this forum and will further contributing their craft and art throughout the day.
So succinctly put this forum seeks to expand our understanding of various strategies and mechanisms used to build bridges between people with diverse experiences, abilities and backgrounds …
This may seem simple at first but it is as complex, varied and layered as the humankind… and,…These bridges are built upon our insight and empathy with our own human experience.
If you examine and think about Aristotle’s 12 virtues: Courage, Temperance, Liberality, Magnificence, Pride, Honor – respect, reverence, admiration, Good Temper, Friendliness, Truthfulness, Wit, Friendship, and Justice…
The common thread with these virtues is one of Tolerance in its many manifestations.
In addition to this privilege of welcoming you—it is also something that provides me with a great sense of pride.
One could argue that nowhere is this tolerance more evident than in this very special academic community in which you find yourself this morning…students, staff and faculty representing 103 different nationalities, a multitude of ethnicities and backgrounds with countless views, ideas and dreams.
Enjoy the day,
enjoy the forum,
and I do hope that you will be able to fruitfully cross many bridges during your journey with us today.