Does your university as a body participate in policy making at local, regional, national and/or global level to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions?

Faculty of Management webinar 'Championing the Agenda for Sustainable Development: Youth for SDG'

Calling all Faculty of Management students to attend the FREE student webinar titled ‘Championing the Agenda for Sustainable Development: Youth for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)’ on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the ultimate blueprint to achieving a sustainable future for all. The SDGs touch upon pressing topics such as inequality, climate change, poverty and more through their 17 goals that are intertwined with each other.

Organized by Pearl Initiative in collaboration with AIESEC, this webinar will help you discover the role of youth in effectively implementing the SDGs framework in your future careers and in contribution to building a sustainable society.

Learn how the youth of today have a responsibility to demonstrate their leadership, organization, advocacy and determination in order to achieve the ambitious SDGs by 2030!

Webinar speaker: Simarna Singh, Chief Sustainability and Impact Officer, Coco Veda

Click here to register

We look forward to your participation!

CUD Expert Contributes to Sustainable Campuses Debate

Canadian University Dubai (CUD) lecturer, Mr. Ryan Sisson, joined a panel of leading local and international experts to discuss sustainable development in higher education at the UAE’s first Sustainable Campus Initiative conference, hosted by the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD).

The inaugural conference set out to establish a platform for debate, exchange of ideas, and transfer of international best practices on sustainable development measures in the higher education sector. It heard from international experts from Europe, Africa, Asia and North America, who shared their experiences of sustainable campus principles from across the globe.

With his experience of sustainable campus initiatives in Canadian higher education, and his campaign efforts on campus at CUD, Mr. Sisson was invited to join a panel of higher education practitioners to discuss the need for mainstreaming sustainability across universities and colleges in the UAE.

Alongside other experts from UAE universities, Mr. Sisson gave his insights into what sustainable campuses in the country might look like, and spoke about the values, policies and competencies that would be required to develop and operate a sustainable higher education organization.

The Sustainable Campus Initiative was launched by EAD in November 2014 to encourage university students, educators and administrators across the UAE to address conservation issues, develop sustainable initiatives, and establish effective policies to raise awareness and promote actions towards sustainable development.

CUD has been recognized among the leading higher education institutions in Dubai for sustainability measures, winning a DEWA Conservation Award in 2014. Mr. Sisson was also among a team representing the University at DEWA’s event to mark World Energy Day last year.

Speaking of his latest contribution to the sustainability debate, Mr. Sisson said, “As educators we have an important role to play in building the capacity of future generations, and this initiative has helped to position universities at the front line in terms of developing sustainable infrastructure and services, as well as teaching and learning.

“The conference was a valuable opportunity to reinforce our commitment to this agenda, and also to learn from international experts in the field, particularly on how we can develop initiatives that apply students’ environmental learning to positive measures on campus.”

CUD hosts Model United Nations Academy

March 28th – 30th: Canadian University has proudly hosted the Dubai Model United Nations Academy, in collaboration with United Ambassadors.

Teams from as far away as the Democratic Republic of Congo took part in a packed four-day program where they were treated to a magnificent Opening Ceremony followed by two days of intensive workshops and presentations. The event culminated in a keenly fought debate on the final day, addressing some of the major issues facing our world, including sustainability, discrimination, conflict resolution and world poverty.

The event was introduced by Nabila Elassa, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of United Ambassadors with contributions from Mr. Omar Hernandez, Lead Trainer and Mr. Ahmad Al Ammar, Facilitator and former MUN participant. United Ambassadors is a world-leading international Model United Nations Education non-profit organization with a mission of building the next generation of youth leaders and global citizens, through Model United Nations.

Students learnt about the importance of demonstrating effective leadership skills and having empathy with their stakeholders. During the workshops and presentations they developed skills in public speaking, writing proposals, reaching consensus, interpreting briefings, diplomacy and negotiation skills, all interspersed with a variety of fun activities.

Several of the delegates also made personal statements for their audience reflecting their determination to make an impact on their communities.

The MUN initiative was created to provide a platform for young people to learn about international issues, diplomacy and inter-government relations and to develop their capabilities in critical thinking, research and debate. The model simulates the United Nations forum itself, with each group of students representing a country in the debate over a range of issues from health and social progress to the economy and global finance.

Speaking after the event, Mr. Omar Hernandez, Lead Trainer with United Ambassadors, praised the standard of commitment and debate displayed by the delegates. He said, “this is a remarkable opportunity for young people to gain a unique perspective on how diplomacy works. The skills they are learning will help them make a difference in their future lives, and with the delegates coming from different backgrounds and culture, they are able to appreciate the importance of tolerance in today’s world.”

Eszter Meszaros, Administrative Coordinator for United Ambassadors in Dubai said the purpose of the event was to help the leaders of the future realise how they could make a difference.

The event concluded with presentations to the delegates and a series of presentations from the leaders of each group.

AED 17,500 raised to support humanitarian projects in the region

“We wanted to raise as much money as possible and my father encouraged me to think outside the box, so I came up with the idea of playing my violin to attract people and encourage more donations. I was happy to see that it did draw people into the campaign and made a real difference to the funds we raised.”

Students from CUD have given up their home comforts to raise money for citizens displaced by conflict in the region, as part of the University’s fourth annual 5 Days for the Homeless campaign. Seventeen undergraduate students took part in the campaign, which saw the male team members sleep outdoors on the University campus, give up their cellphones and shower facilities, and rely on food donated by members of the community, while attending all their University classes. The girls, meanwhile, took to the campus to raise awareness of the initiative and encourage donations to the cause, which raised AED 17,500 for humanitarian charity Red Crescent. Taking part in the challenge for the second year, Nigerian student Emmanuel Ojumiri, said, “I was inspired by all those people who were left homeless following the war in my home country several years ago. I wanted to experience some part of what they did, and try to give back in some way.” Among the female participants, Syrian student Jude Kanawati was also inspired by the suffering of people in her home country. She even made use of her musical talents to attract donations for the cause. Jude said, “We wanted to raise as much money as possible and my father encouraged me to think outside the box, so I came up with the idea of playing my violin to attract people and encourage more donations. I was happy to see that it did draw people into the campaign and made a real difference to the funds we raised.” The 5 Days for The Homeless campaign was founded as a local initiative by students in Alberta, Canada in 2005 and the initiative was taken nation-wide in 2008. Launched and supported by the Student Affairs team, CUD has been participating in the campaign since 2012. For the students sleeping rough this year, the final night was both the toughest and the most meaningful, as they were joined by team members from previous years of the campaign. Their spirits were also lifted by a message of support from international humanitarian, Karl Haddad, whose own campaigns have taken him across 44 countries to establish 54 social and environmental initiatives, earning him the Nestle CSR Champion Award 2014. “It was inspirational to hear from Karl Haddad and learn about everything he has achieved”, said Abubakar Garba, another first timer in this year’s initiative. While it was fellow newcomer Sulaiman Dayoub who summed up the campaign message saying, “We learnt from Karl that there are so many simple things people can do that can make such a huge difference to many people’s lives.

Students Visit Al Quoz Labour Camp As Part of “good Deed Project”

DUBAI-MAY 02 2017: Thirty-four Canadian University Dubai students recently made multiple visits to a labour camp in Al Quoz as part of their “Good Deed Project” for their ‘Ethical Reasoning for Today’s World’ course. The students visited the camp several times to distribute boxes of clothes, toiletries and food supplies to the men who live at the camp. They were assisted in their efforts by an organization called ‘Royati’.

“We started handing out boxes, but before we knew, the line of people waiting to receive them grew more than we had accounted for,” said student Fatma Ali of their first visit to the camp. “At that point we decided to open the boxes and give out smaller amounts to each laborer, trying our best to ensure that each one of them went home with something. Unfortunately, the line grew longer with time and we were not able to cater for everyone. It was difficult for all of us to turn the rest of them down and announce that we had run out of goods.”

Following their first visit the students reflected on the lessons learned and changed how they handed out the goods on their subsequent visits. Some of the other students also reflected on the experience.

“What I loved the most was the way they all came around us, smiling and calling the others to come,” said student Olamiji Fisayomi Deborah. “It was great to see how welcoming and appreciative they were, it melted my heart. Deep within me I felt so proud and kind of accomplished, as it feels good to make people happy. I will definitely take other friends there to do this again.

Dr. Louise Lambert, Professor at Canadian University Dubai, said the volunteer component to the class brought many of the theories and philosophies of what it means to be a good person alive for the students. At first, they were not enthusiastic to give up some of their personal time, but after the first visit, they were the ones who insisted on collecting more donations and going back a second and third time. “Youth want to do good, but they can't always find the avenues to do so; once they find a path, they rise to their better selves and know exactly what to do.” This initiative parallels the Year of Giving being promoted by H.H Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and will be repeated again this Ramadan where students will hand out Iftar packages as part of their Good Deed component in the community.

“Our main aim was to provide enough supplies in order to fulfill the daily needs of a human being and to bring a smile on the workers face by showing them there is still someone who cares,” said Lubna Moosa Sodagar. “The whole experience of collection and distribution made me realize that every single thing that we have is such a blessing from God. It also made me more thankful for everything that we have in life.”

Said Lilas Ammouni, “I had a mixture of emotions. I was really excited to go, and it felt really good when we started giving stuff out to the workers and seeing their happy faces, but soon my emotions started to shift, since we had hundreds of working men lining up and just a few boxes left. Regardless of everything, it was a great experience that I would gladly and proudly do again because although there are so many good deeds to do out there, some just feel better than the others, feel free to nominate me to help in anything like that for the coming semesters !”

To learn more about Royati and the work that students will again do with them this coming Ramadan, please visit http://www.royati.ae/.


Professor Dr. Nurul Alam Discusses Benefits of Micro-finance in Developing Nations

Dr. Mohammed Nurul Alam, recently visited Kenya on a research visit involving a number of established Islamic Banks in Nairobi. In an exclusive interview with the ‘New Dawn’ newspaper, he talked about Islamic Banks promoting micro-finance to help fight poverty in rural areas.

Dr. Nurul emphasized that the biggest challenge for Islamic Banking at the moment is creating awareness, although there has been tremendous growth for the phenomenon since its inception nearly three decades ago.

“After completing my research with Grameen Bank (Brain child of Nobel Peace Prize winner (2006), Dr. Muhammad Yunus). I proposed the introduction of micro-finance in Islamic Banking to enable less fortunate individuals to access loans in a Shari’a compliant way. In my PhD thesis I had to prove that there was need for micro loans in Islamic banking and formulate a method to operationalize it.”

Dr. Nurul started his career as a teacher in 1979, as a senior lecturer at Kenya Institute of Administration (KIA) lower Kabete in Nairobi under the UNDP volunteer program. He went on to complete his Chartered Accountancy from Bangladesh before moving to Sweden to pursue his PhD in Islamic Banking. He has since then taught in Sweden, Canada and Oman.

Dr. Nurul currently teaches Accounting and Islamic Banking to MBA students at the Canadian University Dubai.

Canadian University of Dubai Students Sleep Rough for Charity

Students at the Canadian University Dubai raise money for charity by sleeping rough on campus.

For the first time female students are taking part in Five Days For the Homeless, a Canadian initiative which aims to create awareness of people living rough on the streets and raise money for good causes.

Eight male students have been sleeping on campus under the stars, from March 9th to March 13th. The eight female students have not been sleeping outside, but have been helping to collect money from generous fellow students in a bid to raise over AED15,000 for the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children.

"Donations have ranged from one dirham coins to 200 dirham notes," said 19-year-old public relations student, Judy Shebib. "We are thankful to everyone who has donated and we are hopeful that we will hit our target because it is for a very good cause.

"I saw the students doing this last year and I was keen to get involved then, so when the opportunity came up to do it this year, I was really excited," she added. "It is great that we can get involved as female students because it is going to a women's charity and we have a strong empathy with that."

Some of the students are taking part for a second and third year. E-business student, Tiwaloluwa Omope, has been involved in Five Days for the Homeless for the past three years admits that it is a topic close to his heart.

"When I lived in Ghana I saw poverty and homelessness every day," he said. "It is a terrible thing to see and for people to go through and when I heard about the scheme when I first came to the university I knew I had to be involved."

The students are joined by Aziz Mulay-Shah Canadian Ambassador from the Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development who is on sabbatical at the university - who supported the students by sleeping rough for one night.

"It's a wonderful initiative and it is great to see these students showing a sense of social responsibility and community," he said. "It's important therefore that we show some solidarity with them and do what we can to support them."

The Five Days For The Homeless initiative was launched at the University of Alberta School of Business in 2005. The sixteen students from Dubai will be joined by students from over 24 universities in Canada, with the Canadian University in Dubai being the only place outside Canada to take part.