The American University of Bahrain (AUBH) hosted a hybrid event on October 21, 2020, in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain, the American Chamber of Commerce, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft, as part of the U.S. Embassy’s 2020 Discover America Week. The event was held on the University’s 75,000 square meter, state-of-the-art campus in Riffa and highlighted American technology brands and their pivotal role in education, in context with today’s evolving teaching and learning environments. Key U.S. Embassy officials attended the event in person along with senior representatives from the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), while a larger number of guests attended the event online to ensure Covid-19 safety guidelines were respected.
Discover America Week is an annual event organized by the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain to promote US-Bahrain bilateral trade and investment. It was designed to highlight the long-standing commercial relationship and history of the U.S. with the Kingdom of Bahrain. As such, Ms. Sameera Alatawi, AUBH’s Director of Information Technology, led a session with Mr. Zubin Chagpar, Head of Middle East and Africa, Public Sector, Amazon Web Services, and Mr. Hamad Al-Saie, Education Sector Lead, Microsoft, respectively, who demonstrated innovation in supporting the education sector and the rise of remote and hybrid learning.
In her opening speech, Dr. Saxton said: “Our innovative technology helps us to prepare career-oriented and employment-ready graduates, equipped with the skills and knowledge required to advance the economies and societies in which they operate. We are proud to be the first University in Bahrain to have adopted AWS’s Workspace and Cloud, thanks to our forward-thinking team who also launched Microsoft’s O365, including MS Teams, prior to Covid-19, and now seamlessly support our synchronous dual-modality learning.”
Ms. Nardi commented: “AUBH is a prime example of how education has adjusted to Covid through the use of technology, particularly using Microsoft and Amazon platforms. It’s new, it’s state-of-the-art, and was prepared for Covid before Covid came.”
Mr. Taylor stated: “The business community has a tremendous stake in education. International companies will not only want to higher well-educated and well-prepared Bahrainis, but they will want excellent schools for their American and non-Bahraini workers who bring families to live in Bahrain. AUBH will not only support the growth of its students, it will support the growth of this nation and strengthen its long-term competitiveness.”
Mr. Chagpar commented: “We are pleased to take part in the Discover America 2020 week, with a focus on education. Over the last few months, education institutions around the world have been adapting and relying on technology to provide students with continued access to learning. Building on AWS, AUBH has understood the importance of agility as a key part of its philosophy from inception in order to provide students and faculty with modern, flexible learning solutions. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with them as they innovate and build more leading learning solutions.”
AUBH’s role in the week-long event solidifies its promise to offer an innovative American-style teaching and learning experience, on par with the best universities in the United States. The university welcomes collaborative events with U.S. Embassy and AmCham colleagues, all of whom have been supportive of AUBH.