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College Principal Praises Dundee School Pupils

Dr Hossein Godazgar, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education, has praised pupils in the city for their attitude towards racism and multiculturalism.

He said pupils would be fine ambassadors in these current troubled times to promote multiculturalism and co-existence.

The Principal was speaking when an 18-strong group from four Dundee secondary schools involved in this year’s Anne Frank Trust UK Schools programme visited the Al-Maktoum College, whose community fund donated £5,000 to help their project.

The donation from the Al-Maktoum College Community Fund paid for flights for 24 children and teachers to visit Anne Frank’s house recently in Amsterdam, where the 13-year-old Jewish teenager and her family hid from the Nazis for over two years from June 1942.

Pupils and teachers from Craigie High, Baldragon Academy, Braeview Academy and St Paul’s RC Academy visited the college to deliver a presentation about their Anne Franks project and the visit to her home.

Dr Godazgar said: “The majority of people in this country believe in multiculturalism and I am sure, having listened to the pupils’ excellent presentation on the Anne Frank Programme, they will make sure the next generation is aware of the vital role of multiculturalism to our future.

“I am certain they will be fine ambassadors in this role.”

Dr Godazgar said the pupils’ programme reflected in many ways the College’s desire to try to build bridges between communities and peoples at all levels across the world through dialogue and intelligent debate.

He said: “We seek to promote at all times a greater understanding of different religions and cultures and to tackle any discrimination or conflict that occur in the names of religion, race, nationality and so on.”

The College Director of Operations, Dr Abubaker G. Abubaker and College Council members, Ms Geraldine Balfour, Mr Jim Barrie, Mr Harry Terrell, Mr David Bone and retired member, the Rev. Erik Cramb were in attendance for the pupils’ presentations.

Paula Fraser, Scotland Project manager of the Anne Frank Trust UK; Eilidh Lean, the Trust’s Scotland Project Officer and Paul Clancy, Head of Service (Secondary, 16+ and Support for Learners) at Dundee City Council joined them.

Mr Clancy said: “This is the second successive year that the College has supported the schools in Dundee involved in the Anne Frank programme and we are very grateful for their involvement. It is much appreciated.”

Since 2009, the College Community Fund has helped many different organisations in a range of ways and has now donated more than £135,000 in support of community groups, mainly in the Dundee area.

 Anyone seeking support from the Community Fund should ideally make any applications to it through Foundation Scotland.