The King Salman Chair in Peace and International Studies
Date: July 4th, 2014
Wednesday 28 May 2014. At a ceremony held today in the largest amphitheatre at SSST, H.E. Eid Mohammad Al-Thakafi, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Dr. Ejup Ganić, Chancellor of SSST, unveiled a plaque inaugurating a Chair in Peace and International Studies, which will carry the name of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince of KSA. The Chair will gather young scientists, researchers and students, whose task will include making a major contribution to the improvement of international relations for a more just world order based on sustainable peace. The ceremony was attended by many distinguished guests, SSST professors and the students of the Political Science and International Relations Department.
Turning back the clock to the days of King Fahd, when the Bosnian heads of state asked for political support from KSA for the sake of the integrity and sovereignty of the state, Dr. Ganić reminded the audience of the immense help KSA gave to the war-stricken people in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as throughout the world, and said: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with Prince Salman at the forefront, has played and is still playing a major role in the reconstruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This man, whose life and work are so impressive, has helped our country rebuild its infrastructure, roads, railways, residential units, hospitals, schools and mosques. His contribution to the preservation of the cultural heritage of our country is immeasurable and far-reaching. As a young governor of the District of Riyadh, then Minister of Defence, then Deputy Prime Minister, and today Crown Prince and the Vice Guardian of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, Prince Salman has made a significant contribution to peace initiatives and aid programmes throughout the world. When I think of the town of Brčko, I can't help remembering his decisive will to help in the reconstruction of the town. Prince Salman was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from SSST last year, and by accepting this degree he has honoured our university, Today, we are pleased and honoured that His Royal Highness has accepted our proposal that an SSST Chair be named after him. The Chair in Peace and International Studies Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud will be a meeting point for scientists, researchers and students to make a significant contribution to the improvement of international relations for a more just world order based on sustainable peace.”
The Saudi Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina thanked the audience and conveyed greetings and thanks from Prince Salman. He expressed his firm belief that the Chair will play a significant role in peace and international studies on a larger scale.
The following academic staff of the University SSST is associated with the King Salman Chair in Peace and International studies:
Dr. Sabina Čehajić Clancy, Dr. Jana Jevtić, Dr. Maja Savić-Bojanić, Dr. Amer Demirović, Dr. Selmo Cikotić, Dr. Damir Arnaut, Dr. Željka Lekić, Dr. Majda Halilović, Dr. Dennis Gratz.
Currently Dr. Hadžidedić is the King Salman Chair Coordinator; reelection of the position planned for the end of 2017.
The work of the Balkan Institute for Conflict Resolution, Responsibility and Reconciliation is supported by the staff of the King Salman Chair. Within the University, internal organization the Balkan Institute is under the auspices of the King Salman Chair. Also, the following University SSST student organizations are supported by the Chair: MUN Club, Debate Club, and ENTER SSST club.
MUN Club: Model United Nations is an activity that seeks to simulate the proceedings of the United Nations. Through Model UN, or MUN, participants learn a great deal about international politics and have a blast the same time! These simulations take place at conferences, which are held at college levels all across the world. At these conferences, delegates get to represent member-states of the United Nations or unique characters as they face either preplanned topics or unpredictable crises, both of which test their skills in diplomacy and debate. Furthermore, MUN conferences provide a good framework to meet new friends and create an international network which can be beneficial in the future.
The primary goal is to be the leading MUN Club in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to represent SSST at several international conferences every year. Our club focuses on education through practice and simulations, while emphasizing the importance of the social aspects that the world of MUN brings. To present day, members of the SSST MUN club have travelled across the globe, from Rome to Shanghai, participating and winning best delegates awards worldwide. Adding to the success achieved, some of our members have also had the honor to be addressed by various Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, UN employees and even Pope Francis.
SSST Debate Club: aims to provide SSST students the opportunity to learn to participate in argumentative discussions in which they defend or attack a given preposition. Participating in this club will enable students to improve their communication skills, develop critical thinking and be able to share ideas and suggestions clearly and convincingly. Debating requires extensive research and results in the improvement of both the student’s intellectual and rhetorical skills. The student also gains the self-confidence necessary to be a good public speaker. The main objective of debate is to learn a very important life lesson: nothing is black or white, there are two sides to every story.
ENTER SSST: is a student organization whose main mission is to organize a wide variety of activities for undergraduates and secondary school students for the purpose of promoting SSST as a centre of academic excellence. The organization further seeks to improve student life at SSST, as well as to organize participation in community life by initiating various charity and volunteer activities. ENTER strives to address the broadest possible student audience in the area, providing information and answering questions, while working to improve our services to both potential candidates and SSST students. ENTER often cooperates with other students organizations, especially when it comes to charity events. When it comes to very important events organized by the SSST , ENTER is always there to help out and coordinate its members to organize the event and make it more interesting for students and all welcomed guests. From Open Doors Events and student presentations held in high-schools, through organizing conferences and open forums on relevant topics and issues, providing information on internships and SSST summer courses, to holding charity events, as well as organizing numerous opportunities for socializing among students and others, ENTER is an organization dedicated to and run by students.
In 2006, the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology conferred on Dr. Mahathir Mohamad an honorary professorship, the Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad Professor of Economics and Good Governance. The professorship has the the aim of selecting distinguished academics to carry this title, with a review process focusing on progress and advancement under this Chair, every five years. The Professorship was established in honour of Dr. Mahatir Mohamad and his contribution to the development of peace, stability, economic development and inter-communal harmony in one of Asia’s most ethnically and religiously plural nations. He has influenced the world by leaving behind lessons on how diversity can be managed, how conflicts can be reconciled and how multi- ethnicity can be harnessed to build a vibrant economic and political system.
Mahathir Mohamad was born on December 20, 1925, in Alor Setar, in the state of Kedah in northern Malaysia. After finishing Islamic grammar schools and graduating from the local college, Mahathir attended medical school at the University of Malaya in Singapore. He was an army physician before forming a private practice at the age of 32.
Mahathir became active in the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), Malaysia’s largest political party, and was elected to its policy-making group, the Supreme Council. With the support of the UMNO, he won a seat in the House of Representatives in 1964. He wrote a book, The Malay Dilemma, demanding affirmative action for indigenous Malays and equal status with Chinese-Malaysians, while also criticizing Malays’ “economic backwardsness.” These then-radical ideas earned the ire of Prime Minister Abdul Rahman, and the UMNO banned the book and expelled Mahathir from the party.
Rahman resigned in 1970, and after Mahathir was reinstated in the UMNO in 1972, his political career took off. He was reelected to parliament in 1973, promoted to a Cabinet position in 1974 and rose to deputy prime minister in 1976. He became prime minister just five years later when his predecessor, Hussein Onn, retired.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad opened the country to foreign investment, reformed taxation, reduced trade barriers, the privatisation of numerous state-owned enterprise, besides investing in unprecedented, large-scale infrastructure development. He also sought to bridge Malaysia’s ethnic divides by increasing general prosperity. In 1991, he launched the New Development Policy, which emphasised industrial and commercial development and the elimination of poverty. Under Tun Dr. Mahathir’s leadership, Malaysia developed into one of the most prosperous and dynamic economies in Southeast Asia, with a burgeoning industrial sector, an expanding middle class and enhanced quality of life. Malaysia also played a more active role in the international arena, acting as the voice for developing nations in Asia and Africa
Mahathir retired in 2003, and remains an active and visible part of Malaysia’s political landscape.
Currently, Dr. Amer Demirović holds the position of Mahathir Professor of Business Development and Global Competitiveness.
HRH Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman of Al Waleed Bin Talal Foundation was awarded a Honorary Doctorate of Science, honoriscausa from the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology,during a ceremony held at the Kingdom Resort in Riyadh in 2010. HRH’s 18thhonorary doctorate was conferred to him by Professor BožidarMatić, ScD. The honorary doctorate awarded to Prince Al Waleed is in recognition of his efforts on many fronts, including his investments through Kingdom Holding locally, regionally and internationally, as a respected, distinguished international investor and entrepreneur, and the Prince’s educational and philanthropic contributions on a global scale.
A professorship in honour of HRH Prince AlWaleed was established for his contribution to education, global development, and support to developing countries in the socio-economic sector. Professor Boris Tihi currently holds the prestigious academic position of HRH Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Professor of Business Development and Global Competitiveness.
His Royal Highness Prince AlWaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the founder and chairman of one of the world’s most successful and diversified financial investment enterprises, the Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), which was listed on Tadawul (the Saudi Stock Exchange) in 2007. Prince AlWaleed received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from Menlo College in California in 1979, and his Masters in Social Sciences with Honors, from Syracuse University in New York in 1985.
In recognition of his business and civic accomplishments, Prince AlWaleed has been the recipient of numerous honors and accolades from many organizations, societies, monarchs and heads of state. These include fourteen Honorary Doctorates from universities in the U.S.A., Britain, Korea, Egypt, Malaysia, Ghana, Palestine, Philippines, Tunisia and Uganda, to name only a few. The citations accompanying these honors particularly point to his financial contributions to education, international understanding, coexistence, and to the provision of assistance to the victims of natural disasters, as well as to the poor and needy, irrespective of nationality, race or creed.
In 1979,he formed his own company, the Kingdom Establishment for Commerce and Trade, which in 1996 was transformed into the Kingdom Holding Company. His first contract was a US$8 million project to build a Bachelor’s club at a Riyadh military academy, representing a Korean contractor. It was a promising start. The Prince’s business grew rapidly, and before long he was involved in a variety of profitable joint ventures with foreign companies that yielded healthy returns. He reinvested a considerable portion of his profits in the real estate market of Riyadh.
Looking to other opportunities, the banking sector caught the Prince’s eye. In 1988, he acquired a controlling stake in the then ailing United Saudi Commercial Bank (USCB), and within a year turned it into Saudi Arabia’s most profitable commercial bank. The value of the bank’s stock subsequently multiplied twenty-fold. From there, he went on to bring about a merger with the struggling Saudi Cairo Bank, thus creating the United Saudi Bank (USB). After that, Prince AlWaleed cast his eye on the more dominant Saudi American Bank (SAMBA), and came to the conclusion that a merger between SAMBA and USB would be wise, given SAMBA’s very competent managerial team. In 1999, that merger was completed.
Perhaps no single transaction has catapulted Prince AlWaleed to the world’s financial stage in as spectacular a fashion as did his acquisition in 1991 of Citibank (subsequently, Citigroup) stocks. Few people could then imagine that a Saudi Arabian, and a royal at that, would burst onto the international scene, seemingly out of nowhere, to invest so heavily in one of the major banks of the world and to help restore it to such health that it would become the leading financial institution in the world. Needless to say, this was not propelled by a sense of altruism, but by the impetus to act whenever suitable opportunities presented themselves. That investment has since brought Prince AlWaleed stellar returns, and as Citigroup’s largest individual shareholder, that segment of his total portfolio now constitutes the biggest portion of his wealth. He has, however, made numerous investments in many other sectors, including media, information technology, education and health.
Currently, Dr. Boris Tihi holds the position of Alwaleed Professor of Business Development and Global Competitiveness.