American University mourns the passing of Shimon Peres, senior statesman and the last active member of Israel’s founding generation. Peres was known for a lifetime of searching for peace with Israel’s Arab neighbors. As architect of the Oslo Accords he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, along with then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. In his lifetime of public service for Israel he served as president and prime minister, as well as minister of defense, foreign affairs, finance, and transportation.
President Peres held a special place in our hearts here at AU. His devotion to peace, cooperation, and human dignity around the world served as an inspiration to our entire campus community, and his 1998 commencement speech inaugurated our Center for Israel Studies. Since his historic visit, the Center, the first of its kind in the United States, has enabled students from all over the world to explore Israel's diverse culture and society by bringing together Israeli and American scholars, writers, artists, and scientists to share their knowledge and face the challenges of the new global era.
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