Muzaffarabad, 11 May 2022 (TDI): The Embassy of the United States (US) in Pakistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (UAJK), today.

The MOU is aimed at renewing partnership to oversee the Lincoln Corner in Muzaffarabad for the next two years. Raymond Castillo, the Minister Counselor for Public Affairs of the US Embassy, and Professor Dr. Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi, UAJK Vice-Chancellor, signed the MOU.

The Lincoln Corner was established in 2007. It is a partnership project between the US Embassy and UAJK. Aside from the MOU signing, the Lincoln Corner also celebrated its 11th anniversary.

The Corner organizes various programs for UAJK students and the local community in Muzaffarabad in collaboration with the US Embassy.

The programs are focused on English language learning, science & technology, American education resources, & entrepreneurship.

During the ceremony, Raymond Castillo stated “As we mark this 15-year anniversary celebration, we have many activities also to look forward to in the future.”

He went on to say, “Today I have the pleasure of announcing the launch of the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) training for Lincoln Corner Muzaffarabad starting June 11.

AWE Pakistan is a fully-funded competitive program offered by the US Mission to help women entrepreneurs with the skills, resources, and networks needed to establish and grow their businesses, through facilitated online learning.” he remarked.

Along these lines, Minister-Counselor Castillo further enunciated that “The 15th year anniversary celebration is also part of a larger 75th anniversary celebration of US-Pakistan bilateral relations.”

He noted that “Our partnership has grown in many areas, and we look forward to building on our successes and expanding further on the ties between the American and Pakistani people,” noted.”

The Lincoln Corner at UAJK includes a Maker Space with a 3-D printer along with virtual reality headsets, magazines, a comprehensive collection of books, an Americana-themed public events space, and scholarly databases.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr. Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi, in his welcome address, expressed his gratitude to the officials of the US Embassy for choosing UAJK to set up Lincoln Corner.

The Vice-Chancellor highlighted that the Corner was an important initiative to enable the students and faculty members to learn about America, its culture, history, educational system, as well as the institutions of higher learning.

He acknowledged the support of the US Embassy for joining hands with the administration of the university to launch the Corner and connecting the youth and teachers to the US via educational programs.

Highlighting the achievements of the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the Vice-Chancellor said the institution made remarkable progress over the last 40 years by providing quality education and conducting research across a wide range of disciplines.

The University has grown to become the cradle of learning and has secured its place as one of AJK’s leading research institutions, since its inception in 1980.

Dr. Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi further stated that the university provided students and faculty access to higher education by establishing collaborative linkages with reputed national and international institutions.

Prior to this, the US delegation headed by Minister Counselor for Public Affairs of the US Embassy called on Prof Dr. Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi to discuss the importance of effectively using the Lincoln Corner to improve ties between UAJK and the US educational institutions.

Raymond Castillo also met with officials from the AJK Government’s Department of Education while in Muzaffarabad. Additionally, he also visited students from English Works.

English works is a US Embassy program that works to improve the English language skills of unemployed or under-employed youth ages 17 to 25. It also works to enhance entrepreneurial and technical skills.

Minister Counselor for Public Affairs of the US Embassy also engaged with more than 40 alumni of the Pakistan-US Alumni Network.

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