Webcast: Mahmoud Abbas in The Great Hall

September 22, 2014

Mahmoud Abbas, president of Palestine, in The Great Hall. Photos by Joao Enxuto/The Cooper Union Mahmoud Abbas, president of Palestine, in The Great Hall Mahmoud Abbas, president of Palestine, bids farewell in The Great Hall
Mahmoud Abbas, president of Palestine, in The Great Hall. Photos by Joao Enxuto/The Cooper Union

Mahmoud Abbas, president of Palestine, spoke before a packed house in The Great Hall on Monday, in a speech advertised as his "vision for peace between Palestine and Israel." President Abbas, in town for the United Nations General Assembly, announced plans to present, "a new timetable for peace talks" that would work towards the two-state solution proposed under the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002. [See the full text of the speech here.]

Jamshed Bharucha, president of The Cooper Union, welcomed President Abbas, saying, "this hallowed Great Hall has been about freedom of speech … about giving the speaker the floor … I trust that today we will live up to that great tradition."

Ambassador William Clark, executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace, who co-sponsored the event, introduced President Abbas. During his speech the president made many references to The Cooper Union, calling it "one of the world's most distinguished colleges," and repeatedly remarked on the historicity of The Great Hall. You can view the entire event below or here. President Bharucha begins his welcome at the 2:30 minute mark. Ambassador Clark introduces President Abbas at the 6:30 mark. President Abbas begins his speech at the 10:00 minute mark.

The international press attended the event. You can read some of the coverage:

 

 

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.