Indonesia: EWC gives $31,400 in tsunami relief funds to Aceh Islamic Institute

HONOLULU (July 1) - East-West Center (EWC) President Charles E. Morrison today conveyed a grant of $31,400 from the Center's Tsunami Relief Fund to the rector of the Ar-Raniry State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN) in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. The grant will enable students from the institution in the tsunami-ravaged provincial capital to complete their college degrees in Jakarta.

At the same time, Morrison and the rector, Professor Rusjdi Ali Muhammad, signed a memorandum of understanding between the East-West Center and IAIN, under which the two institutions will develop further cooperative activities. Rusjdi and two other officials from IAIN visited Honolulu this week to discuss rebuilding efforts in Aceh in the wake of the Dec. 26 tsunami. The delegation met with both East-West Center and University of Hawai'i staff involved in Indonesian programs, as well as students from Indonesia.

"The East-West Center recognizes the importance of the Islamic Institute, both to the people of Aceh and the Republic of Indonesia," said President Morrison. "Today's agreement will allow us to develop shorter-term projects and pursue longer-term efforts to support faculty training and strengthen the Institute's ability to provide highly valued and socially relevant education and research."

Accepting the funds, Rector Rusjdi thanked the Center and the people of Hawai'i who contributed to the Tsunami Relief Fund. "We're very grateful for this aid and cooperation and we are confident that this relationship will be a lasting one for both of our institutions and countries," he said.

Under the agreement, IAIN faculty, students, staff and alumni will have opportunities to participate in regular Center programs, including graduate degree and fellowship programs, the Asia Pacific Leadership Program, and the Asian Studies Development Program's summer seminars. Collaborative research and short-term library research and language study will also be possible.

The East-West Center is an independent, non-profit education and research organization established by the U.S. Congress in 1960. The Center promotes the development of a stable, prosperous and peaceful Asia Pacific community through cooperative study, education and research.

For more information, contact:

Bruce Bottorff
Public Information Specialist
Phone: (808) 944-7204