St. Andrew’s Welcomes Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein to Campus
Posted May 3, 2012
The St. Andrew’s community welcomed Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein to campus this week for a special School meeting in Engelhard Hall. Prince Zeid is serving his second appointment as Jordan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He has also served as Jordan's Ambassador to the United States and is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in the field of international justice.
Prince Zeid engaged students by describing his career path from boarding school to Johns Hopkins University, research assistant, military service, Cambridge University and finally with the United Nations. Along the way he shared important lessons on moral courage, accepting challenges and stretching oneself that helped him grow and advance into one of the world’s most respected diplomats. His experience in the military and experience working for the U.N. in war torn Sarajevo helped inform his work in later years helping to establish International Criminal Court as the first president of its governing body.
He also took the opportunity to implore students to consider public service as a career option. “The greatest threat to humankind,” he noted, “is the mediocrity of public officials around the world. We need more people like you who are capable of understanding the world’s problems and solving them.” He continued, “I hope that 15 years from now one of you will approach me at a conference and tell me that you are from St. Andrew’s and are now working in government. We need people like you in positions of power.”
Afterwards, students asked questions about how nations decide when to get involved in another country’s internal conflict (“We can’t just sit there while people are being murdered.”), the most prevalent root causes of war (Our inability to learn from the past and understand that unthinkable atrocities are possible.”), and the possibility of peace in the Middle East (“We need to do more to deserve it.”).
His answers inspired Molly Belk ’12 to think about recent discussions in her Religion and Violence class. “His thoughts on believing the previously unthinkable and learning from the past completely reinforced everything we are discussing right now about the conflict in Kashmir,” said Molly, “He was completely inspiring.”
The School would like to extend a special thank you to Trustee Paul Harrell for helping to make Prince Zeid's visit possible.