Welcome to the website of the Algerian-American Foundation for Culture, Education, Science, and Technology (AAF-CEST). I am humbled, honored, and privileged to assume the role of President of the AAF-CEST. I am very grateful for the founding and honorary members of this organization, for my predecessors for their leadership and outstanding contributions, and for all of the members and supporters of the Foundation. I am inspired by their unwavering commitment and dedication to the continued success of the Foundation and by the accomplishments and achievements they have made thus far. Nonetheless, there is still much more to do as we work towards fulfilling the mission of AAF: to develop, strengthen, and sustain constructive exchange in the fields of education, culture, science, and technology between the people of Algeria and the USA.
Around eighty years ago, the term ‘globalization’ was coined by Theodore Levitt. Thirty years later Francois Perroux used a similar word, mondialization, to describe the increased and unprecedented interconnectedness between countries. In 2005, the New York Times Columnist, Thomas Friedman, published one of his most famous works, The World is Flat, in which he analyzed the aspects of globalization in the 21st century. Advances in communication and transportation technologies have allowed the world to become more easily accessible and facilitated the process of interaction among people, creating the ‘flat world.’ Technological advancements were not just ideas that were spread globally, but also served as means of closing physical barriers between countries and continents. Engineers began designing bridges and tunnels that would connect Africa to Europe through the Strait of Gibraltar, America to Asia across the Bering Strait, and more. Through the AAF-CEST, the Algerian American community is uniquely positioned to play a critical role in building and consolidating the bridges and strong ties built by the people of Algeria and the United States.
In 2020 we witnessed how COVID-19 has exemplified the workings of globalization. It has indeed significantly impacted the spread of the disease but has also shown that humans can work together to transform into a more resilient society. This is happening by enhanced digital technology, ease of connectivity, and usage of online platforms and smart logistics. As an example of these new developments, AAF-CEST switched from what was supposed to be a week-long face-to-face 2020 Summer University to be held at the University of Oran, to a more efficient and enhanced virtual program across Algeria.
With an eye on the future, AAF-CEST, a non-profit and membership-based organization, welcomes new members who are committed to advance the Foundation’s agenda and fulfill its mission. We envision the expansion and diversification of the members’ expertise that deal with the most critical issues such as biotechnology and health, advanced computing, cybersecurity, environmental quality, renewable energy, natural resources protection, infrastructure preservation, climate change effects, natural hazard mitigation, and the sustainable functioning of engineered and natural systems. We are excited about the future of our foundation and the important role it will continue to play in this rapidly changing environment.
I invite you to explore our website for a closer look at our programs and familiarize yourself with its goals, governance, structure, and leadership. I urge you to contact us should you wish to be engaged in this organization, as I am confident that there are many ways you can contribute and make an impact. I look forward to hearing from you and working with you all.
Abdeldjelil Belarbi, Ph.D., P.E. F.ACI, F.ASCE, F.SEI