1 September 2004

On the eve of the first anniversary of an unprecedented terrorist attack against the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, officials from the American University in Cairo (AUC) said a fund set up to memorialize one of the victims is paving the way for a better future by helping students of international affairs. The Nadia Younes Memorial Fund honours the legacy of the late Egyptian UN staffer - one of 22 people killed in the 19 August bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad - by education and opportunity for countless students from her country and the region. "AUC is honoured to have been selected as the institution to establish the Nadia Younes Memorial Fund in tribute to and in commemoration of Nadia Younes' many achievements," Ken Manotti, the University's Vice President of Institutional Development, told the UN News Service.

Recalling her "extraordinarily charismatic character," he said Ms. Younes remains an ideal role model for generations of young and aspiring Arabs. "She had a truly outstanding career in the United Nations and was an accomplished and respected human being whose contributions will guide and inspire the youth of Egypt and the region for generations to come."

Out of a target of $300,000, $225,000 has already been pledged to the Fund, which will be used for the Nadia Younes Conference and Meeting Room at AUCís Model United Nations Centre. It will also endow the Nadia Younes Annual Lecture to invite accomplished international leaders to speak at the University.

In addition, the Nadia Younes Award for Public and Humanitarian Service will be established, allowing the University to recognize and reward the graduating senior who has exhibited the most commitment to community and humanitarian service.

Mr. Manotti voiced hope that the remaining $75,000 would be raised to reach the target, making it possible to inaugurate the first lecture and confer the first award later this year.

Ms. Younes, who had taken courses at the AUC, joined the UN in 1969, eventually working as Deputy Spokeswoman for then Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar. She also headed the UN Information Office in Rome, served as Director of Media Division, worked as Chief of Protocol in New York, and led the UN's communication team in Kosovo. She was officially posted to a top-level job at the World Health Organization (WHO) when she was sent to Baghdad to help the UN mission there.