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Clean Energy and It’s Dangerous Waste

Executives join business students on Mideast trip

When Qamar Ahmed embarks on a trip to Israel and Jordan as part of an Edwards School of Business course, he will also be on a personal journey of discovery.

“My great-grandfather has a mosque named after him in (Haifa) Israel and I just got confirmation we will be visiting that mosque,” said Ahmed, who is originally from Pakistan.

“That will be really meaningful for me because no one from my close or extended family has ever visited the mosque, so I’ll be the first.”

Ahmed is one of 16 students accepted for the Mining & Entrepreneurship in Israel and Jordan course — a 10-day tour (May 2-12) where students will cover an array of topics, including conducting international business, opportunities and entrepreneurship in the Middle East and Saskatchewan’s role in global-food security.

They will be visiting educational, industrial, environmental and cultural sites across Israel and Jordan.

“The goal of the trip is to look at the business side of Israel and see the success they have in terms of the culture they have created … how such a small country has made itself such a big player within international technology market as well as natural resources, which is potash,” Ahmed said.

Edwards Dean Daphne Taras said the three-credit course helps give a more global focus to the undergraduate curriculum.

“We should be going to a country or countries in which there is a substantial synergy between the trip and our own interests,” Taras said.

Potashcorp. has come on board as a major sponsor of the trip, and the students will visit two companies they have a stake in — Israel Chemicals Ltd. (14 per cent) and Arab Potash Company (28 per cent).

Taras said a unique part of the trip is having business leaders accompany the group.

Potashcorp’s CFO Wayne Brownlee will be with the group for the first week of the tour as will Lionel Labelle, president and CEO of Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP), along with other business leaders.

Kate Simpson, a third-year marketing student, said seeing how different cultures address entrepreneurship will be educational. “I come from a family of entrepreneurs. It’s in my blood so I’m really excited to explore the entrepreneurship in the Middle East,” Simpson said. “Im looking forward to visiting the startup companies as well as experiencing the culture and visiting the historical landmarks and sites.”

Ahmed agreed looking at issues from another viewpoint will be invaluable. “To get that first-hand perspective from someone else will be pretty interesting.”

Other highlights of the tour include visiting Better Place, a leading global provider of electric-car networks, business around the Dead Sea and students and professors at the University of Jordan and business school in Israel.

“Every minute on the trip will be a teachable moment,” said Taras.

Once they return home the students will write a paper. They will also give a presentation on a topic they have chosen while on the trip.

Kate Simpson

Qamar Ahmed

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