As an instructor at the Abu Dhabi campus (Journalist in Residence, January Term), I’ve seen some of the good things that the university is doing. And that’s why I’m disappointed with the way the school is handling the labor question. The kafala system is one of the worst human rights abuses in the Middle East. For a university to participate in it, however indirectly, is unacceptable.
In John Sexton’s May 19 letter, he speaks of creating “a community of scholars and teachers and learners” at NYUAD. As one of those teachers, I believe that universities can and should incubate the better values of our societies. This has to include human rights. NYUAD has a rare opportunity here to open a dialogue about labor practices in the Gulf. And isn’t that why NYU opened this “global university” in the first place—to contribute, in some meaningful way, to universal human values? Isn’t that the point of a university?