US Pavilion to share ‘spirit of freedom’

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The powerful theme celebrates the people, ideas, and American contributions that have changed and improved lives in the United States and around the world…writes Binal Abdulkader

The USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will share “the American spirit of freedom” that inspires people to create and innovate, according to a top US official.

“America was built on freedom, which has attracted generations of people to create and to innovate. This spirit endures and thrives today, and we look forward to sharing our story with Expo visitors,” said Robert Clark, Commissioner General of the US Pavilion.

Robert Clark, Commissioner General of the US Pavilion

In an exclusive interview with Emirates News Agency (WAM) on Thursday, he added, “The USA Pavilion will safely welcome millions in-person and online as we tell the story of ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of the Future.’ This powerful theme celebrates the people, ideas, and American contributions that have changed and improved lives in the United States and around the world.”

Own success story of American values

Clark revealed that his own life was an example of realising those values. “Throughout my life in the United States, I have witnessed these values in action. Over 35 years ago, I started a construction company with a team of two – myself and one employee. Through dedication to customer service, positive outcomes, and community engagement, we grew from two to 3,000 employees, constructing some of America’s most remarkable buildings,” he said.

“I am convinced that my country’s embrace of liberty and individuality paved the path for me and many others to determine our own futures,” the Commissioner General stressed.

He was quite impressed by Dubai’s ambience after landing in the city during the weekend.

Dubai’s safe and vibrant ambience

“This past weekend, my wife Jane and I arrived in Dubai, the city we will call home for the next six months. I have been struck by the safe and vibrant atmosphere, a welcome feeling as the city prepares to host the largest global event to take place during the pandemic. Expo 2020 Dubai will bring visitors from near and far, and I am so proud to be a part of it.”

Having seen the Expo grounds, he is in awe of what the government of the United Arab Emirates has accomplished. “They have transformed the sands of the desert into a thriving World’s Fair site, complete with spaces for 192 nations to connect and to shape our collective future. I commend the leaders of the UAE, who have implemented a robust precautionary program to ensure the safety of all visitors. We will work hand in hand with our Emirati partners to ensure we maintain the highest safety standards at the USA Pavilion.”

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Unique feature of pavilion

Talking about the unique features of the US pavilion, Clark pointed out Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Quran, which will leave the United States for the first time from its home at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

A Martian meteorite; an actual piece of the Moon; and a one-to-one replica of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket are the other unique attractions, he added.

About his priorities as the Commissioner General, he said, “I will devote myself to creating opportunities for others – particularly for American companies which are eager to engage with new markets through the Expo platform.

“As a crossroads in the region, Dubai is especially well-placed to bring together companies and customers to create new opportunities for growth. At the USA Pavilion, we will welcome business delegations from American cities and states, as they explore partnerships for investment and development with global counterparts.”

Expo 2020 Dubai

Youth ambassadors represent US diversity

Clark believes that the youth ambassadors at the pavilion will act as America’s cultural ambassadors.

“While I was in Washington, D.C., I was pleased to meet with our USA Pavilion Youth Ambassadors during their orientation. These 75 young Americans are the ‘Faces of America’ serving as greeters and guides. Youth Ambassadors will create an authentic and engaging experience for Pavilion visitors from all over the world.”

He added, “They represent the diversity, culture, and values of America and hail from 47 states, territories and districts of the United States. Their excitement and enthusiasm for Expo is energising, and it will be evident to visitors. I am also excited by our cultural programme, from song and dance to food and sports, over 250 American artists will engage with Expo visitors.”

The Commissioner General emphasised that, “The Expo is more than a moment in time – it is a call to action and a promise of what we can create when the world comes together. I am proud to represent the United States and to lead the USA Pavilion as we champion, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of the Future” at Expo 2020 Dubai.”