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Deputy PM Says Libya Calling Upon its People to Join hands, Come Together.

The new deputy prime minister of Libya, Mustafa Abushagur, named to the position on the National Transitional Council on Tuesday by prime minister Abdurrahim el-Keeb, has said that Libya is calling upon its entire people to join hands and come together to build the nation that tens of thousands of its people gave their lives for its liberty.

Abushagur, another personality highly thought of in world circles who has been assigned an important role in the interim government, is the president of Rochester Institute of Technology's Dubai campus. Like many others in the cabinet he is a technocrat who could serve Libya to write a new constitution and lay the groundwork for elections in June next year

Abushagur, a native of Libya, who lived in Brighton, NY when he taught engineering at the RIT Henrietta campus, was on Libya's "Most Wanted" list, having opposed former Libyan leader Muammar Al Qathafi. For the first time in 32 years, he said he felt safe enough to return to his homeland. He visited with family and friends in the capital city of Tripoli this fall.

As deputy prime minister, Abushagur will lay the groundwork for a democratic government in Libya, with free elections occurring later in 2012. He intends to return to RIT Dubai in eight months.

"The Libyan people have won their freedom after 42 years of oppression," Abushagur said in a statement to students, faculty and staff at RIT Dubai. "Libya now is in the stage of moving from the revolution to building a nation.

"The country is calling upon its entire people to join hands and come together to build the nation that tens of thousands of its people gave their lives for its liberty. I have been active during the last 30 years of my life in supporting the efforts to liberate Libya from tyranny."

"Libya now is in the stage of moving from the revolution to building a nation," Abushagur said in a statement. "The country is calling upon its entire people to join hands and come together to build the nation that tens of thousands of its people gave their lives for its liberty."

Abushagur, who is also a professor of microsystems engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, will leave his RIT post on December 1, and plans to spend at least eight months in Libya helping to rebuild the government, after which he will return to RIT Dubai, where an interim leadership plan is currently in place at the campus.

Abushagur joined RIT in 2002 and led the development of the world's first doctoral programme in microsystems engineering, while also conducting research in nanophotonics and micro-optical systems.

He became founding president of RIT Dubai in 2008. Prior to moving to the Middle East, Abushagur resided in Brighton, NY. He said: "RIT has graciously encouraged me to answer the call of my nation."

RIT spokesman Bob Finnerty said: "Obviously, all this happened fast," referring to the collapse of the Al Qathafi regime and Abushagur being called into service. But, he added that Abushagur "had full support from the university to go ahead and do this."

RIT President Bill Destler, said Abushagur is needed immediately in Libya as the nation looks for stability and growth. "Mustafa will be a great leader in Libya," said Destler. "Under his leadership, RIT Dubai has come a long way in a short period. He is leaving us in great shape and now he has a greater duty."

James Watters, RIT's senior vice president for finance and administration said: "It is wonderful that a high-profile RIT leader will have this opportunity in his home country. Mustafa will have an impact on developing a new way of life for the people of Libya."

Abushagur joined RIT in 2002 as a professor of electrical engineering and director of the university's microsystems-engineering research and education initiatives in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

He later became founding director of the college's microsystems engineering Ph.D. programme. Abushagur joined RIT from the University of Alabama at Huntsville, where he was professor of electrical and computer engineering and professor of optical science and engineering.

He also led development of the university's optical engineering degree programme and has taught at the University of Rochester and the Association for the Institution of the Free University of Nuoro in Italy. He is the founding president of RIT Dubai, established in 2008.

Abushagur earned doctoral and master's degrees in electrical engineering from California Institute of Technology and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Tripoli University. He founded LiquidLight Inc., a developer and manufacturer of optical network systems for the metro-access market, and Photronix, of Malaysia, a maker of fibre-optic components.

He has also consulted for the US Army Missile Command, NASA, Boeing Co. and other firms, has published numerous papers and holds several patents.

2011 - The Tripoli Post

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Publication:The Tripoli Post (Tripoli, Libya)
Geographic Code:6LIBY
Date:Nov 25, 2011
Words:815
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