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Djibouti Leaders "see blue." While Visiting UK

By Whitney Harder

(Sept. 24, 2015) — During a recent visit to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, a delegation from the East African nation of Djibouti visited the University of Kentucky and experienced what it means to "see blue."

The visit included Aboubaker Hassan Ali, secretary general of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research for Djibouti; Madina Daher Okiye, secretary general of the University of Djibouti; Col. Mohamed Ali Obsieh, commander of Military Education; and Said Mohamed Farah, first secretary of the Djibouti Embassy.

The group was welcomed by Carey Cavanaugh, former U.S. Ambassador and director of the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, and Patterson School students. Two graduate students in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures studying French, Caroline Board and Fariba Kanga, served as translators during the visit. Following the Patterson School meeting, the delegation, along with representatives from the Kentucky National Guard, received a crash course on all things UK by Visitor Center Director Taylor Blair. 

UK Army and Air Force ROTC also hosted the delegation at the Buell Armory and explained how UK ROTC programs impact students in the Commonwealth and beyond. After touring the campus, the group was presented with UK hats provided by UK Athletics.

The delegation is seeking ways to expand its current partnership with the Commonwealth and build partnerships with Kentucky universities. In June, the Kentucky National Guard and Djiboutian Armed Forces ratified a state partnership agreement, creating a long term stable relationship between the Commonwealth and one of America’s key allies in Africa.