Mason in the News

Posted: June 13, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage Mason recently received.

Thursday, June 5, U.S. News and World Report

A Sheik Who Models America’s ‘Can Do’ Attitude

“Until Sheik Saud bin Saqr al-Qasimi became ruler in 2003, Ras al Khaimah (the United Arab Emirates’ northernmost emirate) remained a sleepy backwater, with little oil of its own and none of the flashiness of a Dubai. Today, however, Sheik Saud is racing to catch up, spearheading a plan to put his emirate squarely on the tourist map. ‘You can see the skyscrapers going up, but you still have to slow your car down so the goats can cross the road,’ says Zaid Ansari, who runs a three-year-old branch campus of Virginia’s George Mason University in Ras al Khaimah. ‘They’re trying to preserve the traditions of the past while embracing modernity at the same time.’”

Saturday, June 7, National Post

Not Like Other Blacks

“Many white Americans believe that Barack Obama is the man the United States needs to make the country compassionate again and heal the rift of racism. But the real question facing white America is not whether it can trust a black man in the White House – that question seems to have been answered – but whether they are ready to accept black families moving into their all-white neighborhoods, or black men having cocktails in their living rooms, let alone black men married to their daughters. Michael Fauntroy, a 42-year-old African American professor in Washington at George Mason University, said Mr. Obama is ‘acceptable and palatable’ to white Americans. ‘This campaign became racialized the moment he entered the race. And for all the talk about how much progress the country has made, there are still a lot of [questions] out there as to whether or not there is only a narrow range of black people who can be elected president or if there’s a wider range,’ said Prof. Fauntroy, who teaches [public policy]. ‘[Obama] could have the same views as Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, but they could never be elected because of the way they are perceived.’”

Thursday, June 12, Washington Post

For Public, Festival to Open a Front Door to GMU

“For three weeks beginning today, George Mason’s University’s Fairfax campus will become ‘the center of the artistic universe,’ as school officials have described the inaugural Mason Festival of the Arts. The arts festival is the latest offering from the university aimed at uniting the school and the greater Fairfax community, GMU President Alan G. Merten said. ‘The arts are one of the front doors at George Mason. I was struck from my first days at George Mason at the quality of our arts programs,’ Merten said. Rick Davis, the artistic director of GMU’s Center for the Arts, said the festival will bring a critical mass of professional, community and university artists and arts groups. ‘We will send a message to our community that we have a lot going on and it’s at a high level,’ Davis said.”

Thursday, June 12, WTOP Radio

Housing Prices Keep Dropping

“New figures show the real estate market is continuing to drop around the region. Both the average and median prices of homes plummeted in May. Average prices take into account all homes, while with median prices half are above and half are below the price. The biggest change can be found in Prince William County, Va. Heavy foreclosures have caused the average prices of homes to dip to $284,509, a 30 percent decrease. The median prices of homes dipped to $256,124, a 31.7 percent drop. At the same time, the number of homes sold has spiked roughly 67.59 percent. ‘This big increase in sales in Prince William and some increase in Loudoun is a very good sign that perhaps in some of these places, the prices have gone down enough that we are now going to have buyers move back into the market,’ says John McClain, a George Mason University analyst.”

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