Saudi King Tries to Grow Modern Ideas in Desert

[New York Times] Thanassis Cambanis - Some 50 miles from the Red Sea port of Jidda, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is staking $12.5 billion on building from scratch the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, a graduate research institution with one of the ten largest endowments in the world. The king has hired the state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco to build the campus, create its curriculum and attract foreigners. Its planners say men and women will study side by side in an enclave walled off from the rest of Saudi society, the country's notorious religious police will be barred and all religious and ethnic groups will be welcome in a push for academic freedom and international collaboration sure to test the kingdom's cultural and religious limits.

2007-10-26 01:00:00

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