King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz officially broke ground for The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) yesterday. The ceremony, attended by thousands of Saudi and foreign dignitaries in a temporary structure at the construction site at Thuwal, near Rabigh on the Red Sea coast, included brief speeches, a laser show presentation, a luncheon, and a tour of huge models of the envisioned campus.

The University, which the King sees as the the hallmark of his reign, is currently undertaking an international search for its new administration, faculty, and setting up procedures to build a student body. Advisors noted that the university will have to overcome skepticism to recruit faculty, ensuring them academic freedom in an environment not noted for liberality in thought.

The Saudi dailies all lead with stories on the groundbreaking ceremonies:

Saudi GazetteKing: KAUST Lighthouse for Knowledge, Humanity

Arab NewsKAUST a Dream Come True: King

October:22:2007 - 00:10 | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink
One Response to “KAUST Groundbreaking”
  1. 1
    Peter Said:
    February:08:2008 - 03:57 

    Despite ambitious plans by the Honorable King, the rank and file Saudi individuals are still tied to the past. A less educated white man will be honored more than a person of color (black or Brown). Bulk of the labor force building the Kingdom in Saudi Arabia are making less than $100-150 a month working nearly 100 hours a week. These people have no chance in the KAUST or Saudi Arabia, no matter how educated or experienced they are.

    You will never see a person of Indian origin in the Management position, despite the rhetoric.

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