Last September, the first 400 students, including 20 Saudi women, arrived at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, astate-of-the-art coeducational graduate research institute endowed with $10 billion from the king’s personalcoffers. Located along the Red Sea shore 50 miles north of Jidda, KAUST represents a bold gamble by Abdullah to promote social change over the heated objections of his ownbackward-looking Wahhabi clerical establishment. Taboos of Saudi society have been thrown out the window: Women not only take classes together with men, they are allowed to drive on the campus and do not have to veil their faces.
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By: kjfitz


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