Saudi King Abdullah Inaugurates New Saudi University for Science and Technology

September 25, 2009

[Washington, DC] – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was joined by world leaders and nearly 3,000 guests as he delivered the keynote address to inaugurate the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

Other speakers during the ceremony included the KAUST Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, His Excellency Ali Al-Naimi, Minister of Higher Education, His Excellency Dr. Khaled Al-Anqari, and the President of KAUST, Professor Choon Fong Shih.

In his remarks, the King spoke about the integral role Islam has played in academic achievement, stating, “Historically, the Islamic civilization has played an enormous role in serving humanity. After God, the great Islamic scholars have contributed to many areas of scholarship, such as the role played by Ibn Al-Nafees in medicine, the impact Jaber bin Hayyan had on chemistry, and Al-Khawarizmi’s pivotal role in algebra. Similarly, the study of sociology benefited immensely from the genius of Ibn Khaldoon.”

King Abdullah closed his remarks with a condemnation of extremist ideologies, saying, “Humanity has been the target of vicious attacks from extremists, who speak the language of hatred, fear dialogue and pursue destruction. We cannot fight them unless we learn to coexist without conflict - with love instead of hatred and with friendship instead of confrontation. Undoubtedly, scientific centers that embrace all peoples are the first line of defense against extremists. And today, this university will become a House of Wisdom to all its peers around the world, a beacon of tolerance.”

For more information on KAUST, please visit their website at www.kaust.edu.sa.