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Detained Prince Is Major Donor to Universities

November 9, 2017
 
 

A Saudi prince who was among a group of royals and current and former government officials arrested this weekend is a major donor to Western universities, having made gifts of $20 million each to fund Islamic studies at Harvard and Georgetown Universities, Al-Fanar Media reported.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has also funded Islamic studies centers that bear his name at the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge, as well as centers for American studies at the American University of Beirut and the American University in Cairo. The stated missions for the centers describe themes of promoting mutual understanding between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds.

"It is paramount for both Islam and the West to reach mutual ground for proactive dialogue, respect, acceptance and tolerance," Prince Alwaleed said in a University of Edinburgh press release about his joint gift of 16 million pounds (about $20.9 million) to Edinburgh and Cambridge. "We are determined to continue building the bridge between Islam and the West for peace and humanity."

Prince Alwaleed was arrested as part of what Saudi officials describe as an anticorruption crackdown but which some view as a move by the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to further consolidate his power, as The Washington Post has reported. The Post has published a profile of Prince Alwaleed, who in 2015 pledged to give away his entire approximately $30 billion fortune, here.

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