KAUST: a summary 27, December 2009Posted by thegulfblog.com in Saudi Arabia.
Tags: Al-Shethri, KAUST, King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia, Saudi education, Saudi Jeans, Saudi reform, Saudi universities
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I have commented many a time on Saudi’s new high-tech University (here, here, here and here) but Saudi Jeans offers a pithy, concise summary of the state of play so far, concentrating on the back-tracking of the great and the good in Saudi as soon as it became clear that King Abdullah really wasn’t joking when he said that it would be a ‘liberal’ coeducational institution.
Before KAUST, segregation was the norm and mixing was haraam. Then KAUST happened, and suddenly mixing turns out to be okay. Al-Shethri opened his mouth. He was sacked. The others got the message.
The new Minister of Justice explained in detail how segregation is a foreign concept and mixing is actually cool. Sheikh Ahmed al-Ghamdi, head of haya’a in Makkah, gave a lengthy interview to Okaz where he basically said that there is nothing wrong with mixing and those who oppose it are opposing Sharia. Meanwhile, his organization continue to terrorize people in other parts of the country.
Clown Mohammed al-Nujaimi before KAUST was inaugurated stressed the importance of segregation in education, something he described as one of the fundamentals on which the Saudi state was built. Few weeks later, after al-Shethri was sacked, he took a full U-turn.
Problem is, apologists like Jamal Khashoggi now have to make up lies to make this sounds normal. Mixing at KAUST is very restricted, he says, that a Venezuelan student can’t have his Mexican female friend over at his place.
So confusion prevails. In the past we were told mixing is sinful. Now we are told it is alright. Those who don’t want to appear contradicted talk about good mixing and bad mixing. Are we supposed to believe the “mixers,” the “segregationists,” or the “hypocrites”? Such a dilemma…