Exeter gets €1m gift from Saudi

June 27, 2003

The world's richest Arab, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, has given a €1 million (£700,000) endowment to Exeter University as part of a campaign to "bridge the gap between the Islamic and western worlds" since the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US.

The Saudi Arabian prince's benefaction will fund a scholarship programme at Exeter's Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, enabling students from the UK and other European Union countries to study Islam and the Arab world in Arab countries.

Launching the programme at the university last week, Prince Alwaleed said:

"Even though scholarship and research are worthy ends in their own right, I have the hope that such activities will help promote a better understanding in the West of Islamic societies and those of the Arab world.

"Too much has been said about the clash of civilisations and of the incompatibility of western values with those of the world of Islam. I do not subscribe to such thoughts. It is my firm belief that our basic tenets are the same."

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