Even though there are many things that I don’t agree with in Saudi Arabia, I am grateful to King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for having the vision to build KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology), the first mixed-gender university in the whole country, a safe campus free from religious police and extremism. It is because of him that we are enjoying our free house, free country club amenities like the pool and tennis, a nice and generally respectful community and so much more.
King Abdullah built this university as one of the long term solutions to the huge unemployment rate among the Saudi youth. By bringing the best talents around the world to Saudi Arabia, he hoped that this piece of the Middle East could become a hub for innovation and knowledge, thereby creating economic opportunities for his people. For that, he will always have my respect.
I only hope for peace and stability in this region at such a precarious time.