Covering an area of over 8 million square meters, built for a capacity of 50,000 students, 15 colleges, a 700 bed university hospital. All built in just 2 and half years; for women. More precisely, for the women of a Muslim country.
Unfortunately, the opening of Princess Noura bint Abdulrahman women’s university earlier this month in Riyadh, largest of it’s kind in the world, did not make international headlines. Looking at the attention received by other issues surrounding women, such as the driving ban, I felt that the building of this university refuted any claims that the some laws are imposed to mistreat women or lower their status in society. Personally, driving is a barely a concern when the women of a country are deemed deserving of such a great institution.
If the establishment of this university is of no or little concern to the same media sources whose pens hastily move at any chance to discuss the ‘oppressed’ lives of the women of this country and neighboring Muslim countries, then I can only be led to question their motives. Why is it that topics of veils and male guardians turn their heads, as they feel a need to ‘free’ Muslim women, yet an educational institute dedicated to the same women does not seem as important?
The opening of this university, should be applauded not only by Muslims, but by anyone who is truly concerned about giving Muslim women their rights. It is true that many women around the world have received the right to education, but this university goes beyond that, as it provides women the right to study in the field of their choice in an environment free of the pressures, temptations and challenges presented in a co-ed environment.
Princess Noura university is a leading example to Muslim countries, if they truly seek to educate their women, whilst protecting and honoring them. As a Muslim woman, I am proud that the initiative to build the world’s largest women’s university was undertaken by a Muslim country. More so, a country that witnessed the revelation of a Religion that has always held the status of women in high esteem.
The new campus includes a 700-bed university hospital, 15 colleges, a central library, a conference hall, laboratories and three research centers for nanotechnology, information technology and bioscience. Arab News
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