Prince Alwaleed Rewards 100 Students from the Ambassador of Peaceful Dialogue Program
Alwaleed Philanthropies (AP), chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz AlSaud, organized a ceremony to mark the end of the Ambassador of Peaceful Dialogue program in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Monday 24th of July, 2017. HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal attended the ceremony and awarded each of the 100 students a certificate, alongside Dr. Abdullah Al Mana, Director of Education for the Region of Riyadh, members of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education and the King Abdulaziz Centre for National Dialogue.
The 100 students from Saudi Arabia were given a warm welcome back, having returned from a ground-breaking cultural exchange programme with fellow students in Edinburgh, Scotland, sponsored by Alwaleed Philanthropies in partnership with King Abdulaziz Centre for National Dialogue (KACND) and the HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World at the University of Edinburgh. The Saudi Arabian students and Scottish students participated in activities that promote global tolerance and understanding in the heart of the Scottish capital.
Alwaleed Philanthropies offered visiting students English language courses and educational sessions around the city of Edinburgh along with local Scottish students, in partnership with the University of Edinburgh. Together, they learned about Scotland’s history and took part in a treasure hunt at the National Museum of Scotland, played a football match against the Edinburgh Spartans, watched the Junior Highland Games, and interacted with cultural sites that bring Scotland’s history to life.
Through programmes organized and delivered by the Edinburgh Alwaleed Centre, the Saudi Arabian students shared important elements of their culture during a publically accessible national day, held on the grounds of the University of Edinburgh and attended by hundreds of visitors. Students engaged with the local community and taught them about the Arabic language. They also held cultural workshops/discussions and activities – such as “Ask a Saudi” and “Challenging Cultural Stereotypes” – which promoted honest communication to foster understanding and facilitate friendships between future generations in the Middle East and the West.
HRH Princess Lamia Bint Majid AlSaud, Secretary General of Alwaleed Philanthropies, said:
“Engagement between East and West will shape global peace and security in the twenty-first century. But we do not understand one other as well as we should, and this ignorance breeds intolerance.
The six Prince Alwaleed Academic Centers are working together to change this. And the Scottish and Saudi students in this programme have shown us that we have far more in common that we often think. I am proud of them, and we can all follow their example. Edinburgh is a truly global city, and after this campaign it will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Hazzaa AlHumaidi, a student participating in the programme, said:
“I didn’t know what to expect when I first came to Edinburgh. After three weeks in the programme I made so many new friends who were just like me, except that they live in a different part of the world.
I’ve learned so much about Scotland, and I had a lot of fun teaching people here what life is like in Saudi Arabia.”
Professor Hugh Goddard, Director of the HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World at the University of Edinburgh, said:
“We are very pleased to have supported this venture to help the next generation of Saudi students develop their inter-cultural understanding of the contemporary world. Edinburgh is a truly global university, firmly rooted in Scotland, and we are dedicated to enhancing our international links. This three-week programme, with its range of inventive and enjoyable activities, was a very valuable way to increase understanding between young people from different backgrounds and cultures.”
The programme was implemented over three weeks in partnership with the Edinburgh Alwaleed Centre. Students from Saudi Arabia and Scotland gained valuable skills and knowledge from the programme, which was held from July 2 until July 22.
The value of the programme draws from its unique approach. The activities were designed to reinforce the University’s academic courses and provided students with positive experiences to engage their hearts and minds, and to develop a perspective of cultural understanding and openness.