sobota, května 01, 2010

King Abdulah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

I could just leave the link to KAUST here and let you browse their website, but I've got the urge to add some of my first impressions (it's about 2 weeks I'm here) which are - believe it or not - quite positive.

The University officially opened in September 2009 in the presence of its founder King Abdullah (see Al Jazeera's report on YouTube) and although there is still ongoing building works in the campus, it does not interfere with everyday life (most of it being done behind the barbed wire).

Apart from the University buildings the campus includes also the housing for faculty members, staff and students, schools (from early childhood centers to the age of 18), commercial centers (shops that provide for food and the daily used items as well as the canteen and a few restaurants) and other community services (including regular shuttle buses around the campus, but also to some distant places and shopping malls) and last but not least the recreational facilities (especially well equipped sport center and the libraries are much appreciated by myself). Being at the seaside (Red sea) the campus has its own beach with the white sand from the Spain and a marina with yacht and sailing facilities. As you can see the campus is very well prepared for 'the life in a bubble' :)

As is the case with all new places you can find it somewhat tricky at times - the other day we needed help as the stove was giving me shocks (maybe it tried to tell me not to cook :)), but the maintenance team came within 1/2 hour to join the wires properly.

In no case should I forget to mention the Museum of Science and Technology in Islam that in a catching and absorbing way celebrates the contributions of Muslim scholars to the science and technology during the first Golden Age of Islam from the 7th to 17th century. Just to read and digest the information there would take me few weeks.

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