The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has often been criticized by the western media over how oppressive their culture and traditions are, for the Arab women. The western media has ruthlessly and blatantly blamed all Muslim countries for not allowing, or hampering the personal growth of their women, and also not allowing them equal opportunities in every aspect of life. The Princess Noura bint Abdul Rahman Womens University covers over 8 million square meters of land and has been built to facilitate up to 50,000 students, a 700 bed university hospital and 15 colleges. This has all been built in a period of 2.5 years, and has been built for the women of a Muslim country, that is often criticized for not educating their women enough.
Even though this is the biggest women’s only university around the world, the opening of this university did not make it to any media headlines or reports in international news. If we compare this to the attention which is often received by many westerners on the other issues which surround women such as the infamous ban on driving placed on women, it has been cleared by this university that the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been imposed only to suppress or oppress women. I had the pleasure of asking a few Saudi women (with consent) about the ban on driving, and honestly they didn’t seem as bothered with the ban as the western world is. The opening of this university has cleared the issue that the ban on driving for women is not to belittle them, since they are deserving of such world class and prestigious universities in their own country.
The lack of attention by those pseudo – liberals who spare no expense in painting an oppressed image of the women of Saudi Arabia, in the case of this specialized university for women, only causes us to doubt the motives they have in belittling the image of Saudi women around the world. Why is it that only topics of their interest such as the veil, which is described as the most oppressive thing to happen to women ever, or the issue of the male guardian, are discussed with such great dedication while such positive news is blatantly ignored or sidelined?
According to the Arab News report, the campus will also be consisting of a conference hall, science laboratories, a central library and three separate research centers for information technology, bioscience and nanotechnology. If any of these social media freedom fighters were really concerned about the welfare and “freedom” of Muslim women around the world, this new University should have gone viral amongst them. No doubt, women deserve education regardless of religion or any other factor but this University takes it one step further by providing a safe, reliable and specialized environment for the Muslim women.
The Princess Noura University is an example to all Muslim countries which are truly invested in educating their women, while also protecting them and their honor.
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