Royal Opening for the Centre
The HRH Prince Alwaleed Centre of Islamic Studies was officially opened on 23 March 2011. At the ceremony, the Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, HRH Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, welcomed HH Princess Ameerah, Vice-Chairwoman of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation. HH Princess Ameerah said: ‘We share a sincere ambition to build bridges among peoples, nations and faiths as our world is filled with individuals and communities who share far more similarities than differences’.
The Founding Director, Professor Yasir Suleiman, paid tribute to the generosity that established the Centre and to the vision that lies behind it: a commitment to independent research, critical analysis and public engagement. He spoke of the work of the Centre as bringing different voices together, speaking beyond or through any perceived walls, and reaching an audience of practitioners, policy makers, professionals, and scholars in order to ‘contribute ideas and evidence’ to the important debates going on around us.
The Chancellor then presented HH Princess Ameerah with an 800th Anniversary Medal for Outstanding Philanthropy that she accepted on behalf of HRH Prince Alwaleed. At Senate House later in the day, the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation was admitted into the Guild of Cambridge Benefactors at a ceremony where the Foundation was represented by Princess Ameerah.
During the ceremony at Cambridge, Princess Ameerah, vice chairwoman of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, was greeted by the Chancellor Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Vice-Chancellor, professor Leszek Borysiewicz.
The center, established following an £8 million benefaction from the Alwaleed bin Talal Foundation, aims to carry out both research and public engagement to enhance understanding, tolerance and cross-cultural dialogue between Islam and the West.
Speaking at the ceremony, Princess Ameerah said:
“The mission of the Alwaleed bin Talal Foundation, which Prince Alwaleed and I co-chair, is to help address some of the most pressing issues of our time around the world. “We believe in commitment without boundaries, without regard to religion, geography or economic status. “Further, we share a sincere ambition to build bridges among peoples, nations and faiths as our world is filled with individuals and communities who share far more similarities than differences.”
Press release (29 March 2011):
Prince Philip & Princess Ameerah Open Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge
Opening ceremony speeches:
HH Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel Vice Chairwoman of Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation
Professor Yasir Suleiman CBE, FRSE
A view article about the ceremony is available from Arab News.