Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dubai ventures to eradicate illiteracy

Speaking at the World Economic Forum being held in Jordon, the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has declared that he is giving $10bn to set up an educational foundation in the Middle East.

The money is meant to improve the standard of education and research in the region, and aims to stimulate job creation, Sheikh Mohammed said.

It is thought to be one of the largest charitable donations in history.

He said the illiteracy rate in the Middle East is 18 percent for those under the age of 15, while for women in the region it is 43 percent. He also said the Arab world lags behind developed countries on scientific research spending.

Sheikh Mohammed who is also a successful racehorse owner is aiming to create "a knowledge-based society" in the Middle East.

Dubai is seen as the booming economic capital of the Middle East. This charitable gift will go a long way towards improving education.

Sheik Mohammed who is the oil-rich United Arab Emirates’ prime minister said, "Our region needs at this moment 15 million job opportunities, and our Arab world will need in the next 20 years between 74 to 85 million job opportunities."

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation will be based in Emirates and plans to begin handing out scholarships to students next year.

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