HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company and Chairman of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation-Global (registered in Lebanon) and HH Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel, Vice-Chairwoman and Secretary General of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, was ranked among the top influential Saudis by The Christian Science Monitor. Prince Alwaleed has used his significant wealth and media holdings to press for more modernization in Saudi society, as well as greater cultural understanding between Islamic countries and the West.
The Christian Science Monitor is an international news organization that delivers thoughtful, global coverage via its website, weekly magazine, daily news briefing, email newsletters, and mobile site.
Known for his pioneering efforts of bridging gaps between the western and eastern culture through Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, in February 2012, Prince Alwaleed and Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel hosted an historic gathering of leading scholars and global thought leaders on Islam and the West at The Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University with a theme of “Collaborative Education for a Globalized World”.
Participating in the forum were leading global scholars who serve as Directors of the six Prince Alwaleed Academic Centers located at the world’s most prestigious universities, including:
Harvard University: Director Ali Asani from The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program;
Georgetown University: Director John Esposito from The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding;
Edinburgh University: Director Hugh Goddard from The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World;
Cambridge University: Director Yasir Suleiman from The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies;
American University in Beirut: Director Alex LuBin from The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research.
American University in Cairo: Director Magda Shahin from The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research;
During the event, Prince Alwaleed stressed that: “This dialogue strengthens the cultural bridge between East and West.”
His Highness also commented: “What has taken place in some Arab countries -Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria- has brought an earthquake to the Arab region. This message is clear: no matter how much social change you make in your country or economic benefits you bestow on your people, it will not be enough. Change must occur whereby the people feel they are involved, have a voice and can participate in the system.”
The discussion centered on Islamaphobia in the West, Anit-Americanism, the implementation of visionary educational programs and curricula designed to break down stereotypes and misinformation about the West and Islam, while instilling tolerance and a more profound understanding and appreciation for cultural and religious diversity in both the West and the Arab world.
Moreover, they discussed the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundations’ role in global cultural understanding through the establishment of six academic centers with study programs that encourage tolerance and mutual understanding, advance scholarship in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, support opportunities for dialogue and reconciliation among religions and cultures and participate in the preservation of the Islamic literary and artistic heritage around the world.