Educational standards focus of Dubai ruler

May 19, 2007 at 5:52 PM

AMMAN, Jordan, May 19 (UPI) -- Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, has announced that he will give $10 billion to help raise his nation's standards of education.

In what has been labeled as one of the world's most generous donations, the Dubai ruler recently said he would donate the $10 billion to create a Middle Eastern educational foundation, the BBC said Saturday.

The sheikh said his funds would go to the creation of "a knowledge-based society" in the region and would promote increased research efforts.

"In order to realize these objectives, I have decided to establish the Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum Foundation to focus on human development, and have I decided to endow a fund of $10 billion to finance its projects," he said.

The sheikh said his generous donation was in response to the Middle East's high illiteracy rate, along with its lack of scientific research and book publishing.

"There is a wide knowledge gap between us and the developed world in the West and in Asia. Our only choice is to bridge this gap as quickly as possible, because our age is defined by knowledge," he said.

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