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Saudi Arabia arrests 11 princes, including one who was a Georgetown benefactor

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John Burger - published on 11/04/17 - updated on 11/04/17

University's Prince Alwaleen Bin Talal Center is named for royal who donated $20 million in 2005

Establishment of a new anti-corruption committee in Saudi Arabia has resulted in the arrest of a Saudi prince who once gave Georgetown a generous gift to establish a center for Christian-Muslim understanding.

Prince al-Waleed bin Talal and at least 10 other princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers were arrested in what appears to some as a move to consolidate the power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the favorite son and top adviser of King Salman, according to the New York Times.

“The king had decreed the creation of a powerful new anticorruption committee, headed by the crown prince, only hours before the committee ordered the arrests,” the Times reported.

Georgetown’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding was founded in 1993 by an agreement between the Fondation pour L’Entente entre Chretiens et Musulmans, Geneva and Georgetown University “to build stronger bridges of understanding between the Muslim world and the West as well as between Islam and Christianity,” the center’s website explains. “The Center’s mission is to improve relations between the Muslim world and the West and enhance understanding of Muslims in the West.”

In December 2005, the Center received a $20 million dollar gift from Prince al-Waleed to support and expand. The Center was renamed the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. According to the university, th endowed fund was the second largest single gift in Georgetown University history.

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