I heard a KAUST administrator say recently, in response to the gripes (and there have been many) about housing problems, unfinished research labs, and other things, that our greatest challenge this year is to build and nourish the new KAUST community. I can't speak for the whole campus staff and faculty, but for the students... mission accomplished!
I am living with, hanging out with, and studying with the brightest, most flexible and resilliant peers I have ever met. These guys and girls rock and if the professors and staff are half as cool as they seem to be in the classroom and in their offices, I am sure they are gelling quite well, too!
I just wanted to let everyone know that things are not all bad here. It is easy to point out the negative environmental things which are affecting all of us, but KAUST's greates achievement so far has been to gather so many stellar individuals together in this place.
The fist picture is from a social gathering where a group of friends came together as family to learn from each other and fellowship together. Even in Saudi Arabia, we have not given up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but are encouraging each other more and more.
This second picture, taken by my friend Ernesto Sandoval during one of the recent celebrations in our town square, tells our story very well. We, the KAUST students, are diverse, full of life, and excited about the opprotunities ahead. The only problem with this picture is that you cannot see the girls (they didn't want to climb all over the statue like the guys did, go figure). All is still exciting here in SA!
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