US university loses $5m as Saudi students stay away

(Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Updated 04 August 2016

US university loses $5m as Saudi students stay away

JEDDAH: The revenues of Idaho University are expected to decline by more than $5 million in the new academic year due to a drop in the number of Saudi scholarship students.
This decrease has been attributed to racist attacks suffered by some Saudi students at the university recently.
According to the Associated Press, the level of registration at the university is expected to decline by as much as seven percent next semester, in comparison to last semester.
The annual report of the university which was sent to all employees and the faculty members said that the number of registered students in the upcoming academic year will be less than 9,500 students.
Laura Woodworth-Ney, Idaho State University’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, explained that while the figures reflect the current period alone, the university is getting ready for a further drop in the number of students in the future.
She added that the reason for the declining revenues of the university was the declining number of the Saudi students in addition to Kuwaiti students.
This decreased enrollment at the institution comes after Idaho University witnessed a range of racist attacks on Saudi and Kuwaiti students, which prompted the Saudi Embassy in Washington to reconsider the scholarship program with the university.
The situation stabilized after the intervention of the mayor of the city and the rector of the university, enabling the parties to reach a suitable solution to the issue, with the university pledging to provide security for Gulf students by providing more police patrols around their lodgings.
In an email to Idaho State faculty and students in mid-April, the university’s president, Arthur C. Vailas, said the homes of about 50 Middle Eastern students had been burglarized over several weeks.
“As a result of these crimes, some of our students are seriously considering leaving I.S.U. and Pocatello,” the email said.
The burglaries followed reports that 17 vehicles, many belonging to Middle Eastern students, were vandalized last year, Vailas’s email said. Also, DVDs containing hate messages were left on a number of car windshields on campus.
Saudi and Kuwaiti students make up one-tenth of the population at Idaho State.


Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

Updated 15 September 2019

Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

  • The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen
  • ‘Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors’

BAGHDAD: Baghdad on Sunday denied any link to drone attacks on Saudi oil plants, after media speculation that the strikes were launched from Iraq despite being claimed by Yemeni rebels.
The attacks early Saturday targeted two key oil installations, causing massive fires and taking out half of the kingdom’s vast oil output.
The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war.
But the Wall Street Journal has reported that officials were investigating the possibility the attacks involved missiles launched from Iraq or Iran.
Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Sunday denied reports Iraqi territory “was used for drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.”
“Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors,” he said in a statement.
“The Iraqi government will be extremely firm with whomever tries to violate the constitution.”
Iraq is home to several Iran-backed militias and paramilitary factions, placing it in an awkward situation amid rising tensions between its two main sponsors, Tehran and Washington.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo squarely accused Tehran of being behind Saturday’s operation, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen.
Iraq has called for its territory to be spared any spillover in the standoff between the US and Iran, which has included a series of attacks on shipping in sensitive Gulf waters.
Recent raids on bases belonging to Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups linked with Iran, attributed to Israel, sparked fears of an escalation.
There have been no military consequences so far, but the strikes have heightened divisions between pro-Tehran and pro-Washington factions in Iraq’s political class.
Baghdad has recently moved to repair ties with Saudi Arabia, a key US ally — much to Iran’s chagrin.
Riyadh recently announced a major border post on the Iraqi frontier would reopen mid-October, after being closed for almost three decades.