Serendip's Saudi Arabia Connection

Effat College:
A New Science College for Women in Saudi Arabia

Elizabeth McCormack, Associate Professor in Physics at Bryn Mawr College, is one of several American science faculty members consulting on the development of the natural science curriculum for the recently founded Effat College in Jeddah, on the coast of the Red Sea in Saudia Arabia.

Modelled after liberal arts colleges in the United States, Effat College seeks to provide "the foundation of a rigorous and varied academic program intended to serve the needs of women and modern Saudi society". Tapping into the experiences of American women's colleges, Effat College invited Liz McCormack, as well as three faculty members from Mt. Holyoke College, to advise on the most recent developments and innovations in science education.

At the invitation of Princess Lolowah Al-Faisal, daugher of Queen Effat, for whom the College is named, Liz and her colleagues visited the College in January, 2001 for a week of discussions with administration, faculty, and students. The visit was hosted by the Dean of the College, Haifa Jamal Al Lail, and Marcia Grant, educational counselor to the Princess, both of whom visited Bryn Mawr the previous year.

Liz will be continuing in a consulting capacity, and reports that the College is currently searching for physics faculty to begin teaching in Fall, 2001. Pictures below were taken during Liz's recent trip.

Mrs. Amal Jabr, Biology Professor at Effat College, Liz, and Diana Stein, Biology Professor, Sheila Browne and Don Cotter, Chemistry Professors at Mt. Holyoke College. Dr. Haifa Jamal Al-Lail, Dean of Effat College, Marcia Grant, Liz, and Michael Friganotis, computer science/audio-visual consultant from Dubai Men's College in the United Arab Emirates.
Open air shelter for the more than six millions pilgrims who travel annually to the Holy City of Mecca, located near Jeddha.

Diana Stein, a biologist form Mount Holyoke College, and Marcia Grant at the Red Sea coast.

The Red Sea coastline.

Camels near the roadside on the way to the Red Sea coast.