Saudi Arabia mulls granting citizenship to Muslim scientists

Saudi King Salman is seen during U.S. President Obama's visit to Erga Palace in Riyadhnews54s4f5f45f4JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council member has called for recruiting scientists in several disciplines and attracting them to work in the Kingdom through state guarantees of free housing, Saudi citizenship and permanent residency.

According to a report published by Arab News, Shoura member Hani Khashoggi stressed that they will add wealth to the Kingdom, and be a scientific and economical addition to the country.

In a recommendation to the council, he said there are hundreds of scientists specialized in the disciplines of engineering, medicine, physics, geology, mathematics and information technology who want to come to the Kingdom.

He also stressed that there is no objection for the state to ensure housing and care for them in a country where the youth constitutes 70 percent of the population and at a time when there are hundreds of thousands of students who hold scholarships in foreign countries in order to learn sciences in various disciplines.

“The recommendation involves a study about attracting dozens of Muslim scientists and researchers from around the globe to live and work in the Knowledge Economic City (KEC) in Madinah in various sciences and disciplines including engineering, physics, geology, mathematics and information technology within specialized research centers,” Khashoggi said during a Shoura Council session on Wednesday.

He said there are hundreds of Muslim scholars across the world with various specialties in a lot of fields of science who dream of coming to the city of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and to live and work in it for the rest of their lives.”

Khashoggi explained that “Investment in these Muslim scientists through (establishing) scientific and research centers specialized in medicine, engineering, physics and chemistry, in the Knowledge Economic City (KEC) will contribute to the wealth of the Kingdom. These scientists could be given permanent residency in Madinah, in addition to housing in KEC. This will be a scientific and economic addition as well.”

The Shoura Council, meanwhile, approved a recommendation adopted by the Committee of Haj, Housing and Services which calls for the establishment of an economic city close to Ras Al-Sheikh Humaid on the Red Sea coast in the Tabuk region.

The Shoura Council demanded, during its regular 51st session, held under the chairmanship of Speaker Abdullah Al-Asheikh, to set a mechanism to attract qualitative investment to the economic cities, in order to achieve the objectives that they were established for.