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03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Saudi University Faces Down Religious Establishment, Promotes Serious Science

In a bustling harbour just north of Jeddah one recent morning, a white 27-metre diving yacht was nosing its way slowly toward the open Red Sea. It was a gorgeous blue day, and the marina was teeming with families -- young boys running around in swimming trunks; girls clustered at the margins, garbed from head to toe in black. Saudi youths on jetskis were swarming around the yacht, using its wake to launch themselves in the air and perform various tricks. The boat's passengers, however, were absorbed in somber discussion.

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