The Corner

Columbia’S Uae Chair

Last Friday Columbia University finally released the list of donors to its

Edward Said Chair, held by Rashid Khalidi (also director of Columbia’s

Middle East Institute). Among the donors is the United Arab Emirates, a

nation that appears to have an interest in paying American universities to

do its ideological bidding. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, the UAE’s

unelected president since 1971, is also a backer of Georgetown’s Center for

Contemporary Arab Studies and the source of a $2.5 million gift to

the Harvard Divinity School. Harvard froze that money in August–after the

source of the gift became public along with the anti-American, anti-Semitic

venom coming from Zayed’s now-defunct think tank–and is

still in deliberations over whether to give it back. Columbia, after keeping

its list secret for months, couched the release in a puff-piece about Said

in the Columbia Record, the print-only newspaper of the Office of

Public Affairs, according to a source. Daniel Pipes’s <A

href=”http://www.campus-watch.org”>Campus Watch has issued a press release

with the full list of donors here. With enough pressure

from students, alumni, and the media, Columbia too might be brought to think

again about keeping the UAE’s problematic gift–but getting it to go even

that far won’t be easy.

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