In 2008, during our 75th anniversary, we announced our intention to create a modern center of culture and learning. The vision was to create a cultural institution of international renown, and a model for social progress through education and cross-cultural exchange.
This was an evolution of a far-reaching earlier vision. When the original concession agreement between Saudi Arabia and Standard Oil Company of California was signed on May 20, 1933, King ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Al Sa‘ud insisted on including a clause directing the company to provide opportunities for Saudi citizens.
The vision of King ‘Abd al-‘Aziz launched our long-lasting investment in the people of Saudi Arabia. Fast forward to May 2008. His son, HM King Abdullah, laid the foundation stone for the new King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture.
The new Center, also known as iThra’, the Arabic word for ‘enrichment’ — promises a continuous journey of enrichment, using science, innovation, arts and culture to inspire creativity and a love of learning, helping to transform Saudi Arabia into a knowledge economy.