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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 15:24 GMT
Prince inspects Islamic college
Prince Charles views a model of The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in Oxford
The prince is patron of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies
The Prince of Wales has inspected the new premises of an Islamic college, affiliated to the University of Oxford.

The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, of which the prince is patron, teaches the "scholarly study of Islam and the Islamic world".

The centre's new 65m building includes a minaret, dome, quads and a chapel.

The college, which has been associated with the university since 1985, says it provides a meeting place for the Western and Islamic worlds of learning.

The prince, who arrived from Highgrove in Gloucestershire, put on a hard hat as he met Dr Farhan Nizami, the centre director.

He inspected one of the college's quads and stopped to look at the vaulted ceiling of a cloister, to be inlaid with tiles from Turkey.

'Cultural achievement'

He spent nearly an hour talking to workers at the centre, due to be finished in 2007, which is funded by public and commercial donations as well as the governments of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Yemen.

It was designed by Professor Abdel-Wahed el-Wakil and is being built from English and French stone.

Hassan Aberdeen, from the centre, said a study before building work began found striking similarities between buildings in Oxford and Islamic architecture.

He said: "When the Oxford colleges were being built from the 10th century on, this was a period in the Islamic world of great educational and cultural achievement.

"There was a great deal of cross pollination between the two.

"It's nothing new for there to be borrowing between the two civilisations and we have tried to reflect that."

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