Can Arab Preppies Save the Middle East?

A New England–style boarding school opens in Jordan

Ahikam Seri for TIME

Students at King's Academy in Madaba, Jordan, October 2007.

In 1977 an unlikely new 10th-grader arrived on the campus of Deerfield Academy in western Massachusetts. He was Abdullah ibn Hussein, direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad and scion of the Hashemite dynasty, the onetime princes of Mecca and currently the ruling family of the kingdom of Jordan. Now known as His Majesty King Abdullah II, he points to the years spent as a member of the academy's class of 1980 as the most formative of his life. Deerfield introduced Abdullah to a much broader range of friends than is normally available to young Arab princes, and the character-building crucible of...

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