Education: The Resplendent

Under the watchful eyes of steel-helmeted police, the world's oldest university began its 1,006th academic year in Cairo last week. The cops were just a precaution in a land hot over the Palestine question: the 11,000 students at Al Azhar ("The Resplendent") University take their politics as seriously as their Moslem faith. It is not just boyish prankishness either; some of the "undergrads" have been going to school for 15 or 20 years.

Al Azhar pays all its students a regular salary (from $2 to $12 a month) instead of charging them tuition. It...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!