Education: Renaissance in Fez

In the ancient city of Fez last week narrow alleys blazed with Morocco's red and green colors and the air was heavy with incense and the odor of kif (marijuana). From jampacked rooftops thousands of spectators roared "Marhaba!" (welcome). Amid the cheers, Morocco's King Mohammed V, followed by scholars from 39 nations, walked a cobblestoned mile to the huge Karaouine mosque to celebrate a momentous occasion: the 1,100th anniversary of Fez's Karaouine University. This Moslem school is older than any university in Europe.

Golden Days. Early in the 9th century, when Fez was still a young hamlet, its ruler cried: "O God,...

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