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Women in Saudi....
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12736
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:23 am    Post subject: Sound familiar? Reply with quote

From the Arab News:

"In Japan, school textbooks, even though produced by private publishing houses, have to reflect government guidelines and have government approval before they can be used by students. "


http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=38821&d=30&m=1&y=2004


No comment on my part required.
Regards,
John
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16064
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi JohnS

I must admit that my first thought was to wonder how many Arabic speakers this Japanese publishing company has. It doesn't seem terribly logical to move the textbook publishing from an AGCC country to Japan - or am I missing something?

If they do to Arabic, what the Japanese tend to do to English, things could be interesting. (my apologies to all fluent Japanese English speakers who must also be amused by many of the uses of English in Japan--- Smile )

As to government approval of textbooks, isn't this true of more governments than not? In what country is there real freedom in what shows up in textbooks? Certainly not in the US. The 'thought police' are powerful here in enforcing 'political correctness' and there has been quite a bit of talk about it in the last few years. There was a book written about it, but I just went through my lists here and couldn't locate it. (I'm just not as organized as you, John)

VS
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12736
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:10 pm    Post subject: The Language Police Reply with quote

Dear veiledsentiments,
I certainly agree that there's too much "policing" of school textbooks done right here in the USA, although that's usually done more by the "Language Police" on the local school boards. Is that, by the way, the title of the book you were thinking about: "The Language Police" by Diane Ravitch?

http://www.townhall.com/bookclub/ravitch.html

I still recall, way back in my internship, how a "lady" on the school board in Tampa, Florida spearheaded a drive to ban such "obscene books" as "Catcher in the Rye", " Cat's Cradle" ( well, ALL of Vonnegut, actually)
and other noxious tomes. This was before the Supreme Court decision:

"“Local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books …”
— U.S. Supreme Court in Board of Education, Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982)"

The lady's name, believe it or not, was Mrs Faust.

Regards,
John
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Truth Hurts



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 115
Location: Truthville

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John

As you are chuckling to yourself about Saudi plans to reform textbooks by a Japanese group, I am reminded of OUR utterly disgraceful reputation in the region. Are you aware that millions of US tax dollars in the form of USAID were used from 1984 to 1994 in producing primary school textbooks to breed militant/terrorist activity in Afghanistan? The shocking scandal surfaced in 2002 and not suprisingly was given very limited coverage in the US. (It's the not the sort of thing you read about in NYT, Time magazine or Nat Geo.) Anyway, the American materials (produced by University of Nebraska at Omaha) were apparently so good that even the Taliban adopted them! Just think about it: the materials date back to the mid 80's which means that in all likelihood the present day Taliban were brought up on American produced textbooks filled with violent images of Jihad, militancy, blood, war etc.

And what irks me is that now we have the cheek to tell the Saudis to remove 'militant' passages from their textbooks.

Here is a link to the relevant Washington Post article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A5339-2002Mar22?language=printer


TH
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12736
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 10:14 pm    Post subject: G is for Grenade Reply with quote

Dear Truth Hurts,
Nothing the USA government does could surprise me anymore, I'm pretty sure. Still, it makes me glad to know that at least I wasn't paying taxes during that time period, and so, in some small way, did not contribute to that nasty boondoggle.
That's not going to stop my chuckling about the Saudi's plans, though.
Regards,
John
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guest of Japan



Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Posts: 1601
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Truth Hurts,

That was an interesting article. It's always quite saddening when propaganda or patriotism is the ultimate goal of education.

Johnslat,

You kept the oil coming during your 19 years in the gulf. Every problem in the world is entirely your fault.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12736
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2004 12:37 am    Post subject: Bless me Father for I have sinned Reply with quote

Dear guest of Japan,
You're absolutely right. I am totally to blame. And for my penance, well, for starters there's Truth Hurts. Very Happy
Regards,
John
P.S. I'll throw in a few "Our Fathers" and Hail Marys", too.
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Truth Hurts



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 115
Location: Truthville

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2004 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John

That's right! Pass the buck. It's all my fault. Sad

Well, now you're back home in 2004 let's hope your tax dollars are being put to better use under the Bush administration. Smile

TH

PS: Is it now safe to say that Dean is a lost cause even though I personally think he would make a really excellent President!
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12736
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 3:26 am    Post subject: It's not over till the fat lady sings Reply with quote

Dear Truth Hurts,
Well, I haven't paid any taxes yet - and likely won't this year. So, I hope Dubya will be just a bad memory when I'll have to in 2005.
Don't give up on Dean so easily - Bill Clinton lost in Iowa and New Hampshire and some other places, too. And then there's this:

"What do Patrick Buchanan, Gary Hart, Estes Kefauver, Henry Cabot Lodge, John McCain, Edmund Muskie and Paul Tsongas have in common?

They all ran for president. They all won the New Hampshire primary. And they all failed not just to reach the White House, but to even secure their party's presidential nomination."

This just in - Dean'll be in Santa Fe this Monday, 11:30 am at the La Fonda Hotel. I plan to go.

And here's some pretty good news from the Kingdom:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&ncid=540&e=1&u=/ap/20040131/ap_on_re_mi_ea/saudi_hajj_040131165423

I can't agree with all the quotes but it's at least a step in the right direction, I'd say.
Regards,
John
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12736
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:24 pm    Post subject: It's the stupid economy Reply with quote

Is Dubya vulnerable? I definitely believe so, and although I like Dean, I'm basically an ABB* guy.

(* Anybody But Bush)

And, despite this one paragraph that I disagree with -

"Personally, I don't believe the Bush team will pay a long-term political price for its faith-based intelligence about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Too many Americans, including me, believe in their guts that removing Saddam was the right thing to do, even if the W.M.D. intel was wrong."

I'd say Mr. Friedman's "on the money" in this column. As the mantra of Clinton's campaign so succintly put it:

"It's the economy, stupid."

Though in Dubya's case, this might be a better way to say it:

"It's the stupid economy."

First and foremost, for better or for worse, most Americans vote their pocketbooks in my opinion.


http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/01/opinion/01FRIE.html?th

We CAN bring Dubya down.

Regards,
John
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Cleopatra



Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 3657
Location: Tuamago Archipelago

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be on your best behaviour, banat!
[url]
http://www.arabnews.com/?page=13&section=0&article=38717&d=1&m=2&y=2004[/url]
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12736
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 6:53 pm    Post subject: Blame it on Eve (Warning: Irony ahead) Reply with quote

Dear Cleopatra,
Wow - quite an article. Hope Ms Jameela Al-Aseeri has lots of wasta.

" Two things attracted my notice here. First, all the regulations are addressed exclusively to girls with no mention whatsoever of how boys should behave in schools and what punishments they can expect.

Second, the rules are so dogmatic that they put all the blame for any misfortunes, catastrophes and calamities — whether religious, political or cultural — on girls."

Hmm, and the problem is?? I mean, everyone knows it's girls that are totally to blame for all mankind's "misfortunes, catastrophes and calamities", from Eve right down to the present day.
Regards,
John
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12736
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 7:30 pm    Post subject: Inshallah sometimes equals: Hey, don't blame ME Reply with quote

And also in the news:

"The stampede, during a peak event of the annual Muslim pilgrimage, or hajj, lasted about a half-hour, Saudi officials said. There were 244 dead and hundreds of other worshippers injured, some critically, Hajj Minister Iyad Madani said.


"All precautions were taken to prevent such an incident, but this is God's will. Caution isn't stronger than fate," Madani said.


Darn the "inshallah mentality" - passing the buck to God for a tragedy that might well have been prevented - or at least lessened - with enough planning and precautionary action. I believe the then Minister of Education said much the same on the occasion of that fire in the girl's school last year.
Regards,
John
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12736
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:15 pm    Post subject: The will of God is avoidable??? Reply with quote

Hmm - is it just me or does anyone else see a BIG contradiction in this story from the Arab News?

"Interior Minister Prince Naif yesterday emphasized Saudi Arabia’s efforts to ensure the security of pilgrims and said Sunday’s Jamrat stampede could have been avoided if pilgrims had behaved calmly.

“I saw people jump over those who fell while others stood on top of them to throw stones. We had hoped that our pilgrims would behave calmly and respect those who fell down or fainted, rather than step on them,” he said.

Prince Naif, who is chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee, called upon Haj officials in Islamic countries to instruct their pilgrims in what is necessary in order to prevent harm to themselves and others. “What happened was the will of God and we do not want to blame pilgrims,” he said referring to Sunday’s stampede in which 251 pilgrims were crushed to death and nearly 240 injured. "

Regards,
John
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Jim Bigelow



Joined: 23 Oct 2003
Posts: 175
Location: KSA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear John,

I guess Prince Naif meant that, as is a general Islamic principle, that he didn't want to back bite the people, especially as those that complete the Hajj are considered to be given the reward of their sins being forgiven, therefore it would not be virtuous to talk bad about these people...
Of course he was blaming them but also expressing that he wished that he did not have to...then he topped it all off by admitting that nothing happens except by the will of God!
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