View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Portraying Arab Culture Truthfully by the Reading of Good Books

The attacks of 9/11 and the constant use by the media of phrases such as ‘Muslim terrorists’ has bolstered suspicion and generated major misconceptions and biases towards Arabs around the world. What can hold back this Tsunami of prejudice?

An interesting article by Tami Al-Hazza and Bob Lucking, entitled ‘Celebrating Diversity through Explorations of Arab Children’s Literature’ suggests that a good place to start beaming a truthful portrayal of Arab culture is with children and a revolutionary method is through reading. This article has a comprehensive list of books that might be good to add to the library.

A comment on this article and a commendation of a book, ‘The Day of Ahmed’s Secret’, is given in the posting of Mary Ann Zehr entitled, Teaching Arab Stories and Counteracting Negative Stereotypes’.

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai was right in his ground-breaking speech (28 October 2007) when he said that “knowledge and freedom are two sides to the same coin”, when he established new measures to combat illiteracy and urged the writing, translation and publication of good books.

Dr. Geoff Pound

Image: Front Cover of ‘The Day of Ahmed’s Secret’.