December 11-13, 2008
IMPACT-SE participated in this conference attended by researchers, civil society activists, political analysts and diplomats from Europe, the US and the Arab world. It was organized by the French-American Foundation, Foreign Policy and Science Po, which took place at the Académie Diplomatique Internationale in Paris. Read the Conference Agenda (pdf, 247 kb)
IMPACT-SE Briefs Latin American Journalists on Anti-Semitism in Middle Eastern Schoolbooks
December 3, 2008
IMPACT-SE briefed a group of Latin American Journalists touring Israel on the harsh anti-Semitic trends found in the majority of Middle Eastern curricula studied by IMPACT-SE (Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority and Iran), barring the Tunisian curriculum, which stands in stark contrast with the rest.
Over the past year, IMPACT-SE has broadened the scope of its research, published several reports and op-eds, presented its material in panels and briefings and committed itself to myriad projects in the field of research and advancement of education for peace and tolerance. To Read the Full 2007-2008 Annual Report, click here: English (pdf, 958 kb)
November 11, 2008 – PowerPoint (pdf, 297 kb)
IMPACT-SE presented some of its latest research at a breakfast briefing at the European Parliament on November 11, entitled: “The Way to Peace in the Middle East: the Role of School Education and Cultural Tolerance through Schoolbooks.”
By IMPACT-SE, Khaled Aljenfawi and Nir Boms
November 8, 2008 – La Libre Belgique, Belgium
IMPACT-SE Board Member and journalist Nir Boms, Dr. Khaled Aljenfawi, a Kuwaiti professor of English literature from the University of Kuwait, and IMPACT-SE wrote an op-ed on the importance of education for peace and tolerance for development and peace in the Middle East, while contrasting the prevailing radical and tolerant streams in Middle Eastern curricula. The collaboration on the op-ed and the below editorial constitutes a groundbreaking endeavor by Israelis and a Kuwaiti who, even in tumultuous times in the Middle East, view education for peace and tolerance toward the “other” as vital for the future of the entire region. English (pdf, 16 kb) – French (pdf, 202 kb)
By Dr. Khaled Aljenfawi – November 8, 2008 – Arab Times, Kuwait
Dr. Aljenfawi, who has written in the past on the concepts of tolerance and the “other” in Arab culture, education and society, wrote an editorial in his column in the Arab Times on the concept of the “other” in Arab education and culture. The editorial was edited by IMPACT-SE and contains excerpts and phrases from a number of IMPACT-SE reports.
November 6, 2008
IMPACT-SE gave a presentation entitled ‘The Jews’ Image in Current Middle Eastern Schoolbooks’ at the International Conference on Anti-Semitism at the Centre of Middle Eastern Studies, Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, the Czech Republic, on November 6, 2008. The presentation, based on a decade of research by IMPACT-SE on the schoolbooks of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and the Palestinian Authority, points to the following grave conclusions: a fierce anti-Jewish campaign is being waged in Middle Eastern curricula with clear racist and even murderous characteristics. Jews are demonized, both as a nation and as individuals, at times by using European anti-Semitic notions. A culture of hate towards the Jewish people is being created in Middle Eastern schools, and one can even say that the minds of Arab and Iranian youngsters are being set for a new Holocaust.
Supporting document: PowerPoint presentation (pdf, 2.52 mb)
IMPACT-SE has recently concluded a preliminary report on the curriculum of Tunisia. The results are extraordinary: following reforms of revolutionary proportions carried out by the Ministry of Education, the Tunisian schoolbooks, in stark contrast with most Middle Eastern curricula, emphasize the importance of tolerance, peace and dialog with the “other,” equality between all human groups, openness toward the “other” and its culture (that is, the West), use of religion for universal rapprochement, and restriction of the ideals of jihad and martyrdom to historical events. The full report is due in mid 2009. Supporting document: Preliminary Report (pdf, 107 kb)
IMPACT-SE recently completed its report on Al-Fateh (http://al-fateh.net), the Hamas web magazine for Children, which serves as its internet educational instrument, supports its ideology and terrorist activities, and serves as a platform for Hamas propaganda and indoctrination, especially of Palestinian, and more generally, Arab and Muslim, children.
Supporting Documents: Draft Executive Summary (pdf, 107 kb) Draft Full Report (pdf, 703 kb)
The Saudi Arabian school curriculum has recently been at the eye of a media storm due to the controversy surrounding the Islamic Saudi Academy in Virginia, and the pledge made by the Saudi government in 2006 to remove texts promoting intolerance, hatred and extremism from its curriculum by the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year. In July, IMPACT-SE completed an update on its 2003 report on the Saudi curriculum. Its findings are striking: Significant progress has yet to be made, in stark contrast with the Arabian kingdom’s effort to present itself as a leading moderate power in the Middle East and the proponent of the 2002 Arab peace initiative.
June 3, 2008
IMPACT-SE presented its latest report — “Palestinian Textbooks: from Arafat to Abbas and Hamas” — at Jerusalem’s Media Central, to 18 journalists of the international press, as well as Israeli and Palestinian peace activists, on June 3, 2008. Following the presentation, detailing the concluding analysis of the seven-year Palestinian Authority schoolbook publication project, IMPACT-SE joined in a lively question and answer session, which spilled over into informal discussions, long after the presentation had ended. Associated Press Correspondent Diaa Hadid’s coverage of the event was picked up by over 120 media outlets worldwide, including the International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Jerusalem Post and Fox News, to name a few. It is worthwhile noting that the response to the report by the spokesman for Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad included a “call for tolerance” in PA textbooks — resonating one of the principal goals of IMPACT-SE. (See: “Report: Palestinian textbooks portray Jews badly,” Associated Press, June 4, 2008)
To read the IPCRI reports, refer to the IPCRI website at http://www.ipcri.org under Papers and Articles/Education for Peace.
IMPACT-SE’s Report on Iranian Textbooks Discussed on Iranian VOA Program
March 25, 2008
IMPACT-SE participated in an hour long discussion on the popular Persian program “Round Table,” produced by Voice of America (VOA), regarding the Iranian school curriculum and IMPACT-SE’s report. Dr. Saeed Paivandi of Paris-8 University, who just published a similar report regarding Iran’s educational system under the Islamic regime for the Freedom House, also participated.
Jan. 2007 – March 2008
IMPACT-SE’s report on Iranian schoolbooks continues to be widely noticed by the media worldwide. In February and March 2008, three more articles were added to this partial list of news articles and blogs in several languages.
This is our concluding analysis of the seven-year schoolbook publication project, which took place in the Palestinian Authority until 2006. It is based on the six reports issued by IMPACT-SE since 1998, including our recent draft report on schoolbooks for grades 11 and 12. It examines the underlying principles in PA’s attitude to the Other and to peace in the Middle East, which are revealed in the books. It also attempts to determine whether a shift took place in this respect during the publication process, as a result of the major political changes in the Palestinian Authority. Briefly, it concludes that some improvement was noticeable in the schoolbooks published under Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, following the death of Yassir Arafat, but the older, uncompromising approach reappears under the Hamas-led government.
Discussion Panel on "Iranian Textbooks: Preparing Iran’s Children for Global Jihad"
Hudson Institute, Washington, DC, March 10, 2008
As debates rage about Iran’s nuclear intentions, educational textbooks may serve as one of the more candid guides for discerning this regime’s worldview and ideology. IMPACT-SE researchers covered the Iranian report’s detailed findings and discussed the implications for the United States and the rest of the international community.
Supporting document: PowerPoint Presentation (pdf, 1.23 mb)
American Textbook Council, 2008
Study of ten widely adopted American junior and senior high school history textbooks
"Attitudes toward Jews in schoolbooks issued by the PA Ministry of Endowments & Religious Affairs"
Briefing, Jerusalem, Jan. 8, 2008
Eradicating incitement from Palestinian schools has been a central theme in negotiations since the Oslo accords. President Bush himself has demanded that educators “Teach values and moral responsibility in schools.” In light of President Bush’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, IMPACT-SE is hosting this briefing to examine religious textbooks for 7th-12th grade students in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.