Kuwaiti school fires expat teacher after including Israel in assignment

Kuwaiti school fires expat teacher after including Israel in assignment
Kuwaitis forced an American international school to apologise after a teacher 'broke local morals' and gave her students a map that includes Israel.
4 min read
11 December, 2020
The map was circulating over social media [Twitter]
An expat teacher in Kuwait was fired after she gave her class a map of the Middle East that included Israel.

The teacher, who worked for the private American Creative Academy, gave her fifth grade students a homework assignment asking them to identify different countries of the Middle East - including Israel.

Initially, students and parents complained to the school, but they say nothing was done by the administration.

Despite grievances, the expat teacher refused to consider popular views on Palestine and remove the map from their homework assignment, claiming this is merely a lesson in geography.

“This was given by a teacher called Annie to American Creative Academy class 5-D,” Kuwaiti citizen Kawthar Bahzad said, tweeting the worksheet.

“She gave them this map in which the name of the Zionist entity is considered a state. When the students objected, she said this is a lesson for the fifth grade, and she refused to change the paper. Please share, in order to protect our children from the Zionist ideology,” she added, tagging the school and the ministry of education.

The worksheet began to spread and caused an uproar of complaints to the school and reports filed to the ministry of education. Many expressed anger that the American academy disregarded Kuwait’s staunch pro-Palestine stance, especially considering the trend of Arab countries normalising relations with Israel. 

Image via Twitter [Click to enlarge]

On Thursday, the private school released a statement apologising and announced that they fired the teacher.

“The American Creativity Academy expresses its deep regret at what happened to one of the teachers who added a website (outside the curriculum) that contains a map of the region in which the name of the Zionist entity appeared.

We would like to point out that we are conducting a thorough survey of our curricula and cancelling everything that might prejudice our religious and national constants,” the school said in a statement.

The school then said it is committed to respecting local customs, which includes upholding the Palestinian cause. 

“Here, the American Creativity Academy would like to emphasise the values ​​and ideals on which it was established and which are based on providing the best global educational systems within a value framework that contributes to building the personality of our students in a balanced manner in all respects, the first of which is the belief in the justice of the nation’s issues, the most important of which is the Palestinian cause.

Therefore, we have terminated the contract of the aforementioned parameter immediately, and we will work hard not to repeat such individual errors,” the statement added.

'Our beloved Palestine'

Bahzad told The New Arab that she took to the internet because she refused to allow children studying in Kuwait to accept normalisation at the expense of the Palestinian cause.

"We, the beloved Kuwaitis, are staunchly against normalisation with the Zionist entity that occupies the Arab land, our beloved Palestine," she said.

"Naturally, the world refuses to be satisfied with normalisation, and our positions as Kuwaitis will remain firm, God willing, as we are working hard to raise a generation that fights for the Palestinian cause."

She recalled Kuwait's protests for Palestine in during the last Friday of Ramadan, known as Quds Day, with Quds being Arabic for Jerusalem. 

"The last Friday in the month of Ramadan we marched for Quds Day as a blow to the Zionist entity in which Kuwaitis of all sects raised slogans, including:

'Towards Jerusalem
We will pray in Jerusalem
Palestine is Arab
I will keep the pledge
For you, my utmost
Palestine is a national cause and normalisation is betrayal'."

Kuwait’s anti-normalisation

Kuwait does not recognise Israel and is one of the remaining Arab countries that continues to take a tough stand in solidarity with Palestine as others move to normalise relations with the Jewish state and facilitate US President Donald Trump’s so-called Deal of the Century.

Read also: 'Child killers': Kuwaiti official 'kicks out' lsraeli delegation from Russia conference

In August, a government source assured that Kuwait’s stance on Israel will remain as it is and will not follow the normalisation trend.

“Kuwait maintains its position and will be the last country [on earth] to normalise with Israel,” the source said, according to local al-Qabas newspaper.

In February, Kuwait's parliamentary speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim threw a printed copy of Trump's Deal of the Century in the bin, saying: “Palestine will be liberated sooner or later”.

He urged that “the Deal of the Century was born already dead, and will never come into fruition even if a thousand US administrations and a thousand propaganda machines” continue to propagate it.

"Whoever wants to promote a peaceful settlement must work to create healthy, equal and fair conditions for negotiation in pursuit of a true peace that ends with a Palestinian state with full rights all over Palestinian territories, with Jerusalem as its capital," al-Ghanim added. 

He urged that the fact that Palestinians reject the deal is enough for it to be condemned, but it is also rejected by the Islamic world "from Rabat to Jakarta."

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