Topic | Choose topic/s and define your search
Affiliations / Personalities
Sources
Date Range

Booklet praising Abbas produced by students, supposedly meant to enter the PA curriculum, was pulled following backlash and accusations of "patriarchalism"

Headline: “A booklet named Our President – A Role Model For Us is stirring opposition among Palestinian writers and activists”

“A booklet that female students of a school in the West Bank produced, which includes clear words of praise for [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, is stirring opposition and anger among the Palestinian public after it was stated that it would enter the Palestinian curriculum – which has caused the [PA] Ministry of Education to deny [this] and explain that the book is not official.
The book… includes quotes from books by the Palestinian president on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. 
Last Thursday [May 9, 2019], the book’s launch was declared at a ceremony in the presence of senior Palestinian officials. Shortly afterwards, the Ministry of Education announced that it would print the book and distribute it to schools, and rumors were spread on social media that the intention was to teach the book in the official curriculum. And then there was a flood of criticism from every angle – from writers and journalists who demanded to pull the book from the schools.
Editor of the [Israeli-Arab] Palestinian paper Al-Hadath Rola Sirhan told [Agence] France-Presse (AFP): ‘The book is a worldview that they want to spread in the schools… It deals with a serving president, and includes flattery and conveying a comprehensive worldview, more than providing the students with literature.’
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been leading the PA since 2005, and his continued presence in power is stirring widespread opposition among the Palestinians according to polls…
Palestinian writer living in London Khaled Al-Haroub published a long list of Palestinian writers, academics, and journalists who have signed a petition entitled ‘Let us bring down and pull the book Our President – A Role Model For Us.’ Al-Haroub said: ‘The publication of such a book with such a title perpetuates patriarchalism and the personal glorification… We want to build a civil society and state that are based on freedom and critical thinking, and not on the patriarchal model that has crushed our society.’ …
On the other hand, PLO [Executive Committee] Secretary Saeb Erekat… said that the book includes summaries of 19 books that the president wrote. According to Erekat, the booklet is ‘an initiative to preserve, defend, and adhere to our historical, national, religious, and cultural rights, as they appear in the books of brother Mahmoud Abbas, and it is praiseworthy.’ …
Activists on social media ridiculed some of the Palestinian president’s words, and wondered if it was possible to teach them to students, such as ‘the security cooperation with Israel is sacred.’
The critics of Abbas’ PA accuse him of taking all of the powers exclusively for himself: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial.
Following the criticism, an official response was published by the Ministry of Education… 
In the ministry’s statement it was said: ‘Regarding the lack of clarity surrounding the booklet Our President – A Role Model For Us, the ministry wishes to emphasize that this booklet is the product of an initiative by female students of a school as part of the project “We Will Study For Palestine,” and from the beginning of the initiative there has been no intention in the ministry to adopt for itself the products – including this booklet – as part of the curriculum or the books that are approved for school study.’ …
Agence France-Presse has not succeed in obtaining a copy of the booklet – not from the Ministry of Education nor from the school itself – and instead the school principal told Agence France-Presse that the booklet was produced by female students without the knowledge of the school management, and the school did not ask to print it.”

Saeb Erekat also holds the positions of Fatah Central Committee member and PLO Chief Negotiator.
 

Related View all ❯