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Cablegate: Participant Evaluation for Rp "Curriculum

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS MANAMA 000491

SIPDIS

STATE FOR ECA/PE/V/R/N CFLEMING/EDIGGINS; ECA/PE/V/G/N;
NEA/PPD; NEA/PI CBOURGEOIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OEXC SCUL KPAO KMPI BA
SUBJECT: PARTICIPANT EVALUATION FOR RP "CURRICULUM
DEVELOPMENT AND CIVIC EDUCATION," FEBRUARY 7 - 25, 2005.

1. On March 26, 2005 APAO and Cultural Assistant met with
Khalid Al Khaja, the Senior Specialist in Social Studies at
the Ministry of Education and the point of contact for the
implementation of MEPI-funded civic education programs in
public Bahraini schools. Mr. Al Khaja emphasized the
Minister of Education's strong interest in the IV program.
The Minister personally encouraged Al Khaja to participate
in the program to "benefit the Ministry in advancing its
civic education and curriculum department."

2. Mr. Al Khaja admitted to being reluctant to travel to the
U.S. because of stereotypes about Americans. "Hollywood
films and U.S. media project violent images of America,"
said Mr. Al Khaja. While on the program he discovered that
the American people are friendly and welcoming, which made
him feel he was "not a stranger from another country". He
was also exposed to the diverse communities living in the
U.S. He excitedly cited the example of the cooperation
between the Mayor of Louisville who is Jewish and his
deputy, a Palestinian. He was encouraged that they are
working together for the interest of the American public,
regardless of their origins, and was hopeful for similar
attitudes in the Middle East.

3. Al Khaja is currently working to introduce coursework on
civic education, specifically the constitution, separation
of powers, women and children's rights, role of civil
society, and human rights, in primary and secondary Bahraini
public schools. Al Khaja is hopeful that civic education
will be implemented in Bahraini classrooms in January 2006.
He is working with Arab Civitas, a MEPI education pillar
implementer, to secure and translate books on civic
education that will be used in the public school curriculum.
In addition he is organizing train-the-trainers programs for
teachers that will teach civic responsibility. He hopes
that the qualities that he witnessed during his IV program
such as community service, peaceful dissent by citizens, and
political participation at a young age will become future
topics of discussion in Bahraini classrooms.

MONROE

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