scene at/from a feast: chewing on tradition
I do not want to make things cryptic; here is the story: Last Thursday, at around 9:40 a.m., in Amman, this aforementioned wise scholar illuminated us with his announcement under the title "Cross-cultural Bias in Language Teaching Textbooks. Is it there?" Great God! Some of these local scholars are bright I guess, because they are the ones that they do not use manuscripts or PowerPoint presentations; they just open their mouths and wisdom showers all of us at the hall. His title did not reveal exactly his point. The point was that the textbooks of teaching/learning English as a foreign language are produced with the sole intention to insult the local culture, to undermine cultural values, to corrupt the Jordanian youth and, in few words, to achieve a fatal blow on Islam. The textbooks talk about girls with mini skirts, about wine glasses and just lead young people go astray. The professor after 7 minutes started wondering whether he should give examples or not, since he had plenty in his bag (he did not bring any finally because he did not want to expose them: to expose whom, for the love of the Almighty? authors that live in New Zealand and Minneapolis??? I do not believe they would mind. And anyway the bag seemed empty to me, with the exception of his cigarettes packet.)
He would like to teach Islamic English, where Big Ben strangely resembles to Burj Al Arab, and the House of the Parliament is a reflection of the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus. He hinted to the fact that he is member of the censorship committee, protesting in a way that this kind of textbooks forces them to work hard and to reject books despite their willingness to be open and welcoming. I WONDER: will he dare to give out this oral masterpiece in written form? Will it be published in the Acta of the conference? In that case, I will photocopy it and will use it as a wallpaper for my room of impressions.
Apropos, along with my theological set of beliefs, coincidences prove the Divine Presence. It was this very person that invited me with some 5 months of delay to deliver my paper on contemporary Greek literature at the University of Applied Science last December. Thanks to the Dices of Destiny it was the same day that I had to organize the Greek Day at our University.