Comparative Study of Textbooks
A ‘Comparative Study of Textbooks’, a working document in the framework of the Euro-Arab Dialogue Initiative (EAD), has recently been published with the generous support of Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber and the MBI Al Jaber Foundation.
Our Chairman, Sheikh Mohamed, and the MBI Al Jaber Foundation joined forces with UNESCO to revitalise and relaunch the EAD Initiative with a series of conferences and technical workshops. Sheikh Mohamed has a strong belief in the importance of cultural dialogue between the MENA region and the wider world, and that dialogue should go hand in hand with the creation of practical resources. His support resulted in a plan for future action and the first UNESCO/MBI Al Jaber Foundation International Conference, ‘EAD: Contribution to a New Humanism’, which took place in June 2012. At this conference in Vienna, Sheikh Mohamed stated that education is the key to meaningful dialogue and that “… today more than ever, we are in need of an education that respects others and promotes understanding, tolerance and respect for human rights and liberties. An education that advocates democracy and acceptance of our differences”.
The representatives of 53 National Commissions from both regions, as well as experts, representatives of governmental and non-governmental institutions, civil society, regional centres and associated networks attended the conference. It was stressed that education and culture have a fundamental role in creating an attitude of tolerance in the minds of all generations, particularly in the young. UNESCO was urged to support intercultural curricula and to conduct further work on textbooks, as these play a vital role in the education of future citizens. They also sometimes contain stereotypes and clichés, ‘particularly in the rUepresentation of geographical and cultural areas with which cooperation or trade links have been forged, but also when periods of conflict and colonization have left lasting scars’. Textbook contents can hide prejudices that are unfavourable to a more open and objective mutual understanding.
The Comparative Study of Textbooks introduces the project objectives and areas of investigation, detailing the ambitious nature of the EAD Initiative, as well as examining the shared objectives and obstacles encountered by a project of this nature. Education at schools is identified as a ‘key player’ in the success of such a venture.
Since the 2012 conference, the MBI Al Jaber Foundation has supported a number of technical workshops, including the EAD Conference: ‘Our Commonly Shared Values’, held in Portugal on 25-26th November, 2013.
A high-level international conference, as a follow-up to the Vienna summit, will take place in Summer 2016. Further details will be announced shortly.
You can download the 'Comparative Study of Textbooks':
In English [pdf - 3.2MB]
In French [pdf - 3.2MB]
For further information, please contact:
Director of Public Relations