Lessons in Saudi history to foster cultural identity

Updated 22 September 2013
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Lessons in Saudi history to foster cultural identity

Teaching youngsters the history, culture, religion, citizenship and economic progress of the Kingdom can help unify the country and promote patriotism, according to experts.
Saleh Al-Romaih, a sociology professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, said that with time, the information gleaned from these classes would become embedded in the personalities of students.
Al-Romaih told Arab News this would happen because the material teaches students morals and highlights the efforts of the country's institutions. It also educates them about their duties and rights. As this information is gradually absorbed by the students, it will transform from a passion into a mindset, he said.
Al-Romaih said the course is of greater value because it is not compulsory. Students are not under pressure to perform and are more ready to accept the information. If the material becomes part of the curriculum, it would be like any other course, he said.
He said the scientific material currently offered in the National Education course is satisfactory and does not require any additions or changes. However, it should be taught by qualified teachers with specific training to make the subject matter interesting and simple. He suggested teaching the information through workshops to allow for greater discussion among students.
Abdullah Al-Shahrani, an educator at a public school in Jeddah, said the National Education course encourages and develops aspects of religious sensibility because it emphasizes the importance of prayer. It also defines social institutions in residential neighborhoods, and familiarizes students with the concept of systems and societal regulations related to daily life.
"As students move from one stage to another, the curriculum evolves to make them more aware of different concepts such as citizenship, the role of imams, scientists, the kings of Al-Saud and the Islamic faith. It also informs them about the achievements of this country.” He said the course makes students aware of the concept of tourism in Islam, tourism areas in the country, and the factors creating unity and integration between Islamic countries.
Al-Romaih said women should also take up the course because they form half of Saudi society. Women need such courses because they are citizens with responsibilities and duties toward the development of the community and have rights. They would also learn new ways to instill the Kingdom's values in their children.


Mozart manuscript expected to sell for €500,000

Updated 18 June 2018
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Mozart manuscript expected to sell for €500,000

  • The 130,000 manuscripts and historical documents that Aristophil had its investors sink their savings into are now being dispersed in auctions over the next six years
  • The manuscripts are part of a vast sell-off by the French state of the collection amassed by the collapsed investment firm Aristophil

PARIS: The first draft of music Mozart wrote for the last act of his opera "The Marriage of Figaro" is expected to sell for half a million euros ($578,000) when it goes under the hammer in Paris.
The "exceptional" manuscript from 1786 which will be auctioned on Wednesday in the French capital comes from the peak of the composer's career in Vienna, the auction house Ader Nordmann said.
Called "Scena con Rondo", Mozart wrote the music initially as a recitative to be sung by Figaro's bride, Susanna, before rejecting it for the now legendary aria, "Deh vieni non tardar".
"These four pages are particularly important because they reveal Mozart at work, struggling to rethink a scene in the final act of the opera," expert Thierry Bodin told AFP.
It will be sold along with another Mozart manuscript, a fragment of a serenade to youth written by young Wolfgang Amadeus when he was only 17.
Probably commissioned by the "chancellor of Salzburg, who was a friend of the Mozart family, to mark the end of his son's studies," according to Bodin, it is expected to make between 120,000 and 150,000 euros.
The manuscripts are part of a vast sell-off by the French state of the collection amassed by the collapsed investment firm Aristophil.
It was shut down in scandal three years ago, taking 850 million euros ($1 billion) of its investors' money with it.
The 130,000 manuscripts and historical documents that Aristophil had its investors sink their savings into are now being dispersed in auctions over the next six years run by Ader Nordmann and three other French auction houses, Artcurial, Drouot Estimations and Aguttes.