Saudi ministry of education sacks undersecretary over viral King Faisal, Yoda photo

The viral photoshopped photo of King Faisal, Star Wars character Yoda signing UN charter in 1945. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 26 September 2017

Saudi ministry of education sacks undersecretary over viral King Faisal, Yoda photo

JEDDAH: Saud Arabia’s education minister has sacked an undersecretary in the ministry after the discovery of a photo in school text books showing the late King Faisal at the United Nations with the “Star Wars” character “Yoda” superimposed next to him.
Minister of Education Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Issa announced the termination on Tuesday of Mohammed bin Attia Al-Harthi, undersecretary for educational curricula and programs, along with the team of supervisors that reviewed and approved textbooks in the government agency.
Despite the teams of staff tasked with checking educational material, the spoof photo went unnoticed. It was only spotted in the text books by social studies students during a lesson on the United Nations,
The historic photo showing the late King Faisal signing the UN charter in 1945 has become iconic, so the addition of the little green “Jedi master” should have been easily spotted before the book went to print.
Al-Essa has assigned the printing and reviewing of school books to the Tatweer Company for Educational Services. A committee has also been formed headed by Deputy Minister of Education Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Asimi.
Other members of the committee will include the undersecretary of planning and information, the secretary-general of education departments, the CEO of Tatweer, and general aupervisor of human resources.
The committee will be in charge of the restructuring of the Agency for Educational Curriculum and Programs.
Meanwhile Rashid bin Ghayyadh Al-Ghayyad has been appointed as undersecretary of educational curricula and programs.
There has been much controversy over mistakes in Saudi textbooks. The photo with the former king and “Yoda” – one of the most prominent heroes of the Star Wars series – went viral on Twitter, sparking a wave of sarcastic comments, as well as anger.

ThePlace: Saudi Arabia’s ‘vegetable basket’

Updated 11 min 28 sec ago

ThePlace: Saudi Arabia’s ‘vegetable basket’

  • Qassim in central Saudi Arabia hosts more than 8 million palm trees, which produce 205,000 tons of high quality dates every year

Al-Qassim is known for its agricultural value to Saudi Arabia. Due to the province’s fertile farming land, it is widely referred to as the Kingdom’s “vegetable basket.”

As the lushest part of the country, it is responsible for most of the Kingdom’s agriculture. Al-Qassim boasts the largest number of greenhouses in Saudi Arabia, producing a wide range of agricultural produce, including dates. 

The province hosts more than 8 million palm trees, which produce 205,000 tons of luxury dates annually that are exported regionally and internationally.

The capital of Al-Qassim, Buraidah, hosts a yearly date festival that is attended by many people, including those from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, who stock up on dates.

Al-Qassim’s farms and orchards attract nature lovers and city dwellers who wish to relax amid its palms and scenery.

These orchards have recently become an attraction for nature lovers, along with anyone who wants to get away from it all and relax. With greenery and tall palm trees surrounding the fields, Al-Qassim’s natural beauty, environmental splendor and fresh water make it the perfect destination.

Visitors come from all over to enjoy the magnificent views and get away from the dull routine of life. They are transported back in time by the simplicity showcased in the orchards by the farmers’ mud houses, and the work these laborers do from dawn until sunset, relying on authentic and traditional agricultural methods.

As well as being a tourist attraction, Al-Qassim is also known for the quality of its product. With so many farms and orchards in the region, and thanks to the fertility of its soil, a wide variety of crops can be grown, including wheat, dates, fruits and vegetables, which are sold across the Kingdom. • Photo by Saudi Press Agency