Education authorities in the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai are preparing to ban an imported book used in an international private school because it includes a photograph of two Jewish children with braided hair and yarmulkes.
United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education official Obaid Butti Al Mohiri said he would order withdrawal of the book at Dubai International School if the “complaints raised were found genuine,” reported the Khaleej Times newspaper of Dubai, considered a cosmopolitan center of business and finance in the Middle East.
The photograph in the book “Friends Forever,” is captioned: “We play together; we stick together.”
The English-language Khaleej Times said several teachers at the school phoned the newspaper to complain about the picture.
The paper stated that, according to the teachers, “of all the pictures in the book, the students reacted sharply to only this picture.”
Mohiri expressed anger that the matter was brought to him, saying he lacks adequate staff to make sure that such books from outside the country are vetted before they reach students.
“What should we do when we do not have enough staff to review textbooks in more than 400 schools countrywide?”