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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Islan on Line 2nd October 2003 Iraqis Back To School, No Anti-Occupation Books Iraqi boys look at various models of school bags displayed in a street in Baghdad By Sobhi Haddad, IOL Baghdad Correspondent BAGHDAD, October 2 (IslamOnline.net) - Some six million Iraqi students went back to school Wednesday, October 1, testing their first school year under the U.S.-led occupation, with no geography, national education or history books, which used to address the struggle of Arab countries against foreign occupation. Fearing the state of lawlessness and anarchy plaguing the country since the fall of Baghdad on April 9, most of the parents escorted their children to schools. "The Ministry of Education contracted local, Arab and foreign printing houses to print more than 70 million books to be distributed among students," Ismail Yehia Abdullah Al-Elwan, a ministry director general, told IslamOnline.net. "All books have been printed except for those related to social studies," he underlined. On the changes introduced to the books, the Iraqi official asserted that with respect to scientific books "the only change was removing pictures of (ousted president) Saddam Hussein, the so-called the leader commandments and the Baath slogans." Replying to a question on social studies (history and geography) books, Al-Elwan said "ministry officials have assigned this task to both UNICEF and UNESCO." With respect to Islamic education curriculum, the Iraqi official maintained that "no changes have been made because this is a very sensitive issue and no one can interfered." No Anti-Occupation Books An Iraqi social studies expert, who declined to put his name, told IOL that the decision by the American supervisor of the Education Ministry to postpone the distribution of history books in particular is because such books includes "anti-occupation ideas." "For example, the history book of the sixth primary grade includes, in seven of its sections, a review of western occupation of the Arab world by Britain, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. It also deals with Arab liberation movements that led to independence," he averred. The Iraqi expert expected the U.S.-led occupation authority to include the name of Israel on maps in the school geography books. An Israeli center said to be specialized in Mid Eastern studies was opened in the occupied Iraqi capital Baghdad, in a provocative move seen by Iraqi academics as the beginning of an Israeli scheme to infiltrate the Iraqi society. Printing Cake Just as Iraqis have previously protested employing foreigners in oil-related projects since the fall of Baghdad, it seems Iraqi printing houses had a tiny slice of the books printing cake. IslamOnline.net learnt that UNESCO and UNICEF had direct supervision on the printing of some 70 million books for the primary, intermediate and secondary stages. Only 17 millions books were printed by Iraqi printing houses, while the remaining bulk was printed in Britain, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait; a matter that irked owners of Iraqi printing houses. Eng. Mowafaq Abu Hamra, owner of a Baghdad print house, told IOL his was one of 14 Iraqi print houses contracted to print some of the scientific books. He affirmed that the pictures and sayings of the deposed president have been completely removed from all scientific books printed in his printing house. Abu Hamra also added he signed a contract with UNICEF to print history and geography books within 45 days, but asserted: "I do not know what kind of changes will be made." Iraqi education ministry has abolished the national education curriculum, any mention of Saddam. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk