According to a report by the Palestinian Authority's (PA) official news agency WAFA, PA Education Minister Sabri Saidam announced that he will provide textbooks to the Greek Orthodox school in Jaffa. His statement came in response to a letter by Father Constantine Nassar, head of the Greek Orthodox parish in Jaffa, who wrote to him requesting the textbooks. The report adds that the minister also expressed willingness to provide free textbooks to other Israeli Arab pupils, including on Islamic Studies and additional subjects, as part of his ministry's commitment to supporting education "throughout the homeland."
The following are excerpts from the WAFA report.
PA Education Minister Sabri Saidam (image: bokra.net)
PA Education Minister: We Are Committed To Supporting Education Throughout The Homeland
The WAFA report states: "[Palestinian] Authority Education Minister Sabri Saidam has complied with the request of Father Constantine Nassar, head of the Greek Orthodox parish in Jaffa, to supply the Greek Orthodox school in the city with Christian textbooks, a special edition [published by] the State of Palestine.
"Minister Saidam announced that he would provide the [Christian Studies] textbooks for free, [and is also willing to provide] free textbooks on Islamic Studies and any other [subject] to other Israeli Arab schools, in order to help their pupils and also in order to underscore the strong and positive ties between the members of the united [Palestinian] people. He emphasized his ministry's commitment to supporting education throughout the homeland, and pointed to the fact that his ministry staff, which works in all the Palestinian areas, is happy and proud to invest every [possible] effort in the field of education for all Palestinian [religious] sects."
The report states further that "Father Nassar sent a letter to Minister Saidam asking him to provide textbooks on Christianity for the Greek Orthodox school in Jaffa, a special edition [published by] the State of Palestine. Father [Constantine Nassar] praised the new Palestinian curriculum that benefits the pupils by strengthening the bond between all members of the united [Palestinian] people, expressed his pride in and appreciation for the heads of the [PA] education system and for their wisdom and seriousness, and thanked all the Education Ministry staff members who were involved in writing, compiling and publishing the Christian Studies textbooks."
According to the report, Saidam responded by "expressing his appreciation for Father Nassar's role in inculcating the values of tolerance and love... which strengthen [our] national responsibility for our coming generations. He thanked the priest, on behalf of his ministry's headquarters and curricula center, for the kind words in his letter, which reflect an objective assessment of the new curricula."
PA Education Ministry Official: We Are Working To Make Our Curricula Accessible To All Israeli Arabs
A Nablus radio station reported that "the director of the PA Education Ministry's curricula center, Tharwat Zeid, said that making the Palestinian curricula accessible to residents of the inner occupied territories [i.e., Israeli Arabs] conveys a special national and political message, [namely] that the [Palestinian] curriculum is considered appropriate in every time and place."