Wednesday, February 16, 2011

From the Middle East to Africa and back again

As unrest creeps across the Middle East in an epidemic of disorder emanating from the catalytic events in Egypt, I’m heading into the thick of things.  But not back to my old stamping grounds in the Arabian Gulf, where the melting pot of Shiite – Sunni rivalries is bubbling more vigorously than ever.
Demonstrators in Duraz, Bahrain (Photo: Hasan Jamali/AP)
Tomorrow I fly to Jordan.  There, I will call into service my extensive experience in delicate politics, gleaned from five years living on the fringes of unrest in Bahrain.  My mission is simple; to bring understanding and tolerance to a sphere plagued by persistent misunderstandings.
In Amman, where it is meteorological rather than political storm clouds that are gathering over the historic Citadel, I will be a delegate at an international workshop where we will discuss the complexities of... delivering the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Science Programme.
Ruins of the Roman Temple of Hercules, Citadel Hill, Amman (Photo: Jon Bigg)
We will grapple with the difficult compromises required when balancing ideological assessment rubrics with ambitious curriculum content goals.  We will discuss the peaceful deployment of Areas of Interaction, and how this should be monitored by outside agencies.
And I will return to Africa next week equipped for new and exciting educational adventures with my young charges.  I will understand the myriad complexities of MYP and a new era of peace will descend across my troubled cerebral cortex as the progressive international-mindedness of the Curriculum Model learns to live in harmony with the sacred dogma of fundamentalist educational doctrines.
Roman theatre, Amman (Photo: Jon Bigg)
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