U.S. White House seeks to improve understanding with Arab world

The US government is considering promoting Arabic and Sharia studies among students in America to help create better understanding between the US and the Arab world.

The plan was announced by US education official Thomas A. Farrell while on a four day visit to Saudi Arabia, aimed at strengthening relations between the two countries in the education field.

Unveiling the plan Farrell said the US government had realised it needs to understand Islamic culture better, and has decided that studying the Arabic language and Sharia Islamic law was a good way of doing that.

Farrell said education had become a key element of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US since 9/11. The US embassy runs a summer language programme to help 300 Saudi teachers improve their English and is currently inviting Saudi students to apply for the Fulbright Scholarship to go to university in America. Farrell also sought to quell fears of harassment or restrictions for Saudi students in America, saying the questioning of visitors to the US was not country specific and depended on whether the person aroused suspicion, the AKI reports.

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