School is an important component in the formation of a nation. It is often there that children can discover what unites them with others.
If the role of the teacher has always been considered essential, it is even more so in a country that is not yet unified, that has everything to build. And this is the role that Maysoon Al Dwairi’s father took on as a teacher in the United Arab Emirates even before they were named as such.
On her way back to her parents’ home in Jordan, photographer Maysoon Al Dwairi came across photos of her father from the 1970s, showing him working in a classroom. This discovery initiated a long discussion with her father and the desire to evoke and present this episode of her family history to a large audience.
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It is therefore this documentary and photographic archive that is exhibited in Dubai. The presentation of a personal story, that of his father, is a very good pretext to study how an educational system is formed. And we are not at the end of our surprises! While the West seems to believe that it has a monopoly on comprehensive education, Maysoon Al Dwairi demonstrates that Arab philosophy has always advocated the inclusion of art, music, theater, and travel in the education of children.
We will also discover the history of education in the United Arab Emirates, from the importation of teachers from Kuwait to the encouragement of schooling for nomadic children, which Maysoon Al Dwairi presents at length in his study Narratives of Education: Between the Trucial States and the United Arab Emirates.
An exhibition to see at the Jameel Art Center of the Dubai Library until November 29.