Jobless Arabic Teachers in Saudi Stage Protest

Hundreds of Arabic language teachers gathered this past Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in front of the Riyadh Ministry of Education building demanding jobs, according to ArabNews.  Some protesters apparently were taken to a nearby hospital after suffering heat exhaustion.

Perhaps you, like Elias Muhanna, don’t go in for the “Arabic is dying” drama, but perhaps this is evidence that the teaching of Arabic is not being tenderly nurtured in the KSA.

Tariq, a protester who gave only his first name when he spoke with ArabNews, told the paper:

“The shocking part is that of this year’s 5,000 Arabic language graduates, 656 were appointed only, whereas 2,300 of Islamic Studies graduates found jobs.”

Tariq also told ArabNews he hadn’t chosen his specialty in a vacuum:

“Eight years ago the minister of education announced largely in the media that Arabic teaching is a specialty that would be needed for the coming 10 years.”

After ten years, apparently, the need for Arabic was (perhaps) to expire.

Related, from this January in The National: Saudi Arabia school building plan hits a snag.