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Press Releases
The Saudi Minister's Response to the CGE Survey


Your Life As a Child/Youth


Q. What was your greatest inspiration in your development as an emerging leader?

A. Without a doubt my greatest influence was the progressive spirit of the fifties and sixties that engulfed my part of the world. It filled me and millions of other youths with a belief in the infinite possibilities people have when they are well prepared and are given the means to better themselves.


Q. Did you have a guiding principle, belief or goal that you believe influenced your development as an emerging leader?

A. Yes. Education. I believed then, as much as I do now, in the tremendous role education can have on the lives of individuals and nations.


Q. Who was your greatest influence or role model as you began to realize your role as a world leader?

A. The Prophet Muhammad is my greatest role model. Besides his role as messenger of God, he combined both passion for humanity and a great practicality that allowed him to lead with vision and conviction. Over the years, however, I have had a lot of other influences especially in the professional sphere of my interests.


Q. In what ways did a particular teacher or other mentor prepare you for your experiences as a leader?

A. I think that some of my most influential teachers, in both Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, have been mostly characterized by sincerity and dedication. They believe in what they do and they pursue it wholeheartedly.


You As a World Leader


Q. What one phrase or guiding principle personifies your view of education for the 21st century?

A. Behind every great nation there is a great system of education.


Q. What role do you believe education plays in preventing incidents such as Kosovo, where today's soldiers were yesterday's school children?

A. I believe that by teaching peace, theoretically and practically, we can help prevent a lot of evil in the world. Children need to be taught how to accept others and live with them, peacefully, regardless of visible or imagined differences. When a school puts that lesson into practice within its own curriculum and activities, the lesson is internalized and helps to immunize children against communal hatred.


Q. What is the single most important thing that you, as a policy maker, can do to improve our schools and bring education into the 21st century?

A. I am a firm believer in the centrality of teachers in any educational endeavor. So, the single most important factor in improving schools and bringing them into the 21st century is proper training of new teachers and retraining of on-the-job teachers.


Q. Who is your current inspiration as you develop and implement educational policy?

A. There are a number of inspirations each pointing in a direction based on need, conviction, and experience. The important lesson is to decide what's suitable for your own needs.


Q. What do you define as your greatest accomplishment in the field of education?

A. I'd like to think of a number of accomplishments. The closest to my heart, however, is bringing education into the focus of my people, i.e., making education a central issue in the national conscience by making it a subject for debate and discussion in both the national media and in people's homes.

Please note: All remarks reprinted from the Minister's comments must be properly accredited to the Council for Global Education. CGE also requests clippings via fax or mail of any stories related to the Minister's remarks.




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