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LEFT-HANDED IN AN ISLAMIC WORLD: an Anthropologist’s Journey into the Middle East has just been released by New Academia Publishing. It’s about Dr.John Mason’s work and life in the Middle East and includes accounts of his family in overseas situations. His book describes the many Arab Muslims and other Middle Easterners he has met and known. Rather than talking about Islam as a concept, he presents it as it is lived by the people. Mason’s accounts from his field research focusing on Libya and Egypt and many years of overseas development consulting in the Middle East are purposely not academic in style and are directed at a general audience. The accounts are especially poignant now, given the present politics surrounding the entry of Muslims to the U.S.
30 years ago my left-handed son struggled at school because there was simply no consideration of the difficulties faced by left-handers, particularly in learning to write neatly, and there was no provision of items such as left-handed pencil sharpeners, scissors, etc. 30 years later, my left-handed grandson faces exactly the same difficulties – made worse for him because he has mild ADHD and therefore if he can’t get the hang of something quickly, his focus of concentration rapidly drifts off. Can’t the club begin a campaign to get the Dept of Education and teacher training colleges to recognise that this is a serious accessibility issue, to boost awareness among teachers, and to make it statutory that schools must provide items which left-handers can use easily? I know they have to survive in a right-handed world, but those early years at school are so crucial in their development and in encouraging them to enjoy learning rather than to see it as a daily misery, putting them off education for life?
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