Read all about it right here! The crazy goings-on at Abu Dhabi Wankers' Camp ... er, sorry - Abu Dhabi Women's College!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Education Without Budgets?

My latest report comes from a former ADWC faculty member of many years. He is keen to point out the expendable nature of western faculty at HCT, and how Sheikh Nahyan is even keener to maintain this state of affairs

The first Education Without Borders (EWB) shindig caused some upheaval among both faculty and management, as no one was really sure what it was all about. The only thing for sure was that lots of fireworks were in order. Two Canadians and one Middle Easterner, (claimed to be Lebanese, but may have been a Syrian, Jordanian or Palestinian), were given the job of putting this together, along with some teachers and “snoopervisors” who did most of the real work.

In the ever expanding desire for more fireworks the project went way over budget, and the two Canadians did not have their contracts renewed. Apparently, the budget problem and the insufficient number of fireworks had caused Sheikh Nahyan some irritation, so a sacrifice had to be made. It was unfortunate (but entirely predictable) that the Canadians were chosen as the blood-offering, because they were both very competent and dedicated employees. The Middle Easterner, unsurprisingly, is still working at HCT.

In my last year at ADWC I was instructed to accompany a group of students to the latest Festival of Thinkers (FOT) affair, as King Kamali was keen to have a packed hall paying rapt attention to Sheikh Nana's gormless introductory drivel. In the end there were far too many students and more than enough flown-in dignitaries, and yet the students and their accompanying tutors were not allowed to go home, or back to college - oh NO!

In fact, we ALL had to spend THREE HOURS huddled in a small back room without any refreshements at all. We did, however, have a wide screen real-time relay of the conference proceedings - without any sound! We weren't allowed to leave until 'His Excellency' had delivered his words of apparent wisdom and left the building.

Back at ADWC I complained about the abysmal treatment of staff and students alike, but I was told to shut up about it. Terrible, really, but it does sum up how little we are worth in their eyes.

The following year I left HCT. Although it was hard to find decent work back in my home country at first, I soon found something much more valuable - I immediately rediscovered my dignity and self-esteem. And that was something much more valuable than the two buckets I had acquired at HCT!