In the 60s,70s, and even the 80s, the books that were produced by the Ministry of Education were used all over the Gulf by many GCC countries and a few Arab countries. As with many things they were great in the past, but now its not even a shadow of its former self.
Recently I heard of an incident with the Ministry of Education and a few of the private schools. Any private school has to submit the book it uses for approval by the MoE, which makes sense, if things were perfect. Some books get banned and some get approved, and during one visit to the private school to check on the books one of the teachers asked why a book was banned, she said because it has nudity, and the teacher was confused as it doesn’t. Then the government employee said her colleague watch the movie and it had nudity so the book was banned, but then the teacher replied the book is different. Then the employee replies that the movie has nudity so the book was banned. The concept that the book and the movie were different was not being comprehended.
So now the ministry basis the book approvals through movies viewings, I wonder what they do when there isn’t a movie. And now The Great Gatsby is going to be released soon with Leonardo DiCaprio and you know there will probably be a few frisky scenes, and if its the same process then they will probably ban that book too.