Culture Shock: ‘Downton Abbey’ Illustrates Similarities to Lives of Gulf Aristocrats Today

Seeing the "Downton Abbey" movie in 2019, I was reminded of the lives of my wealthiest and best-connected students in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. They live like royalty, they have many servants, formal dining times, some are equestrians, lovers of classical music. They are driven by chauffeurs or drive expensive cars  Their social class... Continue Reading →

Conformity, Obedience to Authority, Piety, More Important Than Critical Thinking

My colleagues and I, teaching in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, frequently observed that most of our students lacked serious critical thinking skills. They were much more comfortable with memorization and rote learning. As an instructor, you rarely encountered serious questioners and independent thinkers, the kind that were the heart of discussions in my high... Continue Reading →

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