SAUDI ARABIAN EDUCATORS TOUR OHIO SUPREME COURT
Anne Yeager | August 16, 2017
Two dozen teachers and administrators from Saudi Arabia visited the Ohio Supreme Court as part of Kent State University's program to build leadership through engaging with other cultures.
The seven-month program is called "Building Leadership for Change through School Immersion," which includes attending and reporting on various local cultural and government activities.
Their visit involved a speech from court Administrative Director Michael Buenger, who delivered an overview of the Supreme Court and Ohio's judiciary.
"It's something special for us," said Bandar Alsharari, a teacher from Saudi Arabia. "It's really nice, we like it. The people here are so very friendly. They talk to us clearly because this is our second language."
Their first language is Arabic. But their universal language seems to be technology, as the students taped us using their smart phones while we interviewed their fellow teachers.
For the female educators, the biggest surprise was when they learned that three of the seven justices who sit on the Ohio Supreme Court are women, including the court's presiding judge, Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor.
¿"I hear a lot of things about women and there are a lot of judges here," said Amal Almasoudi, an English teacher from Saudi Arabia. "They are women. It's good."
Court News Ohio pressed on how she felt about that.
"Freedom," she responded.
All that they learn throughout the seven-month program they take back and teach in their home country. There is a mutual respect for the judiciaries in both the United States and their own country.
"I believe in our justice back home and here they are just different from us," said Taiba Aldulaijan, an English teacher from Saudi Arabia. "But both of them, they apply to give their people, the people justice. Both experience I loved them. I love back home our justice and I believe in our justice."