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Students oppose Vanderbilt-Abu Dhabi plan

April 28, 2011 at 7:58 PM

NASHVILLE, April 28 (UPI) -- Students are urging Vanderbilt University to abandon a plans for a teacher training college in Abu Dhabi, citing the Mideast nation's attitude toward Jews.

A campus group, Students Against Vanderbilt in the Emirates, also cited Abu Dhabi's treatment of homosexuals and foreign workers and the recent crackdown on protesters, as well as its attitude toward Jews, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported Thursday. Teaching students about the Nazi genocide of Jews is illegal in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi has asked Vanderbilt's Peabody College of Education to create a teacher college and design a new curriculum for its schools. David Pasch and Theodore Samets, both Vanderbilt seniors, publicized the university's discussions with Abu Dhabi.

"For us, this issue is personal," the two students wrote in the student newspaper, the Vanderbilt Hustler.

"Like many Jews, both of us lost family members in the Holocaust. Questioning the reality and the severity of Nazi Germany's brutal murder of 6,000,000 Jews is disgusting. Before Vanderbilt agrees to partner with the United Arab Emirates government and open an education school in Abu Dhabi, there are a lot of questions that need answering."

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