September 26, 2017 / 11:07 AM / 25 days ago

Official sacked after Yoda image appears on Saudi textbook

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi authorities fired a senior education official and other supervisors after a school textbook was found that included a photo-shopped image of the late King Faisal seated next to “Star Wars” movie character Yoda, Saudi media reported on Tuesday.

The dismissal was also prompted by other errors in various textbooks, including history, chemistry, English language and religious education.

The Education Ministry recalled textbooks with a cover photo showing Yoda seated next to King Faisal as he signed the United Nations Charter in 1945, Saudi media said.

The Arabic-language Okaz daily said the education minister ended the contract of the undersecretary of the Curriculum and Educational Programs Department, Mohammed bin Attiyah al-Harthi, as well as all officials in charge of reviewing and approving the textbooks.

The online newspaper sabq.org and al-Madinah Arabic daily carried similar reports on their websites.

The reports appeared after Harthi rejected charges that a social science textbook contained errors. He accused critics of exploiting the mistakes to achieve fame, Okaz said.

Okaz quoted Harthi as saying he would remain loyal to the kingdom despite his dismissal.

The artist who had added the Yoda image to the photo of King Faisal said he did not know how the picture had ended up on the cover of the textbook, Saudi media reported.

He said he made the picture in 2013 as part of a project intended to “build a bridge between the young generation and major historic events” by mixing popular culture in U.S. movies into historic events.

Reporting by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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