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US Summer Camps in Saudi Arabia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A different kind of summer camp is currently underway in Saudi Arabia’s eastern region. Under the auspices of the American Center and Informax, a global company, an educational summer camp is currently being held in Dammam, al Khobar and Jubail.

According to Thaer Manaa, the camp’s director, organizers hope participants will learn English, basic computer skills and enjoy the entertainment and advice on offer. The camp is divided into two age groups; each has its own activities.

The camp features an hour-long session with an U.S or British teacher followed by a session with an Arabic teacher. Participants then learn how to use the computer and play sports.

Firas al Ramli, aged 15, said this was the third summer camp he has attended. “In Dawaa camps, participants play sports and listen to Islamic chants. They also attend religious lectures. This camp id different: I have started developing my individual skills and my English is improving.”

“Past camps felt like a waste of time. But this one is different, especially as it features British and US educational programs.”

Yazid al Shamri, aged 13, agreed. “I came to this camp after my father chose it. He made the right chose. I am enjoying my time and learning at the same time.”

This experiment, which I hope will spread to other regions in Saudi Arabia , is the model that should be adopted in all summer camps. They should help young people improve their skills and strengthen their communication with the modern world. They should also help young people develop their personality, instead of pressuring them, and help them think rationally.

Our future depends on a generation able to think for itself and make its own decisions. It also depends on a disciplined education, free of ideology, and good individuals who build their society instead of destroying it.

As I met Firas and Yazid, newspapers announced the start of The Sea summer forum in Jeddah. In the first week, participants will attend lectures entitled: the end of humanity, the truth behind death, the last second of your life, tales of hypocrites… In the second week, lectures included: the reality of daawa in Africa, a girl’s tragedy, the delight of worship…