Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Teaching in Egypt (10): those shite Shiites

I had my students read an article on the current situation in Syria. The word Shiite occurred in it several times.
When reading the piece out loud in class, all of my students, without exception, pronounced 'Shiite' as 'shite'. Which is interesting, considering they are highly likely to all be Sunni and the relations between these two main denominations of Islam are strained.

I had them all say the word over and over, spelling it, breaking it up in syllables and even writing it on the blackboard, but no, they kept saying 'shite'. When I subsequently explained to them what 'shite' means, they all laughed just a little too hard.

I suspect foul play. 

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