Arabian Essays by Ghazi A. Algosaibi

By Ghazi A. Algosaibi

First released in 1982. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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What is the reason for this? What makes ordinary mortals and experts alike bark up the wrong tree when the prediction is connected with international affairs? There are some reasons connected with the psychology of prediction itself. The authors of predictions are men often swayed by their sympathies and desires rather than guided by reason and logic. Apart from a few hard-core pessimists, men usually expect that what they would like to happen will in fact happen. The student expects to pass his examination, the invalid hopes to recover regardless of the diagnosis, and every state expects victory to be on its side in whatever contest it is engaged in.

Although Saud and Faisal differed in their approach to foreign affairs and in their Arab policies, there was no disagreement between them over the pro-Western orientation of Saudi Arabia's international policies. However, this bright picture of Saudi-American friendship has been always marred by a single dark spot: uncritical American support for Israel. It was this support which frequently strained relations, and brought them close to the breaking point twice, once following the 1967 war, and the second time following the 1973 war.

The fact is, however, that if that were the aim of university education, we would have to look very critically at our system and decide what we need in the way of alteration and improvement. In my view, the aim of university education is not simply to furnish the student with a certain amount of information – a task better left to reference books, encyclopaedias, text-books and 39 The philosophy of university education statistical tables – but rather the supply of a definite skill in a specialized field.

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