Seventh-grade school project. And for extra credit, they stoned an adulteress.
AMHERST”” For one night, on May 9, the quaint colonial town of Amherst, New Hampshire, was transformed into a Saudi Arabian Bedouin tent community, with the help of 80 seventh-graders at the Amherst Middle School. The weather cooperated, providing 85 degree temperatures to give an authentic Saudi feel to the evening.
More than 250 guests arrived at the open tent and were welcomed with an Arabic greeting of “Marhaba” by students at a Saudi customs desk.
During the check-in, guests selected a traditional Arabic name for their name badge and completed an actual Saudi customs form, which warned in bold letters “Death for Drug Trafficking ” at the top.
Were crosses, Bibles, stars of David, and all other non-Muslim religious articles confiscated and destroyed?
Once inside, guests were encouraged to circulate among 14 different stations created by the students.
The Arabic food-tasting station offered four entrÃ©es, curried chicken, lamb, tomato chicken with cardomom, and Moroccan chicken, served with pita breads, hummus, and couscous. Fresh fruits, cardomom coffees, and spice teas were also served.
Flowing fabrics hung from the ceiling separated the family and men-only dining sections. The tables were set on large rugs and lowered so that the diners sat on the floor.
Only the seventh-grade boys were allowed to host the food stations and the Arabic dancing, as the traditions of Saudi Arabia at this time prevent women from participating in these public roles.
“At this time.” It’ll get better, folks. They’re just going through a phase.