Saudi Official Fired After Yoda Mishap in Textbook Goes Viral

A top education official in Saudi Arabia was fired this week after a doctored image of King Faisal with Star Wars icon Yoda made its way into a Saudi textbook.

The montage of then-Prince Faisal signing the United Nations charter in 1945 with a beatific Yoda by his side was created by a Saudi artist as part of a series that superimposes pop culture symbols onto historic images. How it ended up in a schoolbook is a still a mystery, but it swiftly spread on social media.

Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa apologized for the mistake on Twitter, a sign of the power of viral online embarrassment in this highly-wired society. He said the ministry would print a corrected copy of the book and had formed a committee to determine the source of the mistake.

This week, he replaced Mohammed Al Harthi, ministry undersecretary for curriculum and education programs, according to Saudi-owned television channel Al Arabiya. He also ordered a review of textbooks by government-owned company Tatweer.

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