(JTA) — An Arabic-language instructor at San Diego State University handed out a map of the Middle East which identified Israel as “Palestine.”
The map handed out by lecturer Ghassan Zakaria on the second day of classes earlier this month was meant to highlight Arabic-speaking countries, according to the student newspaper The Daily Aztec.
Following complaints from students and the local community, Zakaria redistributed the map substituting a handwritten Israel label.
Arabic program director Ghada Osman told The Aztec that no students had dropped the course following the controversy and that Zakaria did not hear complaints directly from any students in his Arabic 101 classes.
Zakaria told the newspaper that the map was not meant to be a political statement, but that it was meant to illustrate Arabic speaking countries. Up to 20 percent of Israelis speak Arabic.