The United States government is putting virtually all security strategies and machinery on alert due to the continual threats of the terrorists to attack the country and its citizens all over the world. Following claims of responsibility on attacks and threats from the Islamic extremists such as Al Qaeda and Al shabaab, Islamic countries and their citizens have been labeled as terrorists or potential terrorists hence they are under great surveillance worldwide.
Although, the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 has passed almost a decade ago, Saudi students in United States of America are living under pressure of hard surveillance and discrimination and that would affect their education in bad ways and sometimes in a good ways.
September 11, 2001 attacks and subsequent threats transformed United States of America into a society full of vigilance and surveillance in fear of potential terrorists attacks. Due to the stereotypes that Saudi students are potential terrorists, they experience hard surveillance and discrimination that make them feel isolated from other students (Staples Para. 2).
The government surveillance is highly coordinated due to the use of modern surveillance technologies that permeate every aspect in the society in terms of phones, internet, cameras, biochips, electronic transactions, drug testing, genetic testing and perceived integrity tests when tracking crime suspects or watching ordinary people.
The culture of surveillance is developing in the society, as modern technologies are becoming an integral part of the community: schools, colleges, workplace and even our homes. Constant surveillance in the society means that we no longer have privacy and this is going to shape the society in terms of our practices and attitudes towards our safety and privacy.
Staples argues that “surveillance rituals constitute the building blocks of a rapidly emerging society of discipline, one increasingly stripped of personal privacy, individual trust, and a viable public life that supports and maintains democratic values and practices” (Para. 1). This is of much benefit to the society.
However, hard surveillance and discrimination of Saudi students have negative effects on their performance since they lose confidence and trust of the government, lecturers and their fellow students. Although it seems that Saudi students are stripped of their privacy through constant hard surveillance, this is done for the sake of their safety and the Americans, as surveillance is the only way to assure safety to everyone from the unknown terror.
The September 11, 2001 attacks had residual and cumulative effect on the minds of Americans due to the acceptance of the great loss of lives and cultural responses experienced. Rendell argue that writers resort to allegorical mode in times of great losses and enormous cultural changes to explain realities that are too hard to comprehend (Para. 1-2).
The writers use comics to describe complex circumstances that are too disturbing if presented in their reality. In the McCloud comics, Blood in the Gutter, “magic and mystery are the heart of comics” (Rendell Para. 8).
McCloud used the concept of closure to explain mental ability to construct a unified reality from the fragmented events hence aid the understanding of traumatic moments. The concept of closure as depicted in the McCloud comic has six aspects: moment-to-moment, action-to-action, subject-to-subject, scene-to-scene, aspect-to-aspect, and non-sequitur (McCloud Para 1).
When applying the concept of closure to the effect of surveillance and discrimination of Saudi students, it shows that the mind has ability to accept reality and abstract conditions and transform them into positive perspective. The education of the Saudi students will not be adversely affected since their minds are going to transform and accept reality of the need and intention of the surveillance. Constant hard surveillance may cause tolerance and more hostility of the Saudi students to other cultures.
According to Berta, “shared ethnic heritage between teachers and student does not imply that one is able to make meaningful academic and social connections” (Para. 7).
The learning environment requires development cultural awareness so that students do not stereotype their perspective on the way they view different cultures from diverse races worldwide but focus critically on their performance that determines their future.
Cultural and political diversity are assets in an education system since they are importance in the formation of robust relationships that brings real experienced to the acceptance of other cultures that feel or seem to be marginalized or discriminated against. Students from Saudi need to integrate and accept to live in harmony with diverse cultures in the course of their studies.
Security surveillance is inevitable and very invaluable for the safety of any nation in this era of great technology and potential terrorists’ attack. Saudi students must have a positive view of the circumstances surrounding the hard surveillance and their perceived discrimination as a way of enhancing not only the safety of Americans but also their own safety and anybody else for the sake of a better and discipline society free of any terror.
The aspect of cultural diversity must be accepted as an asset for creation of strong relationships that can build the society for the common benefit of all people regardless of the race or political wing.
Education is an absolute right and anybody must be given equal chance to assess quality education in spite of political or racial classification. In the current world, security is given priority over privacy as there is no value attached to the life of any human being; better to be safe being watched than to die in secrete.
Berta, Avila. “Critical Xicana/Xicano educators: Is it enough to be a person of color?” High School Journal. 2004. Web. 1 Oct. 2010,
McCloud, Scott. “Blood in the gutter” in Understanding comics: The invisible art. University Wyoming. 1994. Web. 1 Oct. 2010. 60-93.
Rendell, Smith. “9/11 TragiComix: Allegories of National Trauma in Art Spiegelman’s In the Shadow of No Towers.” Shift. 2008. Web. 1 Oct. 2010.
Staples, William. “The Culture of Surveillance” in the culture of Surveillance: Discipline and social control in the United States. University Wyoming. 1997. Web. 1 Oct. 2010. 1-12, 127-135.