Afghan troops are told that insulting behavior by Americans is an oversight, not a slight.
Cross-cultural interactions can be beautiful when immersed into a new cultural setting and the visitor learns to appreciate it. Unfortunately, it can often lead to clumsy missteps that are born out of ignorance of a new guiding set of cultural norms. Some missteps can lead to great laughter while others can be gravely insulting. The United States military seeks to train U.S. soldiers about Afghan customs, but they are trying a new tactic as well to minimize these issues. The U.S. military has prepared a cultural guide to teach the Afghan soldier that they work with about the curious customs that are part of social interaction in the United States but not considered offensive.
Brown University's Choices Program has many excellent resources for social studies teachers including "Teaching with the News." Many teachers are seeing the importance of Syria, but might lack the regional expertise to put it in context or to the time to link it with the curriculum. If that is the case (and even if it is not), this is the perfect place to find lesson plans on the ongoing Syrian conflict.
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