QFI Grantee Spotlight: Q1 2020

QFI is proud to highlight a few of our incredible grantees who continue our mission of building a deeper understanding of the Arab world through our programs. From a trip to Doha to an Arab cultural night in Georgia, we are excited to share the creative ways our programs are being implemented on the ground!

Classroom Connections Trip

Students at Dominion High School in Sterling, Virginia and Qatar Academy Al Wakra in Doha have made meaningful global connections through the Classroom Connections grant this year. After participating in virtual exchange with their Qatari counterparts, ten Dominion High students had the opportunity to travel to Doha and meet their peers in person. 

Students toured Qatar Academy and shadowed classes followed by an Arabic language lesson. They also spent a day at Al-Jazeera studios for a media workshop, where students had the chance to learn how the news network operates. Since their trip overlapped with Qatar National Sports Day, the students had a chance to bond by learning some golf skills and running through team-building exercises with their new Qatari friends. Some additional highlights of the trip included a trip to Al Shaqab Equestrian Center, a tour of Education City, and a camping trip in the desert.

This was also a unique chance for Dominion High students to not only learn more about Qatar but also to share knowledge about American culture. Students had the chance to give a presentation about American culture wearing traditional Qatari clothing. 

“Friendships were made, bridges were built, and new perspectives were gained,” said Jennifer Rodgers, the incredible educator that sought out this cross-cultural opportunity for her students. “Thank you, Qatar Academy Al Wakra and QFI  for this amazing experience.”


Classroom Resources Enrichment Grant (CREG)

Interview with Hana Arslan 

Educator Hana Arslan from the Amana Academy in Georgia received a CREG in 2019 to support an Arab cultural night for 250 attendees. The evening featured Arab foods, a  Dabke dance group, Abaya fashion show, henna, and traditional designs and decorations from Egypt and Morocco.

“I learned that connecting our students to the other parts of the world paves the way for them to grow as global citizens that are able to communicate effectively and be culturally competent,” said Arslan.

Students took active roles in hosting the event by planning logistics, selling tickets, performing, and cleaning up at the end. Through this opportunity, students were able to share what they have learned through Arabic classes with the greater community, while also taking ownership in organizing and implementing this great event.

“There is a saying in Arabic that says: ‘You fear everything that you don’t know,’” said Arslan. “It is up to educators like me who love the culture to spread its beauty and unveil the mystery of this hidden treasure that we call Arabic.” 


Teacher Professional Development

Tara Seger has been awarded a Teacher Professional Development grant to attend the International Conference on Management, Economics & Social Science (ICMES) in Jerusalem. With her dedication to multiculturalism and international collaboration in the classroom, Tara has been one of our stand-out grantees. She was previously awarded a TPD grant in June to present lesson plans, projects, and teaching strategies at the SOCIOINT Education Conference in Istanbul, Turkey.  


Updates from Partner Schools 

PS 261 in Brooklyn, New York is in its fifth consecutive year of its partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MOMA). This partnership allows all third-grade students the opportunity to participate in guided tours of the museum and the Islamic art gallery. Students also attended four in-school art workshops and then exchanged drawings with students at the Kara Tepe Refugee Camp in Greece based on the story, “Lost Cat Found Cat.” The upper grade students were introduced to Palestinian embroidery and learned how it is a source of pride and identity for Palestinians. They used fabric and colorful thread to re-create a traditional pattern or motif. We love to see our partner schools engaging with Arab culture through learning opportunities in their local community!

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