Diversity Assembly Challenges SAES Students To Broaden Their Thinking About Arabic Culture
Posted October 2, 2012
How to describe a culture in 50 minutes?
Two speakers at the diversity assembly this week attempted to describe Arabic culture to the Middle and Upper School students on Monday. Ms. Layla Najjar and Leia Karam, co-founders of the US Arabic Culture Club, introduced the speakers and described that work of their newly found club is to build awareness in our community of the diversity within Arabic culture.
Dr. Zayd Eldadah deftly guided us through hundreds of years of Arabic culture, including the influence of the language, inventions, scientific, and mathematic discoveries. He pointed out the numerous Arab Americans (famous and otherwise) who influence popular culture, business, and government.
Ms. Zaina Barakat spoke from the perspective a young person who grew up as a Lebanese American in Bethesda. She spoke of maintaining a dual identity, which can be both challenging and enriching. She shared photos of her native Lebanon and other places in the Arabic-speaking world that she hoped would dispel commonly held stereotypes. After the assembly, classroom teachers and advisors continued the discussion of culture and identity. It was the first all campus activity focused on the topic of Arabic culture. A special thanks goes to Ms. Norma Najjar (mom of 11th grader Layla Najjar) for arranging the speakers’ visit.