I graduated with an Msc in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oxford in 2011. I've since been exploring my role as an educator and as a community builder.
I currently act as the MYP Service Learning Coordinator and drama teacher at an IB world school in Beirut called Wellspring Learning Community. With former professor, and now friend of mine, Mahmoud Natout, I'm currently co-founding an initiative called LIFT -- Leadership Initiative for Teachers. We want to create a platform where teachers can share their stories of challenges and inspiration; we are also seeking to create an interactive and opensource resource and archive of these stories based on real-life, home-grown teacher experiences from all around Lebanon to create a history of practice; and annually, we hope to host a conference that allows selected teachers to share their stories on stage.
I've also grown incredibly interested in exploring the potential of community spaces. I work at a collaborative space called an open and creative community and collaboration space called AltCity. I am a member of Lamba Labs-- Beirut's first hackerspace, where people learn, share what they know, tinker, make, create, experiment, and collaborate in unlikely ways and with unlikely people! My favorite is the monthly jam session where anyone with a tool and passion can come and jam. We lay instruments, colored pencils, paint, pens and paper around and let people create an orchestra of fused art forms.
I'm interested to explore, and expose my students to, the power of such spaces in transforming the way we engage with the world, by bringing these values of sharing, creating and collaborating into our lives and practices.
I'm also working on projects with poetry groups. I've created 'Kins of Ink', a group of poets, writers, and art enthusiasts who meet up weekly to share and build on their work, breaking down the barriers between art forms. Another project we are working on is called 'El Yafta' where every month we pick a street corner, put a wooden box, and perform/share our work. The intention is to make art (poetry, music, painting, sculpture) accessible to people. We are currently working on making a tour around schools and universities to expose students to Spoken Word Poetry as an art form. Another tour in the making is to the south of Lebanoon to have youth experiment with spoken word as a tool of self-expression and political action/voice.
I'm passionate and excited about teaching, connecting my students with the community through community spaces and initiatives, self-expression through art--spoken word poetry, dancing, improv singing.
Story-telling and drama...
While studying Education in the UK, a friend sent me Ken Robinson's 'Schools Kill Creativity' talk. That was my window into the world of TED. I was so overwhelmed, I wanted to watch everything at once! Soon after, I came to know of TEDx from TEDxOxford, where I was studying. My coursemate also told me that her brother had organized a TEDx event in Lahore. I got excited about the idea of organizing one in Lebanon. Little did I know that this was already in the making! A few months before visiting Lebanon for fieldwork, a friend invited me to an event called TEDxBeirut Salon V1. That friend was William Choukeir, the co-curator of TEDxBeirut 2011. I attended the salon and vowed to help organize once I returned from grad school. I returned weeks before the main event. I attended my first meeting. 4 hours. I was overwhelmed; and unsure I could make any contribution. But curator Patricia Zougheib added me to basecamp anyway. I saw myself in the Speakers Team and ended up being the host
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