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The Middle East Center at Penn sponsors and supports programs and initiatives across the disciplines and professional schools, and runs a dynamic outreach program in the Delaware Valley. Faculty and students at Penn are also active and prominent in the field of Middle East studies, making significant and highly regarded contributions to scholarly output in their areas of interest. We will continue to update news of the Center's activities and highlight the achievements of our faculty and students here.

Abeer Aloush (UPENN) About the Workshop: Current reading devices allow multiple readers to read the same text together, annotate the text, and share their annotations. The resulting practice is referred to as social reading. This new literacy practice violates many readers expectations of what it means to read based on a shared print culture (Baron, 2013). This presentation frames social reading in terms of a new participatory culture (Jenkins, 2009) in which interpretive practices long associated with the individual become a collaborative, group activity. The impact of social reading has stirred much academic controversy. In this workshop, Arabic instructors will discuss how to expand the vocabulary of new learners and build a thread of reading based on natural visual interpretation. Students can produce intensively Arabic threads in a minimal time to practice the language. The workshop will show different models of using meta-reading at a variety of levels: Elementary and Intermediate; Some digital examples will be shared as well. About the Presenter: Abeer Aloush has a PhD from SUNY, The University at Albany; her degree is informed by the interdisciplinary field of Culture Studies, Comparative Literature and Linguistics. She specializes in the identity struggle of minorities in France and Egypt and she is interested in analyzing different phenomena related to integration, multiculturalism, citizenship, alterity, bilingualism, duality and identity struggle. She is also interested in the sociolinguistics to explain the phenomenon of Franco-Arab hip-hop of the second generation to parent Muslim immigrants as acoustically violent affirmation of visibility. Dr. Aloush is a formal scholar at Oxford Brooks University where she attended two years ago a field research to study the problematic conditions of Muslim immigrants in the French slums. Also, she has a Post-graduate degree in Digital Humanities from University of Victoria, British Columbia with specialty on Teaching Second Language through Games and Digital Curation. Also, Dr. Aloush has a Certificate from University of Pennsylvania in Instruction through Technology and Online Teaching and she has an MA in Translation from Cairo University. She has an extensive experience in teaching Arabic through applying new teaching methodologies and technology. Before University of Pennsylvania, she used to work at Columbia University and NYU. She teaches since six years all levels of Arabic at University of Pennsylvania (from elementary to advanced) and teaches Media and Reading in Social Sciences courses as well. Also, she established teaching Arabic online at Penn since 2012 where she receives students from other universities as well. She designed and developed the online teaching by creating a virtual environment of learning in the purpose of excelling in Arabic. Since 2010 and to present, she is serving as a representative of the Critical Language Scholarship for the area of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and a reader/juror for the committee of selection. She represents CLS in all the critical languages (i.e. Arabic, Chinese, Pashtu, Japanese, Farsi, Panjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Indonesian, Azerbaijani, Hindi and Russian). Since 2013, Dr. Aloush is an OPI evaluator of FLAS and the Arabic Lead of Fulbright Foreign Teaching Language Assistants. She is certified for Teaching Languages for Purposes by the National Language Center located at University of Hawaii through the project she designed for Law students called "Legal Arabic for Courts and Ethics".  She works on NA (Needs analysis) to offer Arabic for different purposes such as law, medical, IT, banking, and so forth. She offers continuously monthly workshops and talks to train other instructors at University of Pennsylvania  and other universities on teaching through the use of technology, teaching online and Digital Humanities. She represents University of Pennsylvania in national and international conferences to share new applied methodologies in teaching Arabic. Her last project is entitled “Multicultural and Interactive Arabic  Digital Edutainment.” The envisaged project provides a schematic overview of alternatives to edutainment for learning the Arabic language. The project will expand the experience of personal growth through requiring conscious reflection on language by trying to push the boundaries of digital gaming.  It will expand to other language as a second phase to train learners on Hebrew, Persian, Old Turkish (Ottoman).
Fisher - Bennett Hall, Room 222, 3340 Walnut Street Philadelphia PA, 19104
K-12 Educators The Philadelphia World Heritage Lesson Plan Project is looking for 10 qualified educators who have a passion for this city's history and global studies to assist with curriculum development. Selected applicants will meet one full day (9:00AM to 3:00PM) and five half-days (9:00AM-12:00PM) for a total of 6 times in a 2 week period. Educators will work collaboratively to write a minimum of 15 new lesson plans for use in the School District of Philadelphia's social studies high school curriculum. The lesson plans will also be featured on an online resource center focused on Philadelphia's heritage and world heritage studies. Building a Philadelphia World Heritage Curriculum- As Philadelphia is the first World Heritage City in the United States, we want every Philadelphian to understand that our city exists because of the contributions of many people from many lands, including the First people. We want to build on our heritage to create a citizenry that is aware of its history and is looking out into the whole world. As part of the World Heritage Philadelphia Initiative led by the Global Philadelphia Association and the City of Philadelphia, the Education Taskforce has partnered with the School District of Philadelphia to develop lesson plans focused on Philadelphia's heritage and the connections that Philadelphia has with the rest of the world. ELIGIBILTY- Educator with a minimum of 5 years classroom teaching experience- Experience teaching social studies in grades 7-12- Must be available to meet in person the week of July 11th and 18th - Experience with curriculum development or lesson plan writing BENEFITS- An opportunity to hone your global education lesson planning skills - Network with skilled and passionate local educators - Have direct input on the School District of Philadelphia's social studies curriculum - Act 48 credits- $500 stipend upon completion of all deliverables APPLY DEADLINESunday May 22, 11:59 PM All applicants will be notified by May 31 and receive more details about the project This project is supported by the Global Philadelphia Association, City of Philadelphia, School District of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania's Middle East Center and South Asia Center, and the Historical Society of Philadelphia. Workshops will be held at various partner locations and will be announced in future program materials.
University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Raili Roy (UPENN), Dr. Grace L. Sanders Johnson (UPENN) and Dr. Carine Allaf (Qatar Foundation International) K-12 Educators This one-day teacher training is geared towards K-16 educators in the New Jersey area. The main objective is to help educators better integrate gendered perspectives into their global education curriculum. Through this training teachers will learn more about gender based topics relating to the Middle East, South Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America, and will be better equipped to engage a more intersectional framework for global education.  Guest Speakers and Topics Include  Pedagogical Framework for Teaching Gender in South Asia Dr. Roy will introduce the dominant theoretical pedagogical frameworks in teaching women's history through a historical survey of the rise of the field, the challenges faced and the new directions. Using the case study of teaching women's history of South Asia, Dr. Roy will present different approaches that can be adopted or incorporated in teaching about women's issues from a global perspective.  About the Speaker: Dr. Raili Roy has double masters in History from University of Kolkata and University of Cincinnati with a specialization in comparative women's history in South Asia and United States and immigration history. She received her PhD in Women's Studies from The Ohio State University in 2013. Currently, Dr. Roy is the Associate Director of the South Asia Center which works on academic programming that promotes an intellectual understanding of the region. Teaching Concepts and Histories of Gender in the Caribbean and Latin America  The Caribbean and Latin America are among the most traveled yet least understood regions in the Americas. Concepts and histories of gender in this region are even further marginalized. Using four major themes including: Food, Entertainment, Migration, and Family, this talk will introduce K-12 educators to the region of the Caribbean and Latin America through topics that are likely familiar to the group, while encouraging participants to engage in new narratives about the region. The workshop is interdisciplinary and is designed to engage educators who teach a range of subjects including, Social Studies, Environmental Science, Art, History, Economics, and English/Literature. About the Speaker: Dr. Grace L. Sanders Johnson is a historian of gender and sexuality in the Caribbean and Latin America. Her current book project traces women’s intellectual thought and gender politics in early twentieth century Haiti. Dr. Sanders Johnson is currently a Vice Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow for Academic Diversity at the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Africana Studies.  Curriculum Development and Women in the Middle East This hands-on workshop will discuss how to view women in the Middle East and their lives, in addition to presenting specific ways to teach about women in your classroom. Beginning with a discussion on gender and the Middle East, this workshop will debunk major stereotypes and then translate that knowledge into curricular suggestions. Teachers will leave with tangible ways of addressing gender and the Arab world in their lessons. About the Speaker: Dr. Carine Allaf has fifteen years of experience in education and the Arab world, working as a teacher, scholar, and practitioner in the United States and in multiple countries across the Arab world. Currently she is the Senior Programs Advisor at Qatar Foundation International whose mission is dedicated to connecting cultures and advancing global citizenship through education. Dr. Allaf obtained her Ph.D. in Comparative and International Education from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Master’s degree in Elementary Education from the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Camden County College, Blackwood Campus
K-12 Educators The Summer Institute is a five-day professional development program at the University of Pennsylvania to support educators in: * Understanding the increasing importance of our world regions in the K-12 classroom * Learning new information and tools to connect Greater Philadelphia classrooms to the world. This year’s Summer Institute, “Using the Arts to Teach Global History, Happenings and Heritage,” will showcase how instructors can utilize visual, oral, written and performance art as a tool to reach global education objectives. Participating educators will receive Act 48 credits. Space is limited so apply today! Application Deadline is: May 31st, 2016 Help us spread the word by sharing this with your networks! Learn more about this teacher training here.
Perry World House, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Dr. Erika Gilson Turkish Language Educators The Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania is planning to bring together faculty teaching Turkish at institutions of higher learning to discuss best practices in Turkish teaching. There will be some presentations but the main objective is to have a pedagogical conversation among the participants. Lunch will be provided. RSVP by emailing About the Facilitator: Dr. Erika Gilson taught Turkish and Ottoman Turkish for the Near Eastern Studies Department at Princeton University for 26 years before retiring in 2014. Committed to teaching Middle Eastern languages, she was a founding member of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) and the American Association of Teachers of Turkic Languages. Dr. Gilson is currently working on a database to study the effectiveness of writing as an enabling activity for language learning and on the Turkic Notations in Afanasii Nikitin's Voyage Beyond the Three Seas. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Fisher - Bennett Hall Room 222, 3340 Walnut Street, Philadelphia