A Culture of Community: Reflecting on My First Months with Al-Bustan

Time moves differently this year for obvious reasons.   It has been almost two months since I began working with Al-Bustan, having taken over for Madeline Conley as Programs Coordinator in September. In some ways, it feels like it must have been a year already, having met so many people and learned so much. On the…

Students Creating, Learning, and Understanding Each Other

Yesterday, one of our students at Moffet School approached me in art class to ask how many more days of school are left until summer vacation. When I told her that when we get back from winter break there would be a little more than five months left of school, she pondered this for a…

Ten Days in Beirut with My Mother… and a Revolution Unfolds

Ten days to spend in Beirut with my mother – that was my plan as I boarded the plane in Philadelphia, with no agenda but to relax and enjoy her company and support her as she approaches the age of 90. Politics on My Mother’s Mind Upon arrival, as I sat with my mother to…

Finding Food and Fellowship in Philadelphia

Having grown up and lived in Philadelphia for more than 25 years, it is difficult to make me more proud of my hometown. On a regular basis I proudly defend my pronunciation of water, I yearn for a good cheesesteak, and I root for Philly teams in good times and bad. On June 24th, however,…

“We Are the World”

Through the Bloomberg Arts Internship, I started working on July 1st with Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture as a Music Teaching Assistant for the English Language Learners Summer Program. The program is for middle school students who have been in the country for three years or less to learn English and Math in the morning, with…