"Be kind": A weekend with the Narcicyst

When I first heard that Al-Bustan was bringing a hip-hop artist to Philadelphia, I was intrigued. I read about the influence that hip-hop music had in the Middle East during the Arab Spring and, even though I didn’t understand much of what was being said, I liked listening to these tracks and trying to feel…

Al-Bustan’s Blossomed Seed: Mokhtar Bdeir

    Born in Palestine, Mokhtar Bdeir moved to America at a young age.  As he reflects on his experience navigating his place in American society, he notes “To me, the journey to discover an identity that could coherently fuse the two halves of my being – the assimilating immigrant and the proud Palestinian –…

Search for Arab Identity

Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, I did not have a strong connection with my Arab roots.  I knew I was Arab because the majority of my extended family lived in Palestine.  I felt I did not have a community to belong to.  Although I had the support of my family as I searched for self-identity, I struggled to find my place…

Teaching Arabic Poetry and Writing Water Poems

Hello everyone again, its Ellie and I want to share with you all the work that we have been doing in Ms. Engel’s 10th grade IB classroom at Northeast High School. First, let me tell you a little about what we do each week. Every class begins with either a chant or meditation exercise. We…