Karim, Rest In Peace

From first camera workshop with the orphans at Dar Lekbira in Kenitra, Morocco

Karim was one of the first street kids  I worked with and became friends with in Morocco. He passed away at the end of the summer. He was just a teenager.  Karim’s heart and smile overpowered the hardships he had to endure in his short life: poverty, family losses, cancer. His fire, that power, his smile, will live on forever. Love you Karim. You will be missed. My condolences to the children of the Dar Lekbira Association.

Here is a video of Karim during our drumming workshops in 2009:

IN SEARCH OF AN ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS

 

Here is part one of my new series for the Huffington Post about IIE and UN Alliance of Civilizations Fellowship I participated in this year.
 
Part I: Morocco
 
Excerpt:
“I observed that an unchallenged barrier to educational partnership and reform in the education sector stems from the lack of encouragement for critical thinking within academics and lack of space for open debates that foster pluralism and a diversity of perspectives.

I encountered an example of this barrier with one Quran teacher in Casablanca who seemed to differentiate between education and critical thinking. In their logic, one needs to first memorize and learn everything before being allowed to debate and form critical thought. In the West, critical thinking and open debate are embedded in education. This gap between education and reflexivity is not limited to how the Quran is taught, but in how educators teach material in many schools in some Arab countries. Critical thinking and reflexivity, which are needed for the conditions of pluralism and cooperation to flourish, seem to be lacking due these mentalities that differentiate critical thinking and education…..”