San Francisco is home to more than 5 thousand people of Arab descent. And despite living in what is perceived as one of the most culturally competent, tolerant areas in the country, since 9-11, Arab students have been complaining of abuse, taunting, and discrimination.
The Arab Cultural and Community Center of San Francisco has developed a toolkit and curriculum to help teachers better understand their Arab students’ backgrounds, and, give them the tools to address difficult issues they deal with.
On a recent afternoon at Mission High School, Shoman talks to about ten San Francisco educators gathered in a room. She’s helping the Arab Cultural Community Center, the ACCC, in San Francisco launch a toolkit to help educators better connect with their Arab students.
She, and the toolkit, addressed issues ranging from innocent cultural misunderstandings, to malicious discrimination. Hosni says, learning more about their Arab classmates brings students closer together. Gregor Nazarian helped make the toolkit. He says, nowadays, it can be hard for a teacher to come up with a lesson about Arabs that’s meaningful and balanced.
The curriculum also teaches about the Arab world, its history, Arab contributions to science and architecture, geography, including clearing up some common cultural misconceptions.