We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.
I could tell you all about my Sorna Khbar kindergarten classes. There are two of them, both around 20 students each, and they are just the cutest. I could tell you about the little girls with bows in their hair and the boys who scream “TIGER” at the top of their lungs each time I pull the plastic animals out of the blue bin. I could tell you about the backpacks with photos of their faces printed on the front, or the way they write the English words I teach them from right to left, which is the direction in which Arabic is written. I could tell you all this and more, but I’d rather just show you them:
They’re bright, well-behaved and enthusiastic, and despite their very limited knowledge of English they throw all their energy into the things we do. So far we’ve learned the numbers, colors, body parts, animals, days of the week and professions—and colored in lots of pictures, of course. One of their favorite things to do is repeat everything—and I mean everything—that I say at about five times the volume. I’ll leave you with a brief snippet of what that sounds like: