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.
Alexandra Green is a rising sophomore at Washington College in Chestertown, MD. She is a double major in International Studies and Business Management in addition to pursuing a minor in French. In her free time she enjoys running, volunteering and participating in the college’s Model United Nations program. Alexandra loves to travel and plans on working on gender equality issues and empowering women abroad upon graduation. This summer, Alexandra will be teaching French at a school in Tarmilaat, Morocco as well as teaching English at the Azrou Center!
An Open Mind
By Alexandra Green
I still remember the first day that I had the opportunity to sit in a classroom and learn my first French words—it was six years ago. Since that day, I have fallen in love with the language. While learning to speak a second language is challenging at times, mastering it is the most rewarding of all. To this day I still get excited about learning a new French word or phrase. I hope to share my excitement for learning a second language through my experiences this summer.
In a few short days, I will be traveling to Morocco—through America’s Unofficial Ambassadors—to teach French and English. I will be teaching French, to school-aged children of all levels, in Tarmilaat Village; I will be teaching English, to those of varying ages and levels, at the Azrou Center. At both locations, the first language of the individuals I will be teaching is Berber or Arabic. Though I anticipate this language barrier to be my greatest challenge, I am beyond excited to break down these barriers and share as much knowledge as possible with those I will be teaching.
When I learned of this opportunity to teach in Morocco, I knew that it would be perfect for me. From a young age, I have had a deep desire to gain a better understanding of the world around me; subsequently, I love to share the knowledge I have acquired with anyone who is willing to listen. Having the opportunity to teach French and English will allow for me to spread my knowledge while bridging the gaps between the Muslim World and America. While there will be differences between myself and those I will be teaching, there will also be numerous similarities. I cannot wait to learn more about the Muslim culture and to provide a better understanding to Moroccans of American culture.
Reflecting on the experiences I will have this summer, I have come to realize that I truly have no expectations for volunteering in Morocco. I strongly believe that to genuinely experience the country, it is beyond important to travel there with an open-mind. When I first set foot in the schoolhouse in Tarmilaat or in a classroom at the Azrou Center, I want the character of the Moroccan people, the landscape, the conservations, and my encounters to shape my experiences—not any preconceived expectations of what these encounters will be.
Despite my lack of expectations for the trip, I certainly have expectations of myself. Since learning of this opportunity, I have gathered teacher edition textbooks and other supplies that will help to ensure success in teaching. I am committed to doing anything in my power to ensure that the students learn to the best of their ability. For some, success may come from learning the Latin alphabet and a few basic phrases; for others, success may come from learning complex sentence structure. Whatever an individual’s goals may be, I strongly believe that it is my responsibility to help the students—in any way possible—achieve success of their goals.
As I prepare to embark on my journey to Morocco, I am overcome with excitement and anticipation. In a few short days, I will step off of the plane and into a whole new world. I cannot wait for the opportunities to share my knowledge, gain a better understanding of the Muslim World, and to make a positive impact on the lives of the Moroccan people.