|Watercolor and Black Ink by Lukman Ahmad|
My colleague at UNC, history professor Sarah Shields, had the brilliant idea of a workshop for North Carolina teachers that would introduce what we seldom see in textbooks and on the news--the art, music, and literature of Iraq.
Yes, art, music, and literature. And, yes, Iraq. We're so used to thinking about Iraq in terms of war, we've forgotten its rich traditional (and contemporary) culture. And we can't teach what we've forgotten, or didn't know about in the first place.
So Professor Shields proposed inviting artists, two Iraqi and one Kurdish, to Chapel Hill, to present and discuss their art with North Carolina teachers. The Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, the UNC History Department, and the UNC Honors Program stepped up to provide the necessary funding. The workshop is scheduled for November 12th. More information here.
Just last week we began to publicize the event among our state's teachers. And the response?
Overwhelming. More than half the available spaces are claimed already by teachers eager to learn more about Iraqi culture and art.
If you're a North Carolina teacher interested in enriching your teaching of the Middle East, contact me now. I'll save a seat for you!