About

About

The Middle East is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented regions in the West. As educators, we have the opportunity to combat the narrative Western media perpetuates about the region and its peoples; yet, since most of us weren’t exposed to Middle Eastern curricula in our own educational backgrounds, we often don’t know what to teach or where it would fit. When Middle Eastern curricula are taught at our schools, these lessons are mostly confined to history class and taught through the lens of conflict. In order to provide a more accurate and nuanced understanding of this complex and diverse region, it is imperative we include Middle Eastern curricula across disciplines (such as science, math and literature) and grade levels.

The resources on this website have been recommended by educators who have used them in their own classes. To recommend a resource, please email mmirza@baymideasteducators.com.

The website is constantly being updated so please check back frequently. Last update: Feb. 24, 2016.

 

Our Mission

  • To challenge the dominant narrative the West has of the Middle East by promoting Middle Eastern curricula across grade levels and disciplines.
  • To create support structures for local educators and students of Middle Eastern descent.

 

About the Founder

Melissa Mirza is an English teacher at San Francisco University High School and the founder of Bay Area Middle Eastern Educators. At UHS, Melissa teaches 9th grade English as well as elective seminars of her own design for juniors and seniors. Her electives include Literature of Imprisonment, Construction of Self (a class centered on identity), Gothic Literature and Borderlands (a class that explores colonization and immigration). Melissa also started the UHS Women and Leadership group, which she runs with another female colleague. The group brings together female faculty, staff and students to address gender issues and foster female leadership. Melissa created and co-chairs the school’s Community Education Committee with UHS’s Director of Multi-Cultural Education. This committee focuses on sustaining diversity and equity work and programming.

Outside of UHS, Melissa facilitates the Greater Middle Eastern affinity group at the National Association of Independent School’s People of Color Conference. She founded Bay Area Middle Eastern Educators in January 2014. As a teacher and a Lebanese-Turkish American, Melissa believes that education plays an important role in promoting positive change in the world.