Welcome to the
Teach Palestine Project website!
The Teach Palestine Project website is a resource by and for K-12 teachers and teacher educators focused on bringing Palestine into our classrooms and schools. ||| The recent history and current reality in Palestine are connected to many issues we already teach, including: immigration, Manifest Destiny, borders and walls, the juvenile justice system, water and other environmental issues, and US policy in the Middle East. ||| Yet almost no one in US schools teaches about Palestine—despite its importance in world politics, the many connections to US history, and the deep involvement of the US in Israel. As Palestinian and US educators, we want to change that. ||| We know that there are many bars to teaching about Palestine: There is a serious lack of curriculum and age-appropriate information for students of different ages. Many of us feel we aren’t knowledgeable enough to take on such a controversial topic. ||| But teaching Palestine is both possible and rewarding. We hope the units, lessons, resources, and background materials here will inspire you to either begin or expand your curriculum on Palestine. And please contribute your own curriculum, resources, and experiences to this site!
Teach Palestine is a project of the Middle East Children’s Alliance, based in Berkeley, California. MECA is a nonprofit organization working for the rights of children in the Middle East by sending humanitarian aid, supporting projects for children, and educating North American and international communities about the effects of US foreign policy on children in the region.
Jody Sokolower, project manager of Teach Palestine, is a long-time political activist, educator, writer, and editor. Most recently, she was managing editor of Rethinking Schools magazine; at Rethinking Schools, she also coedited the award-winning Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality (2016) and edited Teaching the Wars in the Middle East (2013). Jody has taught middle and high school students, adult English language learners, and teachers. For the past eight years, Zeiad and Jody have co-facilitated workshops on teaching Palestine. She completed a Masters of Arts in Teaching at New College of California.
Zeiad Abbas Shamrouch, MECA ‘s executive director, is a Palestinian refugee from Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the West Bank. He is the cofounder of the Ibdaa Cultural Center in Dheisheh. Zeiad is also a fimlmaker, journalist, and educator who has worked with Palestinian and international media and has participated in the production of several documentary films. He was the co- producer and production manager of Promises, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002. He completed his Master of Arts in Social Justice and International Relations from the World Learning School for International Training Graduate Institute.
Samia Shoman, a California native with Palestinian roots, Samia Shoman has dedicated her career in public education to promoting racial and social justice in the classroom and broader educational organizations she has worked in. She is currently part of a California collaborative leading a Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Coalition. As a long time high school social science teacher, with a special love for working with English Learners, her current passion is leading an alternative Newcomer Program and the implementation of Ethnic Studies for all ninth graders in her district. Samia currently serves as a Manager of English Learner & Academic Support Programs. In addition to her secondary school work, Samia served as a lecturer in the College of Ethnic Studies Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora Program and the Masters of Public Health Program at San Francisco State University. Samia holds a B.A in Political Science with a minor in Spanish from UC Davis, an M.A. in Education from San Francisco State University, and an Ed.D with a focus on Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco. When she isn’t working with students, their families, or teachers and administrators, Samia is running or reading, sharing in being a proud parent of boy/girl twins, Falestine and Jihad with her husband, Feras.