Second Glance: One Woman, Two Countries, A Tolerance Mission
Rarely we write about Americans who were granted another citizenships by marriage which they have opted for on their own-will. Karen is an American citizen by birth with a naturalized Egyptian citizenship as of 2001 and both of her children carry dual citizenships too. She committed to raising both children as Muslims while Karen embraces and adheres to Protestant Christian practices. Karen and her husband with their children observe fasting during Ramadan and celebrations of all Islamic and Christian holidays. A living story of tolerance between Christians and Muslims through understanding of AllahÊ¼s* (the creator) messages. Graduate of Brown University with a BA in International Relationship including History and Political Science. In Egypt In November 2014, Karen and her husband traveled to Egypt, carrying two suitcases of donated books to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Karen shared a presentation and activities related to Hands Around the Library to children in the Manshiet Nasser neighborhood of Cairo during an after school program operated by the Egyptian Nebny Foundation. Each child received a copy of the book in Arabic (translated and published by the BA). Karen coordinated with Lamia Abdel Fattah, Head of the Library Sector, a two-day conference on literacy and informal education, at the BA October 12 – 13, 2015. More than 650 people attended from Egyptian NGOs, educators, librarians and others, shared projects and collaborated on better ways to improve the educational outlook for poor children in Egypt. Karen is a life-long journalist and writer – for radio, newspapers, magazines and now childrenÊ¼s books. Her first childrenÊ¼s book – the award-winning Hands Around the Library: Protecting EgyptÊ¼s Treasured Books – was published in 2012 in English and Arabic. It is the story of protesters who held hands around the library in Alexandria, Egypt, to protect it from vandals throwing rocks during the 2011 revolution. A new edition of KarenÊ¼s picture book biography, Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words, will be published in early 2019. Karen is an active advocate for including people with disabilities, especially intellectual disabilities, in all of society. Karen is an active board member of Baltimore Luxor Alexandria Sister City Committee and Co-Chair of Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Chapter. In this capacity, Karen is leading and facilitating online discussions between sixth graders in Egypt and the U.S.A.
The Baltimore Luxor Alexandria (Egypt) Sister City Committee (baltimoreegypt.org) is facilitating online exchanges between children in Alexandria, Egypt, and the United States (Baltimore and Arlington). Sometimes the children have live conversations via Skype or Google Hangout. This fundraising will help provide technical support – high quality microphones and speakers – but will also enable us to use the secure Narrative Atlas platform provided by another nonprofit organization, MapWorks Learning (mapworkslearning.org). Students will be able to share artwork, essays and videos, create videos together and map their own communities. Eventually, they may work together to learn about and address some of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (undp.org) “The highest result of education is tolerance.”