New Student Photo Series 2011 – #24

The fall semester is just a few weeks away and we still have more incoming student photos coming in.  Thank you to everyone that has sent photos in and we will make sure to get them all posted in the coming weeks.

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Tory Webster – Incoming MIA student

This first picture was taken off the coast of Tyre, Lebanon. I have spent the last two years in Tyre teaching and hanging out with some incredible teenagers. Some of my favorite summer memories in Tyre include drinking tea under the stars talking about books and the future with the teenagers that I had the privilege of teaching. Life in Tyre is an exploding bomb, and the subtle sweet joy of a sunrise.  It is the tug of the sea, the overwhelming reality of how much there is to do and the inability to do much of anything, paralyzing fear and insecurity, and the desperate desire to be known, but the incredible fear of being seen.

This picture was taken in Anjar, Lebanon in its Ummayad ruins. I lead three joint history field trips (to Anjar, Tyre, and Rome, Italy) with a colleague of mine from Beirut. Lebanon is so full of history, and most of the students have no idea what it’s all about. Lebanon has a notoriously wretched history curriculum (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7988399.stm), so as a foreign history teacher, I had the privilege of expanding my students’ horizons, introducing them to people’s stories, and showing them how they’d become who they are.


This picture was taken in Petra, Jordan of two Bedouin kids. The Bedouin, like indigenous people everywhere, are located on the fringes of Lebanese society. One (only one of hundreds!!) of my students in Tyre was a Palestinian Bedouin, and consequentially he has to fight for every second of his education and future. The relationship between the past and the future is growing increasingly complicated in Middle Eastern countries, where Facebook and tradition battle for loyalty in teenagers’ daily lives. My Bedouin student lives in a traditional camp, but will daily make the trek to school where an increasingly progressive curriculum, Model United Nations, and modern literature become his world.

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My name is Annie Zhou and I am an incoming MPA student concentrating in EPD and East-Asia Studies. I moved to the U.S. from Beijing when I was young and have been living in New York for the past five years.

This is a photo of me in Nanzheng Village in the Shanxi Province of China, where I taught science and English for three weeks through an organization called the Rural China Education Foundation that helps to fund education programs, teacher training and curriculum development in rural China. I have been their Director of Development since 2008 and hope to invite many of you to attend our future events.

This was taken at the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco in a traditional djellaba. Morocco is a beautiful country that inspires me with its rich history, colors and sites. I believe the country has potential to step up their leadership in North Africa to maintain stability in the region.

This is the Sultanahmet, or commonly known as the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, a country I am fascinated with because of its history, strategic location and cultural diversity. Turkey has significant opportunity to further establish itself as a regional power through economic development and cooperation, maintaining political and national security and combating terrorism.

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