Monday, July 12, 2010

What's New at the American Corner?

Despite the summer break from universities, the American Corner (AC) is still active and seeing strong attendance by patrons. We are working on a variety of projects and initiatives to engage our patrons and enhance their experience at the AC. What can you look forward to at the American Corner:

- Great speakers: We have the following speakers already confirmed:

July 13: Ikram Ben Said from the Amal Association for Single Mothers

July 20: Laura Byergo from the State Department will discuss the subject of summer jobs (not providing jobs, just discussing the topic of summer jobs)

Sometime between August and October: Edith Laszlo from the African Development Bank, Alex Severens from the US Treasury Department, and Faiza Abdul Wahab, the daughter of a Tunisian WWII hero

Other speakers who we are trying to bring to the AC: Keith Ellison (the first Muslim Congressman in the USA), Farah Pandith (Hillary Clinton's Special Representative to the Muslim World), and hopefully many more!

Other developments at the AC:

- We are in the process of ordering a whole new collection of books and films, including many recent new releases

- We are organizing the American Corner Summer Service Initiative where local Tunisians and expats can get together and volunteer on projects in the Tunis area. Our key project this summer will be volunteering with the Amal Association for Single Mothers.

- We are working on a partnership with an NGO called Soliya, which is affliated with the UN Alliance of Civilizations. Soliya helps facilitate discussions on cultural, social, political, media, and current events issues between students in the Arab world and students in the US and Europe over the medium of the Internet. The AC is looking into the possibility of partnering with Soliya in order to integrate its Web-based cross-cultural dialogue sessions into some of the AC's weekly English conversation hours. We hope that this will give AC visitors the opportunity to practice their English with native speakers while simulateously enhancing mutual understanding across cultures and allowing students to form relationships with peers in Europe and the Unites States.

No comments: