Last week, Nabaa Alobaidi visited our school. Nabaa was trained as an interior designer in her homeland of Iraq (where she taught interior design at the university level) and, since moving to Maine, is working through the Education Academy at Portland Adult Education to receive the necessary training to teach school in the US. She spent time with Ananda Kayman, observing the middle school handwork curriculum, as well as with Johanna Flath and Julie Yeo, in the High School Arts.
Nabaa was an inspiring visitor to have at the high school. She willingly shared her own personal story of immigrating to the United States to the 11th grade class during their main lesson, “ The Immigrants’ Story.” Her message to the students was sobering and clear: to live in Maine is to live in a dream, a place without war, with clear air and water, a place of abundance, every opportunity is right there for you to seize. A talented artist in her own right, Nabaa delighted the high school students in art class with images of her portfolio of elaborately, decorated cakes, original interior designs and wood-burnt illustrations.
During the 9th grade class, Nabaa demonstrated her wood burning techniques and then the students had an opportunity to make their own piece.
Nabaa graciously treated the high school faculty to to a homemade Iraqi lunch of hummus, stuffed grape leaves, dolma and Khubz (traditional Iraqi bread). We were all warmed by her generous spirit, openness, and sincere interest in education and the arts. We hope to see Nabaa at our campus sometime again soon and are grateful to have made this connection.
Administrators from Maine Coast Waldorf School and the Education Academy are currently working on the possibility of MCWS becoming a regular practicum host for foreign-born professionals in the field of education who are participating in the EA program. We hope to be able to share more information about this partnership soon!