Africa
Teacher's Guide
 

December 1, 1999 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.

Check out this date's update
 
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Abeja - Ding Dong! The Beast is Dead
Kid's version available

Abeja reports on the Women and Memory Forum, a group of Egyptian women who have re-written many Egyptian fairy tales with a modern, feminist perspective. Includes information about cultural myths and values, gender stereotypes, the double standard, women's empowerment, and the "beast" within that has held back so many women.

Follow Abeja's suggestion in this dispatch for students to send in a popular story/fairytale that they have re-written. It can either be one they grew up with, or one from One-Thousand and one Arabian Nights, which can be found online at www.arabiannights.org. Trekkers will read them all and publish some of their favorites!

Abeja - The New Cinderella: From Glass Slippers to Combat Boots

Abeja tells an updated Cinderella story. This story should be read in conjunction with "Ding Dong! The Beast is Dead."

See suggestion for "Ding Dong! The Beast is Dead." Might be worth it to reread the original Cinderella and compare how different it is from Abeja's rewrite.

Monica - Egyptian Organization for Human Rights: Dreaming the Future, Stretching the Limits

Learn about the status of women's and human rights in Egypt in an interview with the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights. The EOHR is working to educate and assist Egyptians in their legal rights.

Ask students to read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Then ask them to discuss it in the context of women's rights. Which rights do they think women are most frequently deprived of? Are some rights more important than others? Are there any new rights they'd like to see implemented in their lifetimes?

Abeja - The Children of the Dead
Kid's version available

Abeja describes a visit to Cairo's City of the Dead and discusses Egyptian customs regarding death and burial. She also describes life and poverty of children in this down-and-out Cairo neighborhood.

Ask your students to re-tell Abeja's encounter with the old woman, but from the old woman's point of view. Encourage them to consider that she is proud of, not afraid of the tombstones in her back courtyard. They can continue the tale beyond Abeja's departure. Discourage them from writing ghost stories - that would be out of character for this woman.

Making a Difference - Monica - No Thanks: Sexual Harassment in School and at Work

Monica attends a university discussion on the status of women, where discrimination, gender-inclusiveness and sexual harassment are covered. Includes information on school and workplace policies, reporting and effects of sexual harassment.

After reading Monica's report, what do you think? Are policies about discrimination and harassment on the books because, as Burts thinks, "they're a Band-Aid: they pat women on the head and say 'we're taking care of you?'" Does the publication of policies about discrimination and harassment "step-by-step change the culture," like Margaret Zohni said? Or do they fail to address the real issue, which is how men and women relate to one another, both as individuals and within the society or culture? How does this discussion relate to your own life? What stereotypes do you hold about women and men? How do you relate to your peers, your friends, your family, your teachers, your boss?

 
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