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Meet the Counselors of Virtual Al-Waha!

Published: July 7, 2020

Some of the counselors of Al-Waha having a pre-session Zoom meeting!


We are less than one week away from يوم افتتاح الواحة الافتراضية (yawm iftitaaH al-Waha al-IftiraaDiia), or the Opening Day of Virtual Al-Waha! Including myself, we have nine enthusiastic مشرفون (mashrifuun), or counselors, ready to have fun with our villagers in Arabic this summer. Allow me to introduce you to some of them, using a little عربيزي (Arabizi), a combination of English and Arabic!


Shams شمس : the Dean of Al-Waha!


She is from هي من: Minnesota

She will be joining the virtual village from: Bemidji, Minnesota.

She has lived in: Egypt, Morocco and Qatar, and has also traveled to Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.

Her favorite food is: Manaqeesh!! مناقيش!! 

In her free time, she loves to: canoe, mow her lawn with a push-reel lawn mower and put together puzzles.

If she were an animal, she would be: an eagle so she could soar through the sky. It looks so freeing!

Three things she is good at are: swimming, canoeing and building a campfire.



Farida فريدة: 


She is from هي من: Egypt مصر

She will be joining the virtual village from: Raleigh رالي North Carolina

She has lived and traveled in: Egypt, Qatar, & Saudi Arabia مصر و قطر و السعودية

Her favorite food is: shrimp  الجمبري

In her free time she enjoys: singing  الغناء 

If she were an animal, she would be: a sparrow عصفور

Three things she is good at are: Singing, using computers and shopping. الغناء و الحاسوب و التسوق







Lujayn لجين: 


She is from هي من: Kansas City, MOكانزس ستي  

She will be joining the virtual village from: Windsor, Connecticut ونزور كنتكوت

She has traveled to: إلى مصر ولبنان والمغرب Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco

Her favorite food is: المقلوبة (al-maqlooba) - literally meaning “upside-down,” this is a dish consisting of meat, rice and vegetables that is flipped upside-down when served!

In her free time she enjoys: الرقص الهندي واليوغا واللعب مع سليم وياسين Indian dance, yoga and playing games with Saliim and Yasiin.

If she were an animal, she would be: جمل, لأن عيونه جميلة جدا ولأني أحب أن أنظر إلى السماء في الصحراء

A camel, because they have really beautiful eyes, and because she likes to look at the desert sky.

Three things she is good at are: طبخ الحلويات واللغات (أعرف الفرنسية وقراءة العبرية) والرقص الهندي الكلاسكي

Cooking sweets, languages (she knows French and can read Hebrew), and she is good at classical Indian dancing.



Diae ضياء:


He is from هو من: Rabat, Morocco

He will be joining the virtual village from: Catonsville, Maryland

He has: traveled to many places in the Arab world and lived in Morocco for fifteen years.

His favorite food is: الرفيسة المغربية (ar-rfiisat al-maghrebiya) - a Moroccan dish made with chicken and lentils, spiced with fenugreek and ras el-hanout, and served with either msemmen or melawi, which are different kinds of Moroccan-style pancakes!

In his free time, he likes to: take long walks in the city, play pool/snooker, and play/watch football - his favorite team is Real Madrid.

If he were an animal, he would be: a bear, or دب, because it's the animal of his zodiac sign.

Three things he is good at are: mathematics, playing pool/snooker, and cooking.



Hadeel هديل: 

She is from هي من: Iraq العراق

She will be joining the virtual village from: San Diego, California

She was born in Iraq and lived for two years in Syria.

Her favorite food is: dolma ورق عنب

In her free time, she loves to: travel a lot!

If Hadeel were an animal, she would be: a tiger, because of his or her courage.

She describes herself as: confident, loyal and hardworking.






Khalil خليل: 


He is from هو من: Richmond, Virginia and will be joining the village virtually from there too. أنا من مدينة ريشمند في ولاية فرجينيا , و سأنضم إلى نفس المدينة. 

The Arabic-speaking place he has been to is: Jordan. He lived in Amman, Jordan for one year. هو سافرت إلى الأردن وكان عايش هناك لمدة سنة

His favorite food is: pad thai. طعامه المفضل هو باد تاي

When he has a completely free day, he likes to: take long walks around his neighborhood.

 في العطلة هو يحب أتمشى في منطقته

If he were an animal: “Well I don't know what animal I would actually be, but I would certainly like to be any kind of bird so I could fly and go anywhere I wanted!

أنا لا أعرف أي حيوان أكثر مناسب إلي في الحقيقة لاكنني أرين أكون أي نوع من أنواع الطيور عشان أطير وأسافر إلى أي مكان”

Three things he enjoys doing are: origami, playing the viola, and learning new languages.

 .هو يحب الأوريجامي, يعزف الكمان المتوسط, ويعلم لغات جديدة


Qamar قمر: 


I am from أنا من: Charleston, West Virginia

I will be joining the virtual village from: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Arabic-speaking place I have traveled to is: Lebanon. سافرت إلى لبنان. 

My favorite food is: pineapple طعامي المفضل هو أناناس

In my free time, I enjoy: salsa dancing and hiking.

If I were an animal, I would be: a giant tortoise, so I can live for a very long time!

Three things I am good at are: baking bread, editing videos, and problem-solving of various kinds. 


Karima كريمة:


She is from هي من:  Chicago, Illinois شيكاغو

She will be joining the virtual village from: شيكاغو

Her adventures in Arabic-speaking places: عاشت في عمان، الأردن وزارت القدس كمان 

She lived in Amman, Jordan and visited Jerusalem too. 

Her favorite food is: لبنة و خبز مع زعتر Labneh and bread, with zaatar!

What she likes to do in her free time: "أنا أستمتع بالرياضات مثل السباحة والجري. وأحب قضاء الوقت مع عائلتي ومشاهدة الأفلام وقراءة الكتب!" 

"I enjoy sports like swimming and running. I love spending time with my family, watching movies and reading books!"

If she were an animal, she would be: ممکن کلب لأنها تحب الناس :-) maybe a dog because she loves people :-)

Three things she is good at are: تنس طاولة، الطبخ (أحياناً!)، وبستنة table tennis, cooking (sometimes!), and gardening



There is an additional Al-Waha counselor, Mokhtar مختار, whom villagers will also get to meet this summer, as well as some visiting counselors. We can’t wait to see you all starting July 13th!