by Aaron Pina, Upper School history and social science teacher
In the history elective, Understanding the Modern Middle East, my goal is to help Lakesiders gain a rich, nuanced view of a region that is often misunderstood and mischaracterized by outside voices. In order to account for that reality, we invite speakers that bring authentic perspectives on the Middle East to the classroom.
These Arab, Persian, and Jewish voices add depth and authenticity to the course while making our semesterlong journey a more personal, human experience. In addition to hosting speakers that hail from the Middle East (both in person and via videoconferencing), students hear from men and women who work on Middle East policy in the State Department, National Security Council, and the United Nations.
Exposing students to voices from inside and outside the region places the Middle East in a global context, while showing students the constellation of professions that are open to those armed with a background in international relations.
Note: Pina will be one of three Lakeside teachers speaking on Monday, Dec.12 at "Inside the Classroom: A Benefit for Haiti." The lecture, also featuring Caryn Abrey and Lindsay Pentolfe Aegerter, will take place at 7 p.m. in Kent Evans Auditorium at Lakeside Upper School. Pina will discuss his time serving with the United Nations in Haiti in 1994 and how that shaped his consciousness around service, the USA's foreign policy, and the debt we owe to the entire island.