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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]


Alum bridges cultures through teaching

By Katherine Hedland '88

Since Everett Lee 87 graduated from PLU, he has taught all over the globe. This time, he is in Saudi Arabia teaching English to members of the Saudi National Guard. Lee has been there since October, working for the Vinnell Corp., an American company that contracts with the Saudi government. Lee has also taught English in China and Japan and was an ESL teacher at Highline Community College in Burien, Wash. He enjoys the traveling and opportunities for learn-ing that teaching abroad offers.

I enjoy acting as a bridge between myself and other cultures, he said.

Lee had worked with some Arab students at Highline and wanted more exposure to their culture and beliefs.

I had stereotypes about them that turned out not to be true, and I wanted to go to a place where I could get a better understanding, he said.

While Lee lives on a compound with Americans and other foreign nationals, he must abide by the strict Muslim law of the land. That means there is no alcohol or talking to women in public, and strict monitoring of any materials brought into the country. He also stops teaching during the prayers Muslims offer five times each day.

Lee will have time off to travel, and Istanbul, Egypt and Lebanon are on his itinerary.

While contemplating his move, Lee remembered a history of the Middle East course he took years ago at PLU from Professor Ann Kelleher.

It was one of my favorite classes, he said. At the time it didnt occur to me that I would ever go there.

You can reach Everett at everettsan@att.net


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