This professional development opportunity is made available through the generous support of the Center for Global Studies at the University of Washington.
The refugee crisis facing the world today is unprecedented in scope, and the stories of people forced to flee their homes and leave their families permeate our news cycle every week. Quite often, however, we focus on the dramatic images and stories of the flight itself, and stop short of investigating the lives refugees lead as they struggle to build new lives and homes in foreign lands. Our 2018 book club will discuss those less commonly told stories through the lens of Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West. Hamid’s novel tells the tale of two remarkable young people, Nadia and Saeed, as they meet in an unnamed country on the brink of civil war. As the city they live in descends into chaos, Nadia and Saeed decide to seek a way out through a magic doorway that whisks them to the Greek island of Mykonos. As they travel through new doorways, each leading to an uncertain future and an alien place, the characters struggle to hold onto each other, the past, and the very sense of who they are. In this way Hamid tells a story that focuses less on the physical perils of refugees, and more on the emotional and mental struggle entailed in seeking refuge.
Participants will read Exit West and complete a brief assignment based on the text, as well as attend a 2-hour discussion session to discuss the themes of the book and how to incorporate them into a classroom setting. Participants will also receive a reading resources packet containing supplementary information and lesson plan ideas pertaining to the refugee crises. Educator participants will also be asked to submit a short (1/2 – 1 page) lesson idea they could use with their students based on a theme the book.
The cost for participation in the book club is $30.00. Registration includes attendance at the follow-up session, the reading resources packet, a free copy of the book and 6 OSPI clock hours. Registrants are only eligible for 6 clock hours if they attend the discussion session. Registrants who submit the assignments but do not attend the discussion session will be eligible for 3 clock hours.
*Registrants may pick up their free copy of Exit West at the World Affairs Council office beginning April 5th, weekdays between 9:00am and 5:00pm.