K-12 Educators' Program to Oman and Zanzibar, summer 2016

The University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) completed another successful educational trip for K-12 educators and pre-service teachers in Oman-Zanzibar.


K-12 Educators' Program to Oman and Zanzibar, summer 2016

CMES received a grant from the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program and additional funding from the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center to take 14 educators and pre-service teachers on a four-week curriculum-building trip to Oman and Zanzibar in the summer of 2016. The program was based on similar successful programs CMES has offered since 2000 that focused on Morocco, Turkey, Syria, Cyprus, and the lands of the former Ottoman Empire.

Oman-Zanzibar Program Summary

"Oman and Zanzibar: Cultures and Connections across the Indian Ocean" was a curriculum-building project that took 14 educators for three weeks in Oman (a lovely country on the southern coasts of the Arabian peninsula) and one week in Zanzibar (a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa). The program moved beyond the narrow compartmentaization of African and Arab studies in order to explore the historical, religious, cultural and linuistic linkages between Oman and Zanzibar as well as the unique aspects of each place. The travel portion of the program took place from June 23, 2016 through July 22, 2016. The program enabled educators to integrate Middle Eastern/African area studies as well as Arabic and Swahili language exposure into many segments of the curriculum. Two Arizona personnel led the group: Northern Arizona University Professor of History Scott Reese (the program’s Scholar Escort) and University of Arizona Director of Educational Outreach Lisa Adeli. 

The program was academic, experiential, and practical. Participants learned about the historical connections and divergences between Oman and Zanzibar. Local experts in both Oman and Zanzibar gave perspectives on music, culture, nomadic life, and other topics. Teachers also received 40 hours of instruction in the Arabic and Swahili languages as well as learning, through the lens of comparative/contact linguistics, of their interrelationship. Travel, visits to museum and cultural sites, and interaction with local people gave participants experiences and insights that they brought back to the classroom – along with photos and cultural artifacts purchased as part of the project. All participants received at least 90 hours of professional development credit. 

Click here for a short description of Oman and Zanzibar's shared history - and how it ties into our trip


14 educators and pre-service teachers from nine states successfully participated in this project. 

Pretravel Program

The participants were required to engage in informative pretravel workshops to prepare for the trip. To learn about the workshops, click here.

Travel Intinerary

Click here for the implemented schedule of the Oman-Zanzibar trip.

Curriculum development and presentation

During the program and/or upon their return to the U.S., each participant  developed and implemented an individual curriculum project (directly applicable to his/her classroom or school) and participated in the creation of two group language/linguistics instructional modules. Following their return from the travel program, participants were required to give at least one presentation during a school or professional event or to a community group. 

To access the lesson plans created by the teachers, click here.