Friday, December 04, 2009

Growing Up Global: Homa Sabet Tavangar Will Now Take Your Questions (And a Giveaway Too)

When I first met Homa Sabet Tavangar, I had just moved to Philadelphia. Homa was about to leave the city. Temporarily. She said she was about to take her three young daughters and move to Africa, to The Gambia specifically. Why? Because she wanted them to experience the "oneness of humanity."

Soon after, Homa left the United States with her girls in tow, to live out her principles. Her oldest daughter should have been in her last year of middle school, her youngest was only three-and-a-half. Once there, Homa did not search out an expat community or try to find an exclusive private international school for her girls. She enrolled them all in private local schools with some of the same families they were living amongst as well as some other international kids. She chronicled her journey in a fantastic blog for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Personally, I loved reading about her adventures on the blog, but Homa's gone one better. She's written a fascinating and useful book called, Growing Up Global: Raising Children to be at Home in the World. In the book she talks about her motivations to take the trip to Africa but the majority of the tome is a parenting primer, offering wonderful tips and activities to raise real global citizens. With chapter titles like "Be A Friend," "Go to School" and "Celebrate with the World," the book is chock full of ways (from learning a new language to attending an international children's film festival) to make our children (and ourselves too!) understand their place in this big wide world. I love it! And one of you will too.

Homa has given me a copy of Growing Up Global to give to one of my Meltingpot Readers. AND she's offered to answer any of your questions about raising a global citizen. So post a question here for Homa in the comments section and you'll be entered to win the book. We'll post the winner and answers from Homa next Friday so get your questions in by Monday at midnight.

For more information about Homa and her own fascinating background, check out her beautiful Growing Up Global website.



Nora said...

I'm myself an "international citizen" grown up in both north Africa and north Europe (Scandinavia) and have always felt torn between two very different cultures and I would want some day that my kids leave in an international environment but I wouldn't want them to feel like they don't belong in either places like I do sometimes. How can one avoid that?

Anonymous said...

How do you deal with other´s who only see you as the country you come from and not you?

I always feel drawn into debates about how the United States does things from war, food, culture, etc. I often have a hard time dealing with the arrogant behavior of others who are pointing out "American" arrogance. I have been in an international student, traveled A LOT and have now hosted an international student.

I tend to avoid these discussions whenever possible. But with being the host, it has been much more difficult. A simple explanation of how something works here (when asked) turns into a debate. Can´t we exchange ideas without judging?

Wendy (colombian mama)

Anonymous said...

I love Wendy's question and look forward to hearing Homa's answer. When visiting Nigeria, I often find myself deconstructing generalizations about the U.S. and Americans.

My questions are more out of curiosity (having missed Homa's blog-sorry): How did your children, particularly your "tween" adjust to the Gambia? Did they view it as an adventure? Did they have food issues??


Amy said...

Preparing my children to be global citizens, I feel is one of the most important jobs I have as a parent in today's society. While having the opportunity to live in a foreign country, my children attend the local public school there. I am very thankful for this. We have now moved back to the states and I am always searching for ways to continue their global education. I am very interested in this book.

c said...

I am not an "international citizen", nor is my son. We are both home town people, and probably will always b, aside from traveling. Do you believe it is possible to raise my son with a more global perspective with out moving?

Mashiara said...

What are some things that your children had to get use to regarding climate, culture, and any other tidbits growing up in another part of the world that wasn't so mainstream?

The Golden Papaya said...

I'm raising three little "global citizens" here in Brazil. My question is, how did class play into your international living experience? How did this experience change your perspectives on class? My children are enrolled (as scholarship students) at a fancy international school, and it is interesting to me how the intricacies of class play out, and what our sons may be learning about this.

Anonymous said...

Как люди отмечают Новый год? а
новогодние обычаи для чего нужны?

sasdf15f said...

Better late than never.