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Home »» Moroccan Of The Month

Mohamed Zefzaf   [ September, 2009 ]
Mohamed Zefzaf

At the age of 21, Mohamed Zefzaf moved to America and started a new life. He attended the University of Massachusetts, graduating with undergraduate degrees in Human Geography and Sociology. He then obtained a Master’s degree in ESL/Linguistics.He has been teaching English as a Second Language for nearly 20 years at Massbay Community College. In between that he also went on sabbatical and taught at the International Institute of Tourism in Malabata, Tangier in 1996-97.


Throughout his career he has been passionate about cultural rapprochement between all cultures. After 9/11, however, he was determined to do something about demystifying the deeply ingrained hysteria that followed that tragic event. The result was the creation of his presentation entitled Into Culture: Journeys and Perceptions. Below is a summary of it.

 

Into Cultures: Journeys and Perceptions "Into cultures: journeys and Perceptions" is a knowledge-based presentation designed to increase effective and productive communication across cultures. Using a unique traditional approach based on the Moroccan narrative model, the audience will be introduced to a presentation whose very format is in itself an illustration of how people in many traditional societies communicate and deliver information. Having established this, we will then compare these modes of communication to that of the way people communicate here in the U.S. As we explore these issues, participants will gain greater awareness and understanding, not only of how others communicate, but also of how their own communication and culture affect their interaction with those who are different from them. The presentation is principally designed to share with the audience tangible skills to communicate more effectively and productively across cultures. Using visuals, facts, stories, and anecdotes, participants will be taken on a "cultural journey" whose ultimate goal is a greater understanding of how to communicate and relate with people across cultures.

 

The presentation/workshop has been described by participants as interactive, informational, and transformative. It has been offered in many venues, including Mass General Hospital, several non-profit educational organizations, and nearly all faculty and staff at Mass Bay Community College in Wellesley, the University of Massachusetts’ affiliated WIC program in Worcester and Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He also presented at the US attorney’s Office in Providence, Rhode Island. For his presentation he received The Commitment to Excellence award from the Massachusetts National Guard when he conducted his workshop. It was awarded to him by the distinguished TAG Major General Joseph Carter. He was also a feature speaker at World Aids Day last December in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

 

Mohamed was selected as an Emerging Leader by the National Education Association(NEA) and graduated from its Academy in 2004. He continues to be an active member of the association. At present he is planning a cultural trip to Morocco with colleagues, students, and the community at large. The purpose of the trip is to continue his life-work of bringing people of all cultures together and to enlighten them through communication, dialogue, and mutual respect. Mohamed’s entire life has been one of navigating several cultures and languages, yet never forgetting that he is Moroccan.

zefzafr@comcast.net




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