One of the first questions I get asked by parents is “How did you hear about TA? What made you join TA?” Many parents know that before joining Tarbiyah Academy, my family and I had been living in AlAin, a small, quiet suburb in the United Arab Emirates. I had been there for five years working as an IB Coordinator and IB Teacher. So what made me come back to the U.S?
To be honest, I had no intention of returning to the United States yet. My family and I really enjoyed our expatriate lives in the UAE, where educators live in unusual luxury what with tax free salaries, paid accommodations, free IB schooling for my children, low cost of living, Muslim country, and the list goes on and on. When I was in Maryland in the summer of 2014, I was approached by a community leader who urged me to move back to the US to lead a school he wanted to start. I was incredibly honored but politely declined. This was just last summer.
Allah, however, is the best of planners. Here I am, back in Maryland one year later, leading Tarbiyah Academy through its inception. So what made me change my mind? The answer is simple. When I started interviewing with the TA Board, I was blown away by their vision. They were second generation immigrants who were born and bred in the US and were quite familiar with all the pitfalls of contemporary education – Islamic and public. They knew, like I did, what parents dislike about Islamic schools. We wanted a school that could compete with – and beat – private elite schools for their secular education and with Islamic schools for their Islamic education. I felt that all my life has been a preparation to execute this vision.
After the third two-hour interview, I knew that Tarbiyah Academy was the school I’ve always wanted to work for. Parents sometimes ask me, “Are you really going to open? Do you really believe the school will start? My answer is an unequivocal YES! I believe so fully and so whole heartedly in Tarbiyah Academy that I moved my entire family (my 2 children and my husband) from an incredibly comfortable and lucrative job/life in the UAE back to the US. So are we going to open? Well, how should I say this? Yes! Sí! !جی ہاں Oui! !نعم Ja! 是的! Evet! हाँ! !بلهShare