We are a grassroots, all-volunteer team of members of the Washington, D.C. community united by a passion to share skills and build community ties. We first started discussing the idea of forming KAMA DC in June 2016 and held our very first class in December 2016. KAMA DC is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
We are always looking for more volunteers - let us know if you'd like to join the team!
We meet in the Adams Morgan Community Center (part of The Line Hotel) at 7pm on Wednesdays.
Muhammad Khalid Rabia and his wife Nadia are from Homs, Syria. Homs is famous throughout the Middle East for its pastries and Muhammad worked as a pastry chef before the conflict broke out. They left Syria and spent three years in Jordan before coming to the United States. Muhammad currently works for an IT company, and he and Nadia still cook in their spare time. They have three sons - Munir, Amir, and Tareq. Nadia has taught a Syrian cooking class and Muhammad taught a Syrian pastries class.
Anna was born in the middle of Russia where they have very cold and long winters. Because of that, when she was a child, she began reading a lot and creating stories. The power of love brought her to the US, and she got married last year. As an immigrant, she says any type of interaction in English is challenging for her. Sometimes she finds it difficult to express herself as she would like to. Anna leads writing workshops as an effort to show other people something important, honest, and light about herself. Anna strongly believes that we are made of the stories that we tell each other.
Juliana and Daniel are not permanent immigrants to the United States, but came here from a different country: Brazil. They are really interested in migration as a movement and in how people from different backgrounds and cultures can connect with each other. They recently moved from Washington DC to Chicago. They led a KAMA DC class about Brazilian popular dances and society in which participants were able to try .
Tuneer is a junior fellow at the Maritime Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi. His research focuses on Indo-Pacific maritime security and strategy. Tuneer is an alumnus of American University, Washington D.C., the University of Warwick, and the University of Toronto. He taught a seminar on Issues on Modern Indian Politics, with a specific focus on Hindu Nationalism
Afaf is enrolled in the Ph.D. program in education and anthropology at Columbia University where she focuses on education in the Arab world between schooling (as led by government and private institutions) and local communities, mainly families. Prior to that, Afaf received her master’s in Arab studies from Georgetown University.
In her home country, Jordan, Afaf worked as a translator and interpreter with several organizations and NGOs. She also taught English for four years in her hometown Shobak, 200km south of Amman.
Ceto Ozel is a Turkish Kurdish journalist, educator, and author. Originally from northern Iraq, he is the author of several books on Kurdish language and grammar. He has also had a long career in investigative journalism, including creating a news magazine focused on issues including migration, displacement, human rights, education and cultural rights. He is a passionate advocate for community-centered, democratic access to education and holds an MA in sustainable development from World Learning – SIT Graduate Institute.
Fa is a culture strategist, arts patroness, former human rights lawyer, and dancer from Venezuela. She is also a co-founder of KAMA DC. She led a session on Afro-Venezuelan dance, an intercultural experience of high cardio, role-playing, group chanting, ritual intensity, and awesome dance moves.
Patricks is a public policy expert and human rights defender from Liberia. He has over ten years of experience in administration, conflict resolution, organizational management, policy formulation and implementation, investigations of human rights abuses related to policy and corruption. He led KAMA DC's very first session on grassroots mobilization, civic education, and constituency building.
Jawaher was born in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Riyadh is a modern city that, in Jawaher’s words, adapts the latest technologies, yet is very conservative when it comes to traditions and beliefs. Jawaher lived in North African countries before moving to the United States. During her years of living in different countries, Jawaher has experienced and lived among various cultures including different cuisines.
KAMA DC is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides a platform for refugees and immigrants to share their skills with the Greater Washington, D.C. community by teaching classes.
Through KAMA DC, a diverse group of people are able to offer any classes and workshops they wish to teach. Past classes have included Afro-Venezuelan dance, Syrian cooking, Kurdish language and culture, and community organizing. The classes we offer are as diverse as the people teaching them!
Classes are open to everyone interested in common learning and human exchange. Most classes are free, but some require a small fee to cover basic material costs (where necessary). The idea is simple - by learning from each other, KAMA DC builds constructive contact between groups who tend to interact on rare occasions. We facilitate dialogue, mutual understanding, and empower both instructors and course participants to build positive community relationships.
KAMA is an acronym in German - "Kurse von Asylsuchenden, MigrantInnen & Asylberechtigten" - which means "Classes by Asylum-Seekers, Migrants, and Those Who Have Been Granted Asylum." The model started in Vienna, Austria in 2006 and has since spread to multiple cities in Austria, Germany, and the UK.
KAMA volunteers sit down with prospective teachers to discuss what classes they could lead. We then help work through a lesson plan, sort out the logistics, find a place to host it, advertise it, and then help run the class. We are incredibly flexible and are prepared to make any idea for a class happen!
Image (L-R): Margo, Veronica, Will, Mariel, Anna, Ed.
Will is the director and president of KAMA DC.
Mariel is a director of KAMA DC.
Anna is a director of KAMA DC.
Margo is the treasurer of KAMA DC.
Veronica Fuentes Brown
Veronica is the secretary of KAMA DC.
Ahmed (Ed) Beetar
Ed is on the advisory board.
Jonas is on the advisory board.
Sasha is on the advisory board.
Image (L-R): Margo, Veronica, Will, Mariel, Anna, Ed.