Dr. Graham Leonard is the man for whom we named our education organization. He has made the education of Arabs his life’s work with the primary focus on the education of Palestinians and to this day devotes half of each year to this work.
These days, Graham travels to Jordan twice a year and stays for three months at a time. In 2006, he developed MaHakkaat at-Tafkir (Touchstones for Thinking), a discussion-based program in Arabic and in math, for the Ministry of Education in Jordan. The program benefits 6th–10th graders in the public and UNRWA school systems.
In 2010, Graham began work with 23 supervisors of Arabic and English broadening their general education (Liberal Arts). These supervisors, now called mentors, pass this on to the teachers who lead the open-ended discussions with students, one hour a week.
“I believe that memorized education does not foster imagination. I’ve been on this mission for 10 years,” said Graham. “I’m not bringing American education to Jordan, I’m reviving the Abbasid (750–1258 AD) expansion of education—the greatest period of creativity in history up until the 17th century in the West. I’m very fortunate to be in good health and able to work at 90 years old on something that is very dear to my heart.”
Graham will be celebrating his birthday with family and friends on July 16, in Washington DC.