Ep:70 Jameelah Muhammad - "The Gift of Language"
I have long thought it takes a certain kind of bravery to move abroad. In most cases, you don’t know the country, the culture or the people but a drive causes people to make the jump.
Likewise, it’s even more so when a young person does it because a supportive parent lets it happen. It takes a lot to let your kid run off and do it, even if you have no idea what will happen when they get there. All you have to do is listen to previous guests such as Tamara Thorpe to know that’s true..
It really is brave.
And that leads me to Jameelah Muhammad’s story. Today, Jameelah is a seasoned expat who has lived in multiple countries with her family. But as a young person growing up in south side Chicago, the fact that she would have an international life and career wasn’t so evident.
But an opportunity to Mexico would start it all.
Jameelah is a foreign language advocate who has previously worked and taught in 11 countries, with most recently the US Department of Defense in Japan. She also authored, The Global Child: A Handbook on Raising Children Bilingually in the Washington, DC Area (2003) and was a contributor to the Minority Rights Group International publication, No Longer Invisible- Mexico (1995). She also founded 2languages2cool.com, a resource where English-speaking expats can find inspiration, motivation and guidance in the foreign language learning process.
In this episode, Jameelah discusses the privilege of being multilingual and the unexpected ways it has opened doors. She talks about raising her children in cross-cultural spaces and why felt it was important that they could speak more than one language. And we discuss how the power of language can impact and change the expat experience.
I always enjoy an unlikely story and Jameelah is as unlikely as they come.
- The unlikely reason that led to her interest in travel
- How a seemingly random moment ended up paying for grad school in Mexico
- Why being multilingual has led to opportunities for her children
- Why knowing the local language an open doors as an expat
To hear the full episode, click below or listen wherever you get your podcasts.