What better way to learn about the culture of another place than to speak to someone who grew up there? Through the Global Guides Program, the Museum offers gallery tours led by immigrants and refugees. In addition to sharing historical information about the artifacts on display, the guides combine personal experiences and stories to interpret objects from their countries of origin. Global Guides will present tours and enrichment programs for the Museum’s new Signature Galleries:
Middle East Galleries, Now Available!
Mexico and Central America Gallery, Coming Fall 2019
Africa Galleries, Coming Fall 2019
Join the guides for the following tour programs:
Public Global Guides Tours
Global Guide public gallery tours begin with the opening of the Middle East Galleries, and are offered throughout May on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 pm. The tours are free with Museum admission and there is no need for advance reservations. Additional public tours and experiences throughout the summer are listed on our Tours page.
Group Global Guides Tours
Meet the Global Guides
Abdulhadi Al-Karfawi recently moved with his family from Iraq to the United States. His previous employment with the United Nations mission in Iraq provided him with extensive opportunities to help people. Abdulhadi has always been interested in ancient settlements. His deep love of history led him to visit many of the archaeological sites in Iraq. This gave him tremendous motivation to work with Penn Museum as a Global Guide. His accumulated personal experiences enable him to reflect and share memories with visitors and folks who are curious about the past. Abdulhadi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Baghdad.
Ali Arif has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Al-Mustansiriyah University. He has eight years of experience working as a regulatory and governmental affairs manager for Fanoos Telecom, the biggest wireless operator in Iraq. He also served as a translator and language teacher for the United State military in Iraq. He recently came to the Unites States, establishing a new life in Philadelphia with his family. In Iraq, Ali was surrounded by precious, historic relics from Mesopotamia and Babylon. When he first came to live here, he discovered the similarities between contemporary Philadelphia and the Mesopotamian historical images he had in his memory. Ali is glad that he will be able to share his connections to ancient cultures in the Penn Museum’s new Middle East Galleries with the public.
Yaroub Al-Obaidi was born in Iraq and has lived in Philadelphia since June 2016. He has worked as a designer, researcher, author, and also lectured at the College of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad from 2004 to 2007. Yaroub worked for five years as a community leader organizing between the Iraqi community and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). He was inspired to work at the Penn Museum because he feels that history and archaeology shed light on our ancestors. As an artist and designer, he loves the visual arts and is always considering the past and present to build a stronger future. He holds a Master’s Degree in Design from the University of Baghdad, and is currently Ph.D. candidate at the University of Science Malaysia. His motto is, “Life is full of joy and opportunities; we should be at the right place at the right time and meet the right people.“
Moumena Saradar is a professional medical interpreter in Arabic, working for several interpreting agencies in Philadelphia. She is originally from Syria. Her travels to several countries in Asia and Africa and her experiences viewing popular Egyptian monuments motivated her to share her cultural understanding as a Global Guide at the Penn Museum. Moumena has worked with newly resettled immigrants in Philadelphia, including her work as a translator for resettled people as part of the recent Photo Voice project at Jefferson University. Her great passion is spending time with her five kids, reading American adventure tales, and swimming. She holds an Associate Degree in Laboratory Sciences from University of Damascus.
The Global Guides: Immigrant Stories Tour Program was made possible by the generosity of the Barra Foundation.