NEW YORK — I learned the fundamentals of today�s lesson from one of the first teachers to learn English from a Muslim woman, a professor at New York University and the author of the new book “Today I Learned.”
“The teacher I met was an amazing, amazing woman,” said the 57-year-old British-born Shazia Farah, who now teaches at Brooklyn College.
“She came from a background where there was this suspicion that women were less intelligent than men, so that was a very, very different environment from the one I came from.”
My story, which was about my childhood, was a real, genuine story of a girl from a very poor family,” Farah said.
Farah, a teacher and author of more than 100 books, was born in Bangladesh to a Bangladeshi father and an American mother.
She grew up in a Muslim family in New Jersey and then went to England, where she was accepted at boarding school and studied English at Oxford University.
After she graduated from Oxford in 1966, she worked in a bank before moving to New York City, where the English-language media spotlight attracted her to the teaching profession.
When she got married, she decided to become a teacher, and it seemed like the perfect fit.
I had an amazing family, she said.
And the opportunity was there for me to pursue it.
I didn�t have a problem making money.
It was a lot easier to be a teacher than to be an actress, and so I jumped at the chance.
My husband and I are not religious.
I just do it because it�s what I love, and we want to be the best version of ourselves.
The couple’s children grew up to become well-known British children, including Shaziah Farah.
Shazia�s husband, an English teacher, also teaches at the Brooklyn College and teaches Arabic to students.
At age 57, Farah�s story is still fresh for her, but she said her life is in the present and her students are getting better.
‘Today I learned’ is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and is available in paperback, audiobook and ebook formats.
This story was originally published on ABC News, but has been republished here with permission.