This Philadelphia museum hired Iraqi and Syrian refugees as tour guides for its Middle East gallery

Category: Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion
A Middle Eastern man points at an object in a case hanging on a wall behind a plaxiglas vitrine.
Hadi Jasim was an Iraqi translator for the US military. Now he's a "global guide" at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia.

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has started hiring guides to give tours in galleries that have collections from their home countries.

“These guides are expressly trained to weave their own personal stories and memories into their tours — things they would feel comfortable talking about over and over again.”

– Emma Jacobs

At the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Moumena Saradar directs a group of visitors to a glass case containing an enormous gold headdress and beaded shirt - the burial garments of Queen Puabi, who died around 2550 BCE. They're a highlight of the museum's Middle East gallery, reopened in April after a $5 million renovation.

Continue Reading at Public Radio International

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