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I will talk with Jane Rubio about her spiritual path and professional work.
Jane graduated from Harvard University in 1998 with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Studies. She has a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
"After reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X when I was 16 years old, I decided I needed to learn about Islam--learn not from a book, but from people. The year before, God spoke to me for the first time. "All who believed had the right to become children of God, children not born of natural descent, nor of a husband's will, but born of God." My single, atheist, Jewish mother raised me. So I didn't believe in anything, until that moment when I was 15 and I read that passage from the Gospel of John. 12 years later on September 11, I arrived in Lebanon. Overtly, to teach at an American school, but covertly, to learn about Arabs and Muslims and Druze. I wanted to learn Arabic so that I could read and understand the Quran. Interestingly enough, with all the Arabic I've studied, I still haven't really sat down and read the Quran.
My Lebanese co-workers immediately adopted me. I was in their homes in a village about 17 km outside of Beirut. They all had hired maids--women from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Sri Lanka to live in their houses and clean them. It was a strange, uncomfortable situation. When I moved to Beirut two years later, I befriended the Ethiopian woman who folded towels at my gym. She took me to her church, where I met the pastor--Vicky, a woman who became a friend and my role model. A year later, I met Aimee, a Malagasy, who has worked for more than 20 years, leading and supporting the women of her small community in Lebanon. These women taught me the power of God, community, leadership, and organizing.
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