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PBS Wisconsin Education has released a new Wisconsin Biographies resource titled, Mahmoud Othman Atta: A Mosque for Milwaukee. Wisconsin Biographies is a collection of free educational, online media resources that shares the stories of notable Wisconsinites and enriches grade school social studies and literacy curriculum.
Mahmoud Othman Atta: A Mosque for Milwaukee is available for free online access at pbswisconsineducation.org.
Born in Palestine in 1936, Mahmoud Othman Atta came with his father to Milwaukee as a teenager. During his childhood, Atta’s father had made frequent trips from Palestine to the United States to sell goods as a peddler to support his family. Atta completed high school in Milwaukee, served in the United States Army and returned to Palestine to marry.
Not long after, war in the Middle East forced Mahmoud and his family to leave Palestine. Seeking a sense of community, Atta and his family made Milwaukee their home and worked with others to open the first mosque in Milwaukee open to all Muslims.
“One of our goals with this project is to show students that Muslims have been an active part of Wisconsin’s communities for more than a century,” producer David Boffa said. “They’re a part of the state’s past and present, and learning their history is important for Muslim and non-Muslim students alike.”
On the Wisconsin Biographies website, students in grades 3-6 can explore Atta’s story through an animated video, digital book with audio and image gallery. Atta’s digital book is available in English and Arabic. An educator guide provides additional resources and extension activities.
Mahmoud Othman Atta: A Mosque for Milwaukee is part of the larger Wisconsin Muslim Project, a collaboration between PBS Wisconsin and two other Wisconsin-based partners, the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition and We Are Many - United Against Hate. The project aims to stimulate connections between Wisconsin’s Muslim and non-Muslim populations, and encourage us to obtain greater knowledge about, empathy for, and appreciation of one another.
Funding for Wisconsin Biographies: Mahmoud Othman Atta: A Mosque for Milwaukee is provided by the Doris Duke Foundation, the Timothy William Trout Education Fund, a gift of Monroe and Sandra Trout, the Focus Fund for Education, and Friends of PBS Wisconsin.
PBS Wisconsin is a service of the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
PBS Wisconsin is a place to grow through learning on WHA-TV, Madison; WPNE-TV, Green Bay; WHRM-TV, Wausau; WLEF-TV, Park Falls; WHLA-TV, La Crosse; and WHWC-TV, Menomonie-Eau Claire.