It’s A Small World After All: Unexpected Encounter in Louisville

Mr. Rezuan bin Ahmad with students at the ESL Newcomer Academy in Louisville, Kentucky.


On February 21, 2014, two Malaysian English as a Second Language (ESL) experts visited the ESL Newcomer Academy, a school in Louisville, Kentucky.

The last thing they expected was to run into someone they knew.

The visitors, Mr. Rezuan bin Ahmad and Mr. Razali bin Mat Zain, got a chance to observe classes and join the students for lunch. The ESL Newcomer Academy is a specialized school that provides language skills, social skills and cultural awareness to students that have recently immigrated to the United States.

As Mr. Mat Zain sat down to eat, one child came up to him and said, “I remember you.”

The child used to live in Malaysia, and knew Mr. Mat Zain from the refugee center he attended in Kuala Lumpur. His family recently moved to Louisville, finding a new home in the United States.

The duo met with their peers around the United States on an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), administered by Meridian. In addition to Louisville, they met English educators and others in Minneapolis, Seattle, New York, Baltimore and Washington, DC.

While our work focuses on bringing people together, it is nice to see how interconnected the world already is.