Adnan Barqawi was a TFA 2009 corps member who was warmly received at a TFA event in Nashville in July of 2014.
TFA hired him to be the executive director of TFA Nashville in January of 2015. He is still listed on the TFA website as a staff member. He left four months later.
Perhaps the mystery of his sudden disappearance four months after taking the TFA job was the discovery of this YouTube video recorded in July of 2009 during his TFA summer training. It turns out that Barqawi is a proud member of the Tea Party.
Here is a quote from the video about his feelings about the free lunch program in schools:
“I discovered that, um, I worked so hard earning close to minimum wage so that I can provide for the free lunches and breakfasts of others who don’t necessarily want to work as hard or have just used the system in such a way that to me is not America.”
And here is is on his students who were illegal immigrants:
“The majority of the students I taught were illegal immigrants. Who’s paying for that? The taxpayer. Who’s paying for their breakfasts and lunches? The taxpayer. And, you know, when I asked those children, because I was so curious, I never heard of the notion of free breakfasts and free lunches and I’ve lived all around the world. And they have no idea why they get free lunches and free breakfast. It’s just an expectation. It’s almost like “Well, the governments gonna take care of me”, you know, and so it’s so sad no wonder, you know, I thought to myself, that the poor keep getting poorer because there’s no one to show them empowerment and independence and self-reliance rather than depending on a failing welfare system.”
OK, so TFA hired a Tea Partier and fired him four months later. Didn’t they correct their error? Well, yes, it was wise to fire him, but I think that the fact that someone with these views could rise so high in the organization is symptomatic of something that has plagued TFA for a while. Hiring this guy is yet another example of what sloppy decision making this organization continues to make on a daily basis.
Watching this guy speak his opinions, there is no way that he was able to fake his way through an interview saying just the things that he would think that TFA wanted him to hear. He does not seem capable of keeping these thoughts to himself. I think this also shows that they are being forced to hire people like this since people who have a clue are now staying far away from the organization. If you think this guy is scary, think about the five people that he beat out for that job.