Journeys To Belonging 

Ilene Winokur AlZaid, Ed.D.
About Me

Dr. Ilene Winokur AlZaid has lived in Kuwait for more than thirty-five years and recently retired as Director of the Foundation Program Unit (Math and English) at Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST). She taught and was an administrator at the early childhood and elementary levels, in addition to teaching intensive English in private institutions in Kuwait for twenty-five years. She is currently blogging about her experience living in Kuwait and Buffalo, New York. She is also providing support to refugee teachers around the world. Ilene’s new podcast, Journeys to Belonging, features guests sharing how they feel they belong.

Ilene is a Wakelet and Buncee Ambassador. She also serves on the leadership teams of ISTE Global Collaboration Network and TESOL International Refugee Concerns interest section (RCIS).

Listen to Ilene's conversation on Barbara Bray's "Rethinking Learning podcast, we discuss belonging and finding your WHY during a crisis.


The idea for the blog came about after numerous conversations with people I met who asked me how I managed to move halfway around the world to Kuwait over 35 years ago and feel comfortable living in a totally different culture and environment. After much soul searching, I realized I feel a sense of belonging in my hometown of Buffalo, NY, and also in my adopted home, Yarmouk, Kuwait. I realized there are many who never 'settle down' or feel comfortable after they move to a foreign country, so I started writing about my experiences.

Ilene has been blogging regularly since September 2019.

Ilene was recently featured by Getting Smart as a Difference Maker. 


The idea for Journeys to Belonging podcast was a result of blogging

about my journey to feel a sense of

belonging in Kuwait. Ilene has guests on every other week who share their own journeys to belonging.

Guests include Elizabeth Merce, Melisa Hayes, and Malinda Hurt, Scott Nunes, Dr. Sarah Thomas, Barbara Bray, and Jennifer Casa-Todd. 

Bringing Communities Together


Ilene has recently presented at international conferences about Belonging.

You can find resources and webinar recordings from some of the workshops. Other related recordings can also be found here.