Annie was born in Iran and migrated with her family to the USA as a young child. Her ethnicity is Azeri Iranian. She grew up speaking Farsi and learned English at school.
She is passionate about encouraging young people to not only maintain their mother tongue/s but to develop their capacity as multilingual learners.
She speaks Farsi (spoken as a mother tongue), English and also studied Spanish, Japanese and French. She lived and worked in the USA, Caribbean, Japan and France before moving to Ireland, where she has lived for nearly 20 years.
She is active in working in the area of asylum seeker and refugee education as an advocate for parents and an activist. She has taught in a refugee camp in northern France in particular with Farsi-speaking Kurds and Afghans.
Annie continues to work on shared projects with local, national and international stakeholders who work with and for ethnic minority children and families. She is the Chairperson of ELSTA, The English Language Support Teachers Association of Ireland.
Her area of interests include linguistic, cultural and ethnic identity. She has provided training for educators and teachers in training in the area of culturally and linguistically responsive practice as it relates to the wellbeing and sense of belonging in school of young people.
She has recently worked with the INTO Equality Committee and designed and implemented a course on promoting diversity and preventing and addressing racism that ran in 2021 with a more interactive course in 2022.