Fort Bend Christian Academy Teacher Robert Mirza the Polyglot

Kaden Lewis, Jose Venegas and Robert Mirza.

Fort Bend Christian Academy (FBCA) teacher Robert Mirza is both an artist and linguist. Not only has he lived all over the globe, but he can speak and think in seven languages. As a polyglot, Mirza has a deep appreciation of culture, aesthetics and the world as a whole.

“I started drawing with the concept of sharing an idea at age six, and I knew the importance of learning a third language at age seven,” said Mirza, who has lived in five countries including Egypt, Uruguay, Curaçao, Holland and Guadeloupe, a French overseas territory. Each language, Mirza said, has expressions that do not exist in other languages.

Fond Memories of  Living Around the Globe

Out of all of the places he has lived or visited, Curaçao has been Mirza’s favorite. Mirza’s family was a member of the Alliance Française of Curaçao from 1968 to 2000. “Living in the Caribbean is wonderful if you like to be close to the sea and if you appreciate a clean beach with transparent water,” Mirza said. “If you are a friendly and open-minded person, you would enjoy living on a tiny island with 55 different nationalities. If after living in a place, natives embrace you and tell you that you became a local, as opposed to treating you like a stranger, the country becomes your home.”

Mirza cherishes all of the countries he has experienced as each place has something extraordinary to offer. “In Egypt, due to the fertility of the Nile, no fruit or vegetable I ever ate anywhere on earth tasted as good as Egyptian fruits or vegetables. The hospitality in Egypt is something that is taken very seriously, and the host always spoils his guests.”

His jovial nature is evident in his memories, as Mirza is capable of taking what many would deem annoying, such as a rooster crowing every morning in Guadeloupe, and illuminating the good – not needing an alarm clock to wake up at the Ecole Normal, a school where students are trained to be teachers.

Why Mirza Came to Houston

With such extraordinary and wonderful experiences abroad, many wonder how Mirza ended up in Texas. The answer is simple: Mirza wanted to teach. “It was 1979. Besides languages, I also loved teaching art and producing art.”

Mirza has created many works of art inspired by his travels, including an oil painting of a Dutch windmill and another of a pontoon bridge in Curaçao. He had a few options of schools where he could pursue his artistic endeavors. “California seemed too expensive. Miami seemed dangerous. Houston was and still is a booming and friendly city.”

Teaching at FBCA

FBCA students studying French admit that it is not an easy class, but they enjoy it nonetheless. Student Jose Venegas said he admired Mirza’s teaching style and his humility and kindness. “I like the way he teaches French by comparing it to art. I have improved my French, because he encourages us to keep trying even if we are having trouble.”

His relevant tidbits and inspiring anecdotes engage learners, and the FBCA community is thankful to have gifted educators like Mirza. Why did he choose to teach at a private, Christian school? “It’s like I was saying about the island of Curaçao with its transparent waters and way of making you feel like you belong there. FBCA has transparent people with the same noble goal of working as a team for the benefit of the students and following the example of Jesus Christ openly. Who wouldn’t like to be part of an educational system where we celebrate the students, their present and future, while at the same time, we celebrate the joy of Christ?”

Mirza began teaching in the middle of the fall semester, taking over classes for the beloved Claude Boutin. French IV student Kaden Lewis said, “I already spoke French proficiently, but after Monsieur Boutin passed away, I was left with very little interaction with other people where I was speaking French. I also lost a little hope in learning the French language. However, Monsieur Mirza aided all of the students through that process while still giving us very good instruction in the language. I am grateful for him helping me regain the drive to continue learning the language. He has aided us in learning the language and thinking more deeply about it on a day-to-day basis.”