A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Point/Perk barrister Maggie Shiekh happily shares her tatoo body art — in Hebrew

By Andy Furman

She wears her emotions on her sleeve.

Well, technically on her arm.

And, by the way those emotions are in the form of a tattoo – in Hebrew.

Maggie Shiekh proudly shows off her work of art every Thursday and Friday at The Point/Perk Coffee Shop – those are the two-days-a-week she works as a barrister.
She serves as School Psychologist at Withrow University High School the other three days.

“The tattoo,” she says, “really serves as a conversation piece.”

So, translate it for us, Maggie.

Maggie Shiekh and her arm tattoo — in Hebrew.

“I am my beloved, and my beloved is mine,” she quickly reels off. Maggie celebrated her fifth year of marriage in May and says those words appear on her marriage license as well.

“In Hebrew, of course,” she said. “And the marriage license in Hebrew is called Ketubuah.”

The signing of the Ketubah, in a Jewish wedding, is an important ritual. It takes place before the actual wedding, usually on the same day.

Maggie Shiekh has been with The Point/Arc – a non-profit for individuals with I/DD – intellectual and developmental disabilities some six years.

“I heard about The Point/Arc through a friend living in Covington,” she said. “I’ve been working daily with I/DD children for years and The Point/Arc – especially The Point/Perk, allows me to combine my love for coffee and love and passion to serve those with I/DD.”

This year The Point/Arc celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The organization was founded in 1972 by a group of parents fighting for the educational rights of their children, who were diagnosed with an intellectual and developmental (I/DD) disability.

The mission – to help people with disabilities achieve their highest potential educationally, socially, residentially and vocationally. More than this, The Point/Arc has been an organization that identifies gaps in services and provides care and support to fill these gaps – even when government funding sources are not available.

A graduate of Ohio University in Athens with a degree in Psychology, Shiekh earned her Master’s Degree in School Psychology from the University of Cincinnati.

“I’ve been at Withrow for a year,” she said, “but working in schools for close to seven.”

And by the way, the elbow art isn’t the only one on Maggie Shiekh’s body.

“My shoulders are covered,” she said, “I have about 10 total.”

The kids at Withrow, she says like her tattoos – and like what she does for them.

“I test them for Special Education, do community work with the high school students, prepare the seventh and eighth graders for high school, and cultivate their interests,” she said.

“I’ll try and get the students to interact, those with few friends, and, of course help with reading and math — and there’s always the high school drama to deal with.”

The transition to The Point/Arc was an easy one for her.

“It’s all about getting to know people, how they work with each other,” she said. “And I just love the people I work with. Teaching the I/DD workers here at The Point/Perk and seeing them in action gives me complete pleasure.”

Almost as much as a cup of coffee brewed at the Point-Perk.

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