Thursday 27 June 2013

Update on the kids' visit from Palestine

Update on the kids' visit from Palestine

Following the Israelis’ holding the head teacher from Abu Dis Boys' School at the border to Jordan, our 16 Palestinian visitors including 12 children did not manage to get to their flight on Sunday. They had been planning to join us for five days in Devon followed by a week in London.

It’s hard to describe how disappointing this is. The very best we cando now is to bring the whole group to Britain NEXT SUNDAY. This means that the days in Devon cannot happen, this time, and the programme will need to be reorganised completely.

We are taking up the case of Mazen Salahaldin, the Headteacher who has not been allowed to travel. We would be grateful if you would help by asking your MP about it and by getting press attention for this if you can.


Wednesday 23 May 2012

Creativity and drama was our theme at the New Elementary school today. The children in my year 3 (Uk yr4) love acting and drama, so the activity was a success. Firstly, we recapped the body parts in English and they passed this in flying colours. Their English is amazing at this school, not only because they have amazing English
teachers but the kids here are really interested in languages. Spanish, French and English are amongst the languages that are taught here.

We then moved onto imagining our own monsters; how many heads would the monster have? What would its main qualities be? What would it look like? These were some of the main questions that the children had to tackle. Once we'd perfectly imagined this we put our ideas onto paper. Below are some of the brilliance the children came up with.

Once we were focused on our monsters and what type of monsters we wanted to be, the remainder of our day consisted of acting out our monsters in different scenarios. We (including myself) really got involved, 
rolling on the floor, eating one another, we were so into it that we were told to keep it down for
distubing other classes. Oops!

Some of the children's ideas of 'monster' was slightly different to the mainstream..

Sunday 20 May 2012

My year 5 (UK year 6) class at Abu Dis Elementary went home tired today. The weather was perfect; the sun was out but it was not too hot, so we thought we would have a P.E session outside. The children showed me many of their own games, ball games, tag, some of the boys  gave me a run for my money on the hula hoop. We then had a series of ball games, which got slightly competitive, but nevertheless entertained and exhausted us all! I'm sure the children were happy to hear the end of the day bell and with the last talk from the class teacher we were all able to go home..and rest!

Wednesday 16 May 2012

As always, the Elementary school: one of Abu Dis' main primary schools, was buzzing this morning! Like everywhere in the world, playtime is hectic with boys and girls running about either kicking a football or playing a game of tag. Every time I appear, many run over and speak to me in Arabic (initially thinking that I can speak Arabic, but quickly switching to English after one of my students smugly corrects them that I am not Arab).

The children at this school are always a pleasure to work and be with. Firstly, they are extremely enthusiastic and are keen to talk, expressing themselves often in English. They are also very hard working; as can be seen below, a Grade  3 (UK year 5) class busy learning vocabulary for which they will be tested on later.

Not only are the children great, but the teachers at this school are amazing too. The staff room is always alive with the stories and laughter of the women. They always try and incorporate me into the conversation, as I sit there trying to decipher what is going. Nadia, an Arabic teacher recites poetry for me. Like nearly all the teachers in the school she is a mother of 5 and like most, finished her training whilst raising her children.

She is a determined and passionate individual. They all are. Despite the hardship that the occupation has brought both on her career and her role as a mother, she still smiles and excitedly moves onto explaining her weekend with the in laws.  I sit there in awe of these women.

Sunday 13 May 2012

For the last few weeks, working with children at the New Generation primary school in Abu Dis has both been interesting and so much fun! 

I have a fruitful time with my year 6 class who enjoy drama and English. They're acting skills most definitely surpass mine! They always have the ability to make me laugh, mixing their stories and acting with comedy. Teaching the children games that I played at school when I was younger has taken me back to those years, and is probably one of the reasons why I always (despite my age) join in and (unashamedly) compete against even my Year 5's. 

The children are very creative, often adding their own twist to the games. Playing ''What's the time Mr Wolf?'' is never going to be the same again..

  He decided to go solo, whilst his teammates look on..

 The walls of the school are covered with the alphabet and numbers, from French 
       to English to Spanish, and cartoons. This one makes me happy..

Friday 20 January 2012

Looking forward to meeting you :D

Marahaba Abu Dis Elementary School!

My name is Rukaiya and I am part of the new group of CADFA/EVS volunteers. I will be working with you over the next couple of months, starting at the beginning of February and I can't wait to meet you...

We have had such a wonderful time in Palestine so far and have been blown away by all the kind and friendly people that we have met so far but now I'm really looking forward to getting into school and working with you - hopefully we can have lots of fun together!

See you soon insha'Allah

PS: This week is Drama Week at Dar Assadaqa and we will be doing lots of fun activities throughout the week so make sure you come...and bring your friends!

Friday 13 January 2012

First steps.

Merhaba everyone,

Our first week here in Abu Dis has come to an end, and what an exhausting, amazing and eye-opening week it has been. Seeing it, experiencing it is very different from what you hear or what you see on the news.
We've been to Bethany, Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah, Jenin and Jerusalem; we have been invited to practically everyone's house here in Abu Dis and have been fed the most gorgeous food.
Palestinians are the smiley-ist people I have ever met, despite the harsh conditions they face on a daily basis. That is probably why people who visit Palestine get so attached to it.
I cannot wait to meet more kids and the students from the different schools.
I can feel that these next 3 months are going to be fantabolous!

And on this note, good night everyone - watch this space.

I'll leave with a picture I took at Aida Refugee Camp, last Sunday; because we have indeed been welcomed in the warmest way possible; with tea, coffee, hot khubz and bright smiles.