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.

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