Honoring an Exceptional Palestinian Teacher
by Stephen Lendman
Hanan Al Hroub is no ordinary teacher. She’s 2016 Global Teacher’s Prize winner - selected as this year’s most deserving from among 8,000 others from 148 countries nominated for the international honor.
With it goes a $1 million award. She teaches at West Bank, Palestine’s Samiha Khalil secondary school.
In accepting the award in Dubai, she said “I am proud to be a Palestinian female teacher standing on this stage. I accept this as a win for all teachers in general and Palestinian teachers in particular.”
“Each day, the role of the teacher is reinforced and its importance confirmed as the world questions what future we want for our children.”
Her dedication to education and teaching method got her honored, focusing on nonviolence, “teaching through playing,” counseling Palestinian children traumatized by Israeli viciousness.
Palestinian education minister Sabri Saidam called her award a victory for Palestine and Palestinian teachers.
“We just want to live in peace,” says Hanan. “We want our children to enjoy their childhoods in peace.”
She grew up in the southern West Bank Duheisha refugee camp, exposed to Israeli violence throughout her life.
Now age 43, she began teaching primary-aged Palestinian children after her own were traumatized by an Israeli shooting incident they witnessed coming home from school.
She wants to help other Palestinian children emotionally scarred by similar experiences, devoting a special dedication to her work.
“No to violence,” says Hanan. “We Play and Learn,” the title of her book on how she teaches - focusing on developing trust, respect, literacy and closeness with her students, encouraging them to work together, mindful of their individual needs, and rewarding positive behavior.
Her classroom is a refuge from Israeli violence ravaging West Bank communities. She inspired other teachers to follow her example, shares her perspective and experiences at conferences, meetings and teacher training seminars.
She intends using her monetary award to help students and teachers in Palestine and elsewhere learn, grow and progress through education.
She hopes it can help Palestinians one day live free from occupation.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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