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Quote TG12345 Replybullet Topic: Zleikha's kindegarten- donation oppurtunity
    Posted: 22 August 2015 at 9:11pm
Earlier this month, on August 5th, we paid a visit to a very special place in Hebron.

Tucked away in a small room in an apartment that is shared with CPT, Zleikha Muhtaseb runs a summer school program. Zleikha is an experienced teacher, with many years behind her. Her compassion and care for her pupils is evident in everything she says and does.

Zleikha started a kindegarten in the Souq in 2003, after the Israeli military's complete closure of Shuhada Street, which began in 1994 after the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre. The kids living in the area used to earlier go to a kindegarten outside the Old City (where the Souq is located), but after the street was closed down, and Palestinians were forbidden to walk on most of it, that became very difficult. As a kindegarten teacher, Zleikha has seen her small learners stopped and harassed by soldiers at checkpoints, and attacked by settlers. The kindegarten that she started for many was a safer place to learn.

As their teacher, Zleikha often watches her pupils as they leave school. Although the settlers are less of a problem now in the Souq, the roving patrols of soldiers definitely are. Like a lioness protecting her cubs, Zleikha stands by her kids. When her kids are picked up or arrested, Zleikha co-ordinates with the local YMCA to try to help them.

She also helps organize workshops for mothers. It can be challenging enough to raise kids. It is even more challenging to raise them amidst clashes, sound grenades, rubber coated steel bullets, live fire, and teargas. Many Palestinian children are traumatized by what they see around them. Zleikha tries to help them and their parents to cope and to try to have some semblance of normalcy in a terrible situation that no one should ever live through.

Zleikha's kindegarten functions also as a learning centre for kids who need extra help in English, Arabic and Math. During the summer time, kids come there to both learn English and to take part in fun activities. That one little apartment flat where all this takes place, also is a centre of learning for children's mothers, where they take worskshops on gardening, food processing, cooking, and literacy.

Some of us ISMers came by one day, for a fun afternoon of games and candy and juice, with her summer school kids, who age from grades kindegarten to 9.

Seeing these kids laugh and run around and play really did me a world of good.

In Hebron and the West Bank, I often see kids go through what no child should have to live with. In Hebron, I see kids being detained, having their bags searched, being blindfolded, being roughed up and beaten. In the city and the villages, I see them going to clashes, sometimes goaded on by older youth and adults, sometime without any direction. Using their slings, they throw rocks at heavily armed soldiers, who shoot them in the head with rubber coated steel bullets, or choke them with teargas. The kids in Hebron H2 face the same water shortages, abuses from soldiers, and attacks from settlers that their parents face.
They grow up in a world where they see cruelty and injustice everyday, a world where going out to play or walking to school is a dangerous endeavor, where neither they or their parents know what will happen next.

For an hour or two, they were able to play and run around and socialize and be kids, away from the men with guns outside. It was great to see, and writing about it today still almost brings tears to my eyes.

I pray that one day they get a chance to have a childhood in a country where there is no occupation or violence, and they and their parents can live with the dignity that God wills for them and for every other human being on earth.

To learn more about Zleikha's kindegarten, please see the site below.

If you would like to support her financially in the work she is doing, please see consider making a donation. It will go a long way, and will make a difference in the lives of many deserving kids.

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Quote abuayisha Replybullet Posted: 23 August 2015 at 7:46am
Originally posted by TG12345

I pray that one day they get a chance to have a childhood in a country where there is no occupation or violence, and they and their parents can live with the dignity that God wills for them and for every other human being on earth.

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