Friday, 28 December 2012

Enjoy Palestinian Cookies

Palestinian Days: Palestinian Food in LSU School's Kitchen.
By :Tamara Halasi

Do you want to make chocolate, jam,zatar and olivescookies? LSU Schools' students will tell you how!

Palestinian Pastry Ingredients :
  • 2 Kilos Flour
  • 1 glass Milk
  • 2 glasses olive oil or (any oil)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 spoon salt
  • 1 spoon sugar
  • packing pouder or yeast
  • water
  • Jam,Zaater ,Olives and Chocolate  
I hope you enjoy eating :) :)
Tamara Halasi

Friday, 21 December 2012

Planning for Palestine-LSU School Twinning Club Party

Planning for the Part :) :) 
by Tamara Halasi
After 6 weeks from starting the twinning club ,we have a party to promote the club and CADFA activities in Palestine and UK.
The party includes: CADFA stall ,music,film,Palestinian food and presentation.

Wait the party's photos
Tamara Halasi

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Goodbye Abu Dis Girls!

This week was the last week of sessions at Abu Dis Girls.

Unfortunately the strikes have started again!  Teachers have not received their salaries from last month.  As you might have noticed, strikes are common here because the Palestinian Authority (PA) are constantly late in paying wages.  Following Palestine's upgrade to UN non-member observer state, Israel have carried out their threat of withholding money from the PA.

As there was a full day of strikes on Monday, I sadly did not have the final session with the grade 9 students I have been working with.  They were a lovely, chatty bunch and I wish them all the best for the future!

The session with grade 11 continued as normal, however, I did not have a full class this time!  I had a small group of students who told me they spent their day yesterday relaxing, as well as studying for exams they had earlier today.  I continued the session on London with grade 11, following the delay due to the funeral last week.  They were shocked to hear about the number of cold-related deaths that take place in winter because people are homeless or cannot afford to heat their houses.  They believe that the government should take greater responsibility for this.  They were also surprised to hear about the problems with the police, such as the issue of discrimination when using stop-and-searches.

After speaking to the headmistress, I hope the group I had will be able to continue sessions with the next set of volunteers, group 6.

I enjoyed my time here and want to thank the teachers and the support staff for being so accommodating!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Learning about London & Israeli settlements

The past two weeks grade 9 have been learning about life in London using a powerpoint.  I showed them pictures of the public transport system, parks and homes in London: terraced houses and council estates.  We also discussed how expensive London is to live in, making it difficult for many people to survive as well as the high number of homeless people.

Whilst showing them the cyclists in London, many girls said they have bikes and scooters which they enjoy using.  However, they only use them around their homes and not in the road.  Cycling in Abu Dis is not found as commonly as in London!

Grade 11 were also excited to see the diversity in London and amazed at the number of people at the protest against the attack on Gaza.  I was unable to see them this week as the previous headteacher had passed away.  She was a big part of the life for the teachers and students here as she was a very active woman.  She had taught the current headmistress, Miss Nidal, as well as many of the other teachers there.  Therefore last Tuesday the students spent the day reading Qu'ran; one could hear the Qu'ran verses being played on the sound system.

The funeral was that day, as in Islam people are buried within three days of passing away.  The teachers and students and arranged to attend.  The school has a marching band who also played at the funeral.  Talking to Miss Nidal I learnt that the previous headteacher had passed away from cancer.  She was talking about how the rate of cancer has increased drastically here but they do not know why.

Not too far from Abu Dis is a rubbish dump containing all the waste from the illegal Israeli settlements in Jerusalem.  As well as this, Ma'ale Adummim, which is one of the largest settlements (the population is six larger than the population of Abu Dis!) pumps raw sewage into land that belongs to families in Abu Dis and where the Bedouin (travelling) community live.  The instance of leukemia is much higher than the average as a result.  The Bedouins in this community will be greatly affected by the E1 settlement project that Israel are currently planning.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

After various delays: First sessions at Abu Dis Girls!

Unfortunately there were further delays in starting at Abu Dis Girls since they had mid-term exams during Guy Fawkes.  Tahmina will now be working with two groups, Grade 9 on Monday and Grade 11 on Tuesday.

Grade 9 saw the pictures of Camden School for Girls, which they were very impressed by.  Some of the girls even said they now want to go to school in London!

Grade 11 and I spoke about what their roles are in the twinning relationship, to learn from the students in London about life there and to teach them about life in Palestine.  We discussed what they wanted to tell the students in London.  Of the things we discussed, one of the key points that one student made is that the main issue here is the lack of freedom.  This lack is mostly, the following through travel restrictions that affect other aspects of life.  The students mentioned the following:
-cannot travel to Jerusalem or 1948 (Israel)
-cannot get medical care because hospital is in Jerusalem
-checkpoints manned by Israeli soldiers make it difficult to get employment as cannot get to 1948 for work
-Separation/Occupation Wall has taken land
-no security: checkpoints with Israeli soldiers make some areas unsafe to be around

It was really interesting talking to them, and they are looking forward to learning more about London and students there.  Next week I will be showing both classes the blog and a Powerpoint about life in London as well as information on La Sainte Union and Camden School for Girls to which they are twinned.