Sunday, 15 December 2013


 Hello from a snowy Abu Dis! This week, storm Alexa has hit the Middle East, bringing lots of rain... and snow! No public transport, floods, power cuts, and NO SCHOOL this week. How's the weather like in London? Do you have snow yet?

While we wait for the girls to go back to school, here are some pictures of Palestine in the snow.

An article in The Guardian talking about storm Alexa:

Friday, 13 December 2013

The ID game

Today me (Waad) & Safia we went to Camden girls school, where we had a massive number of girls which we were really happy about. We looked at the blog and the girls read about the young girl from Abu Dis who died at the check point. After that we played the ID game (Marry you know it, don't you?) and the girls had loads of questions which we were really happy to answer.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Palestinian Food ........

Today, Me and Suzan wanted to show to the girls how  delicious the palestinian food was ! We prepared some traditional food : Za'atar with bread , and Olive Oil ! humous, and some tasty Olives .... :) ! We spent a good time with the girls, and also with Una ; and hope they discovered more about Palestine !

Picture coming soon !

   Dip the  bread in olive oil and than dip it into the za’atar, though some people like to mix the za’atar and oil together

Saturday, 30 November 2013

News from Abu Dis

More strikes in Abu Dis! Public schools have called for regular strikes in the last few weeks throughout the whole of Palestine! The Girls School was closed both last week and the week before and unfortunately will be closed tomorrow.

Some sad news from Palestine:
This week a 14-year old girl from Abu Dis died on the way to a hospital in Betlehem, after finding the 'Container' checkpoint closed. The girl suffered from severe pneumonia and didn't make it to the next hospital. The news are even sadder as this is not the first time that similar episodes happen, many people have died on their way to the hospital because of closed checkpoints or because soldiers didn't let them pass.

Friday, 29 November 2013

We Want To Play a Football Match!!!

   I (Suzan) and Safia went to Camden girls school for our regular lunch club, where we met Una( the teacher who runs the lunch club ) and there were 7 girls waiting for us:) We were supposed to do the IDs game but  I found that I brought half cards so Safia suggested to show a video entitled (We Want To Play a Foot ball Match) which was made by  Palestinian children who enacted the reality of our land.

    It was about some children who  wanted to play a football match just near a small playground local to their home. So they actually went but the Israeli soldiers stopped them and started to ask them about their IDs and one of the soldiers hit a boy so his friend tried to defend  him but the soldiers hit him and took him to the prison!

    So after they watched the video I asked them what can you now tell us about what you saw, and really they were so smarts and asked a lot of questions :) I can tell now that those girls started to understand the situation in Palestine . Next Friday the girls suggested if we could have  lunch together and they said they would prefer it if we brought some Palestinian food like zaatr, bread, olive oil, olives :) we will have fun :D

  I took  pictures of the girls and the lunch club but we still are waiting the permit from the parents of the girls :)

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Introduction to the Human Right Media School

I went today to the school alone, where I met Erica (the teacher who runs the lunch club) and we went to meet 16 girls who wanted to know more about the Human Right Media School project. Erica talked about it very well . I and the other girls (Louise, Katrina, and Jessica who help in running the lunch club) answered the questions after the discussion. Erica handed out all the leaflets and asked the girls who were so interested in it to start contacting  her or even on Cadfa's website which is written on the leaflet.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Abu Dis Girls School on strike

Teachers at the Abu Dis Girls School are on strike for 3 days, following a 2-week strike during which the students went home early every day. See you next week!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Menus, strikes, and French!

Today we moved classroom and we used the French laboratory! The girls imagined they opened a restaurant in London and designed a menu of the delicious food they would offer!

Here are the menus. The names they chose for their restaurants were: Seyran Restaurant, Friends' Restaurant, and Love Restaurant! They offer a series of Palestinian and Middle Eastern delicacies as well as international food like burgers and chips.

Once again, we didn't have a session with the 7th grade, because teachers have been on strike for a week now and students go home 2 hours early!

Some posters we found in the classroom:

Sunday, 3 November 2013

London and Palestine: how are they different?

The session with grade 9 today focussed on learning more about London. This is what the students already knew about it (including some local attractions)

 Then we asked the question: what is the same and what is different between London and Palestine? The girls had lots of ideas but unfortunately had to go early because they had to get ready for an exam!

Unfortunately there was no session with the 7th grade, because teachers all over Palestine have called for a strike to improve their salaries and working conditions.

Monday, 28 October 2013

A trip to camden and the madness of Pink Day!

Our first visit to Camden girls school was 'a pink day' where all the students & the teachers were wearing pink clothes! We don't have this type of event in Palestinian girls schools, though it is a great way to fund raise for breast cancer patients - we would love to have such events in Palestinian schools, which would be fun and useful for others too!
We are so excited to meet the girls properly but not this week because it is the holiday for the next term of the year, so we are looking forward to seeing them in two weeks ! ;)

A talent show at CSG to raise money for breast cancer
showcasing students' best pink outfits !

Sunday, 27 October 2013

London! Expect some cards from Abu Dis!

Dear London, 

Today we worked on... something for you! We will be sending our letters to your school with our volunteer, Waad, who will be travelling to London soon! Just wait and see...

Here are the girls at work:

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Posters in LSU School

Today we went to LSU School and, we met Erika  and two girls there, we discussed some subjects about,  how to advertising and tell the students about our activities and programmes  through, wrıtıng a bıg poster to be hung on the wall, including a pictures for the map of palestine to let the students know about the place obviously.
during our speech Suzan told them about the Olympic Winter, and 18 of the students in Palestine will come next December, to practise some sports in London and to let them to share with the other.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Meet the students at the Abu Dis Girls School!

Hello from Abu Dis !

Today I finally had the first session with the 7th and 9th grade. So exciting!

After introducing each other, we brainstormed some ideas about what TWINNING means, why we do it, and how you make a twinning [see some ideas below]. The girls focused on communication and wanted to ask the girls in London if they would like to exchange emails or Facebook! What do you say?? :D

 The girls also introduced themselves on paper so that the students in Camden can get to know them, and hopefully reply to their questions! Have a look below!

Mary with the 9th grade in the library

The girls of grade 7 drawing (see below!)

Some ideas about twinning

Meet the girls in Grade 7! Here is what they drew and wrote about their lives. The girls in Grade 9 wrote some short letters that I will send to the volunteers in London so that their students can get to know them as well!

And finally... an artwork that we found at the school... Some students had made some sheep in preparation for 'Eid, which was last week (on the 15th of October)!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Strike !!!

Our meeting at LSU today was cancelled as many teachers were striking against their pay, 
pensions and workload. In Palestine we are very familiar with school closures - teachers 
equally object to their working conditions and the lack of finances but they also protest 
against the political situation. 

Monday, 14 October 2013

يوم التجمع الطلابي في مدرسة LSU

يوم التجمع الطلابي في مدرسة LSU
,  اليوم كان جيدا ذهبنا إلى المدرسة  , لحضور التجمع الطلابي التي تعقده المدرسة, بداية بدأت نفيس في الكلام وتحدثت عن الأوضاع التي تعانيها فلسطين واخبرتهم عن مدى سعادتها واهتمامها بفلسطين وتحدثت عن الفترة التي امضتها في فلسطين كمتطوعة وما مدى اهتمامها في حقوق الانسان وانها ستدرس هذا المجال في دراستها الجامعية وان الدافع الذي جعلها تختار هذا المجال هو انتهاك حقوق الانسان في فلسطين وهي تعتبرها خير مثال على ذلك.
وبعد ذلك تحدثت سوزان عن مدى اهمية حقوق الانسان و تحدثت باختصار عن مجال عملنا مع المؤسسة وان الهدف الرئيسي من ذلك هو رفع مدى الوعي في مجال حقوق الانسان وخلق روابط بين الطلاب في ابو ديس ولندن وتعزيز العلاقات في ما بينهم للوصول الى مستقبل افضل,

Assembly day in LSU School

Today we went to LSU School to attend an assembly where Nafis - a student in the sixth form - talked to the students about her experience of visiting Palestine this summer and encouraged others to attend the Palestinian Twinning Club in order to learn more about what it is like living in Palestine.  Suzan also introduced herself to the students and she told them why she is here and what she is doing and about our aims here in London. We hope to see some new faces at the lunch time meeting this Thursday!  

Friday, 11 October 2013

Our second trip to LSU school

We started our day as usual, at the morning we went to the office and, we were talking about the activities which we will be for the next week, after that we ( Tariq and Suzan) went to LSU school, and we met Miss Arrika, Jessica, Lous, Nafi's, and some girls from the school. We had a plan for the assembly which will be held next monday. Nafis is going to talk about the background of the situation in Palestine and will introduce us to the students, after that she will encourage them to take a part in an Assembly where we will talk in front of 150 of student in order to explain to them about the challenges in Palestine.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

First day at the Abu Dis Girls School

Hello London!

My first day at the Girls School in Abu Dis did not go exactly as expected, as we did not manage to have our first session with the girls. However, after arranging the schedule for next time (Sunday after the 'Eid holiday), Waad and I briefly met with the girls from the 7th grade. None of the girls have been part of a twinning before. After the first introductions, explanations of the project, an attempted introduction in a rudimentary Arabic from my side (Ismee Mary!), and lots of questions, we had to let the girls go back to their class. First impressions: lots of excitement in the air, it seems we will be having lots of fun! Looking forwards to meeting the 8th and 9th grade next week!

Mary with the 7th grade girls.

 Graffiti at the Girls School

 Map of the Arab world

Graffiti saying: "Whenever there is love and harmony, we will definitely create something good"

 The Abu Dis Girls School

Monday, 7 October 2013

The beginning of a new term!

A new, exciting term is starting for the twinning groups in England and Palestine. Yesterday, Matthew and I (Mary), the two new volunteers in Abu Dis, had a tour of the schools where we will be facilitating the twinning links and met with the principals and teachers. We can’t wait to meet the students this week!

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 can do 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.


Thursday, 30 May 2013

Something you want to show from London ?

We asked the pupils at LSU to bring something which can represent their life in London.
So, the students brought different things like an umbrella, the oyster card...
Indeed, its things which they use often in London

English quizz for Palestinians' kids

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Traditions and Cultures

Monday 13th May,

Today we looked at cultures and traditions in different countries around the world. We began by seeing if they could match up the cultures and traditions of different countries with each other using picture cards. We then talked about important traditions in Palestine which included, music, food, dabke, embroidery, traditional houses and symbols of Palestine. We also taught them about important traditions and cultures in Britain, they were surprised to hear that British food is a mix of food from all over the world! Then they wrote and drew about traditions that were important to them. Many students drew the Dome of the Rock and expressed their sadness at not being allowed to visit it.

Some of the students great work:

Hope and Dreams

Monday 6th May, 2013

Working with the 8th grade students we looked at future plans, hopes and dreams. After brainstorming lists of jobs we got the students to think about their future and what job they would like to do. We encouraged them to think about where they would like to live, what they would like to study at University and any hopes they have. They came up with lots of interesting ideas, and many wrote about travelling and learning English.

Here are some ideas that they came up with:

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Palestine Quizz

What continent is Palestine in?

2.     What language do people speak in Palestine?

3.     What is the capital of Palestine?

4.     Another famous city in Palestine?

5.     Name one sea that is next to Palestine?

6.     Name one sort of Palestinian food?

7.     A famous Palestinian?

8.     What religions do people have in Palestine?

9.     One thing that Palestine is famous for?

10.                       One problem that people have in Palestine?

We gave this Palestine questionnaire to the students and they did it by pairs. The answers were heterogeneous so, it was funny.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Talking about Twinning April 2013

Great start to working with a new group of students at Abu Dis girls school. First we looked at twinning and talked about the work that Camden (CADFA) does, the girls were interested in hearing more about the schools that they are twinned with in London. Working together the girls thought of questions that they would like to ask Camden girls school and LSU, hopefully we will film them soon and upload them to the blog. It would be great the get a reply from the schools in London!


With a 9th grade class we spent a lesson looking at human rights, a topic we feel is really important, especially here in Palestine. Everyone made a paper chain doll, and wrote on them what they thought human rights represented. We then looked at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and talked about which they though were the most important. The girls had lots of interesting ideas about human rights in Palestine and we discussed how they thought their human rights were effected living in Palestine. One example that came up was that they are not allowed to go to Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The separation wall means that people who live in Abu Dis are unable to get to Jerusalem which was once only a five minute journey away. These are some photos of the great work that they have been doing, hopefully there will be lots more to come!