Bringing Global Connections to Life in the Palestinian Territories

Students of Al Quds School, Jerusalem, prepare a mural about "The Palestinan Woman." for the Art Miles Project.
Students of Al Quds School, Jerusalem, prepare a mural about “The Palestinan Woman.” for the Art Miles Project, 2010.

This winter, iEARN-Palestine is helping launch the new Chris Stevens Youth Network, which will create trustworthy networks of global peers that engage in meaningful dialogue and build mutual understanding. Noted Kahraman Arafa, Country Coordinator at iEARN-Palestine,

This reciprocal exchange will enrich our students’ lives through globally minded leadership development. Our educators and youth will benefit from the opportunity to exchange ideas around youth empowerment and free expression with partner educators and youth in the United States and other countries.

For 21 years, Palestinian classrooms have collaborated on numerous iEARN environmental, creative writing and creative arts projects with classrooms around the world. iEARN began in the Palestinian Territories in 1992, when a number of private schools, led by the Ramallah Friends Girls School, participated in projects focused on contemporary affairs. In 2001, as part of an initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and several other NGOs, iEARN installed donated computers and trained teachers in 12 government schools, six in Gaza and six on the West Bank. In 2005, iEARN secured funding to create a teacher-training center on the West Bank and to expand to additional government schools.

iEARN-Palestine has supported students like Jehad Halawani and Mahmoud Jabari, two young journalists who helped launch iEARN’s World Youth News. At the iEARN Annual International Conference in Cairo, Egypt in 2007, Jehad spoke about her experience:

The greatest experience so far is being in Egypt in 2007 for the 14th Annual iEARN Conference. iEARN helped me be open-minded and outgoing. I can now express my thoughts openly and clearly. It certainly affected my academic and professional life. I was studying physics and electronics before iEARN, but after getting involved in its activities through the network of many individuals, I am now thinking of getting education in political science or social development. This way can contribute to iEARN’s activities more productively and be a better ‘iearner’.

Mahmoud, who started his journalism activism at the age of 13 when he began his own magazine called “Peace Seeds,” served as iEARN-Palestine Youth Representative and reported for World Youth News and Al-Jazeera Talk. Mahmoud’s video examining the most vital challenge to peace and security facing his generation was featured at the UN Security Council session on December 21, 2010. At TEDxTeen, Mahmoud recounts the story of his first camera lens, which was made of LEGOs:

iEARN-USA is proud to be continuing its partnership with iEARN-Palestine, and we’d love your help to enable as many U.S. and Palestinian teachers and students as possible to engage in online, project-based collaborative learning.

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