South Hebron Hills, Simia

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Michal (reporting and photographing), Ariela and Muhammad; Translator: Natanya

At the request of those who are active with the school in the village of Simia we visited there once again. It seems that the translation of the school name is not dafke, that which was reported last week, but “”challenge”  and Simia itself is “challenge 13”. It seems that there are 13 such schools in the occupied territories which are built and destroyed and built and destroyed. We arrived at the school the day after the ceremony of the foundation stone which had been done in the presence of the Palestinian Authority and chemical toilets, a water tank and another tent had been put up to be used as a room for the teachers.

From Simia, at  Muhammad's proposal, we continue to Zenuta, where the "Challenge 7" school is located, in order to meet the principal. We met the principal of the school, Fatma, an impressive young woman who told us about the school that had been destroyed three times. This impressive woman married at the age of 16, is the  mother of a 24 year old who is already an engineer. She herself returned to school after her marriage, attended university and now teaches there.

A bumpy road leads to the school and especially after rain, the road is not passable . The school staff brought raw material from quarries of the area to absorb the water, but the settlers in the area did not like the idea. One of the settlers dumped garbage at the entrance to the school. The principal tries to instill in the students values of culture, heritage and personal and social responsibility. At the end of the school day the children clean the classrooms themselves

As part of the tradition they dance the dahiya dance at the end of the school day.  Fatma said she was offered to run a normal school but she refused. She sees this school as a challenge..

A class room in the school
The school building in Zanuta
Map of the area