Canaanite teacher from a school at the archaeological site Tell Balata
near Nablus asks for his salary in a letter dated to around 1400 BC
(Photo, This Week In Palestine, October 2018)
SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY. . .
| EMBRACING THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION: A STORY OF HOPE, DETERMINATION, AND SUCCESS
It all started 25 years ago when Mr. Heikki Kokkala, a senior education specialist from Finland, and the late Mr. Khalil Mahshi, then director general of external relations at the Ministry of Education in Palestine, met at a UNESCO conference on education. . . . work had already started on developing the first-ever unified national curriculum which would replace the Jordanian and Egyptian curricula used in the West Bank and Gaza, respectively. [. . . .] the Finnish government was looking for ways to support the newly established Palestinian Authority and decided to direct its support to the education sector. ___Thus, Mr. Kokkala and Mr. Mahshi, with their many colleagues, began to design the first cooperation project between Finland and Palestine. More . . .
| SPREAD THE WORD: PALESTINE HAS ONE OF THE WORLD’S HIGHEST LITERACY RATES
Palestine ranks among countries with the world’s highest literacy rates, with only 3.3 percent of Palestinians aged 15 and over in the West Bank and Gaza Strip unable to read, according to a Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics report released on [September 6, 2018]. ___The report . . . shows that the illiteracy rate in Palestine has fallen by 10 percent over the past decade. This leaves Palestine with one of the lowest rates of illiteracy in the world . . . [. . . .] The figures come despite the difficulties faced by thousands of Palestinian students to reach their schools in the West Bank, including having to cross Israeli military checkpoints or the separation wall that disconnects their hometowns from where they attend school. More . . .
| ISRAEL TO REMOVE UNRWA TO ‘END LIE OF PALESTINIAN REFUGEE PROBLEM’
Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, announced on Thursday that he plans to remove the United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees from occupied East Jerusalem, which he accused of “operating illegally and promoting incitement against Israel.” ___Following the announcement on Thursday, the Jerusalem Municipality confirmed that UN schools, which serve about 1,800 students enrolled, would be closed . ___[. . . .] He claimed that these schools, clinics and sports centers were “illegal” and “operate without an Israeli license.” . . . the decision . . . was triggered after the United States administration decided to end all funding to UNRWA. More . . .
COMMENTARY AND OPINION. . . .
| ANCIENT SCHOOLS IN PALESTINE
Early forms of writing emerged gradually from pictorial representations of nature and human activities, [. . . including] early alphabets (such as the Proto-Canaanite script, Phoenician consonantal alphabet and Greek alphabet that also indicated vowels). The invention of writing necessitated the obvious need to learn it, and human history consequently witnessed the advent of a new profession: teaching. Palestine and Mesopotamia were among the early showplaces of this emerging skill . . . ___Early sources include . . . a Canaanite teacher from a school at the archeological site Tell Balata near Nablus asks for his salary in a letter dated to around 1400 BC . . . More . . .
NOTICES FROM ORGANIZATIONS. . . .
| JERUSALEM: WHAT MAKES FOR PEACE? Bright Stars of Bethlehem
Conference in Houston, Texas, on October 11. Part of the week-long Room for Hope festival.
| DAR AL-KALIMA UNIVERSITY. BRIGHT STARS OF BETHLEHEM GROWS HOPE AND HELPS BUILD A FUTURE FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS IN PALESTINE.
In a country with limited natural resources, Palestine’s human resources are its most valuable capital. Dar Al-Kalima University, through a comprehensive system of human resource development that reflects Palestine’s emerging needs, equips its students with vital skills for the 21st century job market. Bright Stars of Bethlehem envisions that most of the country’s future artists, musicians, actors, journalists, IT professionals, film-makers and the leaders of tomorrow are alumni of the University. More . . .
POEM FOR THE DAY. . . .
“THE ROSES AND THE DICTIONARY,” BY MAHMOUD DARWISH
Be that as it may,
I must . . .
The poet must have a new toast
And new anthems.
Traversing a tunnel of incense
And pepper and ancient summer,
I carry the key to legends and ruined monuments of slaves.
I see history an old man
Tossing dice and gathering the stars.
Be that as it may,
I must refuse death
Even though my legends die.
In the rubble I rummage for light and new poetry.
Did you realize before today, my love,
That a letter in the dictionary is dull?
How do they live, all these words?
How do they grow? How do they spread?
We still water them with the tears of memories
And metaphors and sugar.
Be that as it may,
I must reject roses that spring
From a dictionary or a diwan.
Roses grow on the arms of a peasant, on the fists of a laborer,
Roses grow over the wounds of a warrior,
And on the face of a rock.
From: THE PALESTINIAN WEDDING: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. ―Available from Palestine Online Store.