Hanan Al Hroub a winner with the panel, her students and the pride of Palestine
Hanan Al Hroub an elementary teacher from Bethlehem in the West Bank, won over a global panel of judges in Dubai on Saturday which led to her being granted a major award for outstanding contribution to her profession. She shouted, “I did it, I won!” as she she learned she was the winner of the $1 million prize. The Pope, former US president Bill Clinton and Prince William were among those to lavish praise on the contenders sending messages of support. Actors Parineeti Chopra, Matthew McConaughey and Salma Hayek also congratulated teachers participating on their achievements.
Younes Arar a Palestinian human rights defender from Hebron stated, “We make life. The Palestinian Hanan Al Hroub the winner of the Global Teacher Prize 2016…From suffering the hope is born, well done Hanan and keep up the good work and spirit, 13 March 2016.”
Al Hroub grew up in a refugee camp often witnessing violence. She learnt through her own struggles how to overcome adversity using her personal experience to help others. She told International Business Times,
“My life was really hard in the refugee camp. If we are talking about childhood, children in the camp didn’t have one…. It was hard for adults and children. We were restricted from all our needs. Palestinians suffer everywhere, whether in a refugee camp or not.”
Akshay Kumar wanted to meet Ahanan al-Hroub, a first class teacher
Akshay Kumar, Indian actor, producer and martial artist who has appeared in over a hundred Hindi films posted on his Facebook page,
“Honoured to meet Hanan Al Hroub, winner of the Global Teacher Prize and an exceptional Palestinian primary school teacher who grew up in a refugee camp. She educates her students about non-violence.#TeachersMatter “
Al Hroub works at Samiha Khalil Secondary School gaining the trust of children in her care often troubled by horrors they have witnessed in their short lives. She uses techniques developed herself and documented in a book, ‘We Play and Learn” encouraging working together, respect and care for others.
The Varkey Foundation who gave the prize is a not-for-profit organisation established to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children throughout the world focusing on high-quality teaching. It was set up by Sonny Varkey who is involved in education mainly in the Middle East. The organization believes “every child deserves a vibrant, stimulating learning environment that awakens and supports their full potential”. Their statement on Al Hroub said,
“She went into primary education after her children were left deeply traumatised by a shooting incident they witnessed on their way home from school. Her experiences in meetings and consultations to discuss her children’s behaviour, development and academic performance in the years that followed led Hanan to try to help others who, having grown up in similar circumstances, require special handling at school.”
Al Hroub highlights the importance of literacy and likes to reward positive behaviour. Her methods have led to a decrease in violence in the community.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”