Palestinian teacher wins prestigious Global Teacher Prize

Hanan Al Hroub, who lives in Dheisha, one of the three Palestinian refugee camps in Bethlehem, earned the most prestigious award in education last Sunday. She plans to use the $1 million dollars in prize money to help her students go to university.Hanan says she didn't have much of a childhood because of the occupation; but she is now devoting her life to giving a better childhood to the children of Bethlehem, and turning them away from violence.She decided to pursue education after her children saw her husband get shot and began expressing anger and even violence, she started organizing games with neighborhood children and saw immediate positive results. After that, she became a teacher and worked to replace the violent atmosphere of the occupation that the children were growing up in to one of love and peace. She works especially with traumatized children and refugees and her ideas have helped significantly reduce violence in schools. She is also now training other Palestinian teachers and guidance counselors in her methods.“We just want to live in peace; we want our children to enjoy their childhoods in peace” said Hanan Al Hroub "We must teach our children that our only weapon is knowledge and education."Other finalists for the prize included Aqeela Asifi, a refugee from Afghanistan living in Pakistan who works to teach refugee children in a school she founded, and Ayub Mohamud, who teaches business in Kenya and developed a project to counter violent extremism and radicalization.