Introducing : Hasna Hussein Swaed
Hasna is our new first grade teacher. She completed her Diploma and gained her accreditation in Early Child Careat the Elnur Higher Education and Management Institute in Nazareth, and also completed studies at the Beit Berl College, giving her accreditation from the Israel Ministry of Education as an authorized kindergarten educator. In addition, she is currently completing her third year of Waldorf teacher training in Kibbutz Harduf. She has taught children in both kindergartens and schools. Now Hasna is preparing to assume a pioneer role as the first co-teacher in Ein Bustan's joint Arab-Jewish Class One, due to commence in September 2011, along with her Jewish counterpart Amir Shlomian. I asked Hasna to tell us about herself in her own words: here is her story. [Rachel Gottlieb]
I am originally from a small, *unrecognized village called Husniya. ( حسينية)
The village is in the north of Israel, perched between a mountain and a valley. It is a wonderful place with an amazing view. In my village we had neither electricity nor running water. In the past it did not even have a kindergarten; today it has both a preschool and a kindergarten.
I am the youngest of ten children – I have seven brothers and three sisters. I commenced and completed my studies in the village of Nahaf, which is situated 7 kilometers from my village, so I would walk a distance of 14 kilometers each day to and from school. There was no school bus or transportation, so I walked each day to school. What beautiful memories I have of those days...In winter, I would arrive with all my clothing wet from the rain, and in the summer – I would be sweating all over, both because of the hot sun and also because I was walking rapidly, so as not to miss my classes, which started at 8:00. Today things have changed a bit: the village has been officially "recognized",[since 1996] but unfortunately it still does not have a school. But let's look on the sunny side: now at least the children have transportation to a school in another village.
My village has many wonderful people, and especially my family, that worked so that I would have the privilege of continuing my studies - that mean so much to me. My village has male and female teachers and also factory workers that work in Carmiel[a nearby Jewish town].They assist their children to complete their academic studies. My village also has a doctor. His mother worked very hard so that he could complete his studies, become a doctor and help the village. His mother's blessings always had a good influence, and success followed every difficulty. This amazing mother is my own mother, and the doctor - is my brother.
Today I live in Shfaram, I am married, and I am the mother of a boy and two girls.
What is my identity? I define myself as a human being: I relate to others with respect and equality, whether they are old or young, adults and especially children. "Respect the elders and have compassion for the smallest ones". I am a Bedouin Moslem woman.
I am interested in anything social and I am very attracted to nature.
I am currently studying Waldorf education in Harduf. This is my third year and I study three days a week. I heard about Waldorf education by chance. My husband is a bus driver, and he heard people talking about the Waldorf school in Harduf. I became curious to know more about this type of education, so I signed up for the Introductory Year [in Anthroposophical studies] in Harduf, and started to study. In the beginning it was very difficult for me, both because of the [Hebrew] language, which is not my mother-tongue, and also because of the abstract ideas and expressions that take one to a world which is so different that what one is used to…In the second and third year I felt like a revolution was happening within me – I felt how attracted I was to this education, how right it felt for me, how good: I felt like this was my spiritual sustenance.
During the course of my [Waldorf Teacher Training] studies, I became acquainted with people, and I felt that we shared many beautiful things, and that there was mutual respect. We talked about education, about life, and about many other things, and between one topic and the next I heard about Ein El Bustan.
I am proud to be a Waldorf teacher. There are so many things that seem so obviously logical and "right". I will mention a few of these: the respect for the Other, and especially respect for the child, learning as a means for broadening horizons and not crushing the child, the importance of authority, as well as creativity, love, support, acceptance, and more – so how could I accept any other way?
I am happy about the opportunity to work for the Ein Bustan school – it will be a special school, that creates a space for many developments, and creates peace for everyone.
I look forward to meeting all of the people that are creating a caring and respectful relationship towards the Other, and a secure place where peace can grow and flourish.
Thank you for reading this,
*<span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Arial;Times New Roman" ;"="">The term Unrecognized villages in Israel refers to Palestinian Arab villages in the Negev and the Galilee which the Israeli government does not recognize as legal settlements. Approximately half of Bedouin citizens of Israel live in 39-45 such villages. The unrecognized villages are ineligible for municipal services such as connection to the electrical grid, water mains or trash-pickup. Homes in the villages have been subject to demolition by the Israeli authorities. The unrecognized villages are not precisely marked on any commercial maps.