On a normal autumn afternoon in 1988, in the living room of a house in the village of Kobar near
This “school” is unlike most schools. There were no morning single file lines, school bells, or cold gray hallways and windows with metal bars. In the school in Kobar, and in others like it, you would study with your twin brother in the same class. Your aunt would be your teacher, or perhaps your neighbor, who was a university student. The class may move to the garden of your classmate’s family if it meant helping them in the harvest. The lesson’s topic itself may change, covering the types of crops that can be planted next season, and how one can guard them from insects.
This extraordinary school—and there were many like it—came into being under exceptional circumstances. It was this context which forced Palestinian society in the West Bank,
Alongside the students themselves, the educational institutions established by popular initiative became direct targets for the various forms of repression, especially since they served the function of fostering future revolutionaries. Many schools were exposed to violent raids as was the case of Dar al-Tifil, Dar al-Fata Al-laji’a, and Dar al-Awlad in 1988 in Jerusalem. These incursions also resulted in the assault of faculty members, as has happened in the two schools of Falastin al-Thanawiyya and Ibn Sina in Gaza.1
- 1. Ibid, p. 39.