Claire Ziller, American
Every day spent at Jeb Jannine is a day spent laughing, exchanging languages and expressing love in every way humanly possible. As a teacher that can’t speak Arabic fluently, I’ve been learning the most genuine forms of human interaction from these kids. My class is around nine years old and they are so talented and smart for their age especially considering the pauses they’ve had to take in their education. The most impressive form of intelligence is their introspection- their comments and drawings never fail to strike me. Love is a strong theme in their thoughts. They treat each other with respect and the same to me- even when it is chaotic or boring. I am already very proud of them and I am thankful body language can communicate that important message to them.
Our day mostly consisted of an arrangement of team work exercises using red solo cups and tennis balls. We also read a book about sharing, learned how to draw one of the characters from the book and practiced direction following. No matter what we are doing the class listens, follows and remains positive throughout it all. Nothing makes them more excited than when we play Syrian songs while doing projects or games. There is a difference between the way they dance to a Syrian song and the way they dance to any other song and I find that to be beautiful.
Although there is an identity crisis for many of these kids since they have mostly grown up in Lebanon instead of Syria, this is proof in my eyes that they haven’t forgotten about their homes. I can’t wait for these kids do great things someday for the world and for their country.
My goodbye for today was a large amount of water being poured on my head. Apparently they thought I needed a shower 😉 but their joy from this prank was infectious and I have never received so many high-fives in one day. Thanks Jusoor for bringing these opportunities of a childhood and education for both me and all of the children of Jeb Jannine.