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Sam and Ruth's Blog from Ibillin
10/24/2013; 5 pm
After breakfast I took the above views from the "Guesthouse" windows.
To the west, out our room window, we can see parts of Haifa, and
the Mediterranean Sea, indicating that we are only a few misles from
the shore. The other pictures, to the North and East, give an
idea of the size (about 12,000) and hilliness of the village.
This morning we had a quick tour of the school, meeting a few teachers
and administrators with whom we will be interacting in the future.
The schools now extend from nursery to high school. The
teacher training section has been closed, and we are not sure why, but
perhaps it was a question of accreditation.
We saw the high school library, which contained books in Arabic, Hebrew
and English. I, of course, went straight to the physics section
where I learned that though Arabic and Hebrew are both written right to
left, the equations in every case are English numbers and symbols
written left to right.
We were impressed with the size of the schools, particularly the
five-story high school, which educates 1800 students now.
Apparently these are rather evenly split between Catholics and
Muslims, and there are some Druze. There are no Jewish students.
We were impressed by the orderliness of the students, and the
generally positive relations between students and faculty.
At three this afternoon we helped set up a dinner for some faculty and
three visiting steel drum ambassadors. It was a sumptious meal,
with stir fry, many vegetables, salad, and the usual Arab sides of
humus and pita bread. Desert was a variety of small cookies and
cakes, served with strong Arabic coffee in small cups.
We helped some with setup and cleanup, but spent most of our time
interacting with children of teachers, while their parents enjoyed a
relaxed conversation after the honored guests had left. We tried
to learn some Arabic from a very conscientious nine-year-old who was
very insistant on pronounciation, tongue placement, etc. We hope