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Sam and Ruth's Blog from Ibillin
Chapter 2
10/24/2013;  5 pm
                          Haifa from Ibillin   Ibillin on East Side   Ibillin on North Side                            

Hello Everyone,

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.  
Guest House Dining Room   Language Lesson  Our Responsibilities
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 to improve.