Although The Evangelical Lutheran School of Beit Sahour is one of the oldest institutions in the Bethlehem area, it is a modern school, with all the facilities to make it attractive to students in Beit Sahour and the surrounding area. It is a co-educational facility that respects the diversity of the local community.
While keeping excellent academic standards, the leadership believes in a holistic approach. Student activities cover a wide range of themes including music and choir, poetry, sports, dabkeh (a traditional Arab dance), manufacturing of candles and ceramics, olive wood carving, mosaic design and recycling paper and glass.
I had the opportunity to interview two students during a recent visit to ELS.
They were Rawa and George. Each had a similar history at the school. Both tenth-graders have attended the school since kindergarten despite it being a private Christian school with a tuition charge. They both participate in a wide range of school activities including the choir, dance group and athletics. Like any student they have favourite classes – mathematics for Rawa, English for George.
I would like to say the interviews were stimulating and informative. I can’t. For a variety of reasons each was very reticent to give much of an answer to my questions, except for one.
The one question that animated them both was the question: “What was their dream for the future?” In Canada, we can expect this question asked of a 16-year-old would bring a response directed to their own future post-secondary education, careers or getting stuff.
The message from these teenagers at Beit Sahour was the same: peace. Peace from the political realities on the ground, peace from occupation, peace to live a normal life and peace that comes from equal opportunity. Wow!!
– Tom Brook, CLWR Community Relations Director