Mustapha, 16 - Aida Camp, Al-Rowwad Center - 10/04/2009

Monday 28 December 2009
popularity : 93%

Read the whole report on our meeting with Mustapha, on Friday April 10

Al-Rowwad, second floor. Translation by Samira.

Mustafa 1

My name is Mustapha, I’m 16 years old, I’m from Palestine, I live in Bethlehem... I couldn’t be with you yesterday because I had an exam, so I had to study for it. I studied all day long because I wanted to pass it!

Can you tell us about the school system here : how it is organised, what subjects you can study, at what age children start going to school…

In Palestine there is a real problem with the government schools : they are all overcrowded. There are between 30 and 40 pupils, generally up to 40, in each classroom which makes it really difficult to work and to learn… As for the subjects taught, the most difficult is English because… Before we started English in the 5th grade but now earlier so we face many difficulties with English... Then there is Sciences, Mathematics, History, Arabic, Arts, Sports…

Do children here like going to school? Do they understand it is important to go to school? I mean in western countries children generally say they don’t like it. Do children and teenagers here see it as a way to be empowered ?

Most of the students here in Palestine like learning, want to learn because they know it’s the only way to a better future. They all live in a bad situation, they see the economic situation is bad, but in spite of all that, they all hope, or better, they all believe they can make things better, build a better future.

What would you like to do later ?

I thought I could become a computer engineer, but now… We have an “Arts” stream and a “Science” stream and, I’m in the “Arts” stream, so I can’t study computer engineering anymore... So now I’m thinking of studying to be a psychologist or a social worker… Well, inch’allah!

Now, tell us about football, I know you like it. Is it important to teach team sports to the kids?

In fact we have no playground here where we could play football but it doesn’t matter, we play anyway because we want to live our life, enjoy all its aspects. I like sports and I do sports. I want to be a singer, so I sing. I like swimming and I go swimming with my friends…

You are in the “Freedom’s sons” band, aren’t you? What’s is your job in the group ? Do you write the lyrics, or play the drums, or what ? Can you please tell us why you like it?

Mustafa 2

The rap band was Mazen’s idea. I liked it, and I like singing so I joined the band... We write all the lyrics of our songs. We don’t want to write only for the Palestinians, but all the world : we want to tell them about our life here, express what we feel, what we think. Because not everybody knows about the situation in Palestine... We like singing, telling the people about the situation here with beautiful words. Yes, when we sing, we feel happy. It is a good feeling to know people listen to us, hear our voice… We would like the whole world to know what’s happening in Palestine. ... We feel that our words are very strong.

Is there something you would like to say to the people who’ll watch this video ?

Yes, I’d like to tell you that, in spite of all the bad things they have been through, in spite of what they are still going through, Palestinian people like life, they want peace and to be allowed a future. Also, they would like to feel that they are considered as important, as worthy as any other people living on earth.

Thank you Mostapha!

Thank you

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