18 July 2012
An UNRWA school in Amman ranked first in their area and third across Jordan in a competition organised by the British-based Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA), which gave awards to the best exhibitions demonstrating the importance of protecting animals and the environment.
“I was very interested in getting my students to participate in the competition”, recalled Ibrahim, a teacher at the Nazzal Preparatory Boys’ School. He regularly accompanied ten of his students on visits to SPANA so they could learn how to take care of animals and keep their living spaces clean. “I suggested they work on a theatrical submission because we had done drama-based projects together in the past.”
“When our teacher asked us to think about creative ideas for a play related to animal welfare, I immediately had some ideas”, said Mohammad Haymour, an eighth-grade student at the school.
He was one of the six students selected by Ibrahim and the school’s head teacher to join the competition. They turned Mohammad’s idea into a play they called “Salem and the Donkey”.
“I chose a donkey as the main character because it is an animal that many people look down upon”, he explained.
Bringing together all talents
Yousef Hdeib, also in Grade 8, wrote the lyrics for the play’s theme song, which proved to be a hit at the competition. “It’s not just a success for me”, he said. “It’s a success for the entire school!”
Ninth-grade student Khalil Al-Qadi composed the music to go with Yousef’s lyrics. “We put on a great performance at the Kingdom level, and I am so proud of my school and my colleagues”, he recalled.
Their performance exceeded many of their expectations, but their teacher Ibrahim was not surprised. “Our students have great potential in many fields”, he said proudly. “It’s just that their potential is yet to be discovered.”