“An employed woman has to bear additional burdens”: First UNRWA teacher wins the gold medal for Global Creative Women Award

22 March 2022
Miss Muammar, winner of the Global Creative Women Award (GCWA) 2021, teaches her students at UNRWA Fukhari Elementary Girls school in Gaza. © 2022 UNRWA Photo

Asmaa Muammar, a Palestine refugee teacher at Fukhari Elementary Girls school in Gaza, won the Gold Medal for the Global Creative Women Award (GCWA) 2021, after passing four tests with distinction. The GCWA is an initiative of Global Trainer Academy to encourage skilled women to present their talent. “This was amazing experience that empowered me and gave me a push forward towards improving the teaching methods that I follow,” Asmaa said.

Asmaa devised a strategy, through which she aims to raise her students towards creativity and glory, “I put all my focus on letting the students unleash their inner light and get out of their comfort zone. I don’t ask them for solutions, instead I ask them to get to the heart of the problem through which they will reach the solution.” she says. “UNRWA seeks to create a self-confident, creative and innovative generation who is capable of facing and overcoming challenges. After looking closely at UNRWA vision and goals, I largely believed that they were compatible with my ideas and goals,”Asmaa said.

The UNRWA Education Programme in Gaza faces many challenges of unstable political and social environment, hard economic and social situation, and poverty and siege. The average class size of UNRWA schools in Gaza is 41 students; an additional concern to the internal and external challenges that pose a risk to the commitment and motivation of education staff, as well as to the quality of UNRWA education services. Continuous support from the EU contributes to the success of UNRWA and empowerment of teachers like Asmaa to provide quality education, even in what may be dire circumstances.

In spite of these barriers to education, Palestine refugee children, teachers and their families continue to value education and strive for excellence. This is also thanks to UNRWA schools, supported by the EU, that provide a sense of security, stability and normalcy despite the circumstances these children live in.

Miss Muammar, winner of the Global Creative Women Award (GCWA) 2021, teaches her students at UNRWA Fukhari Elementary Girls school in Gaza. © 2022 UNRWA Photo
Miss Muammar, winner of the Global Creative Women Award (GCWA) 2021, teaches her students at UNRWA Fukhari Elementary Girls school in Gaza. © 2022 UNRWA Photo

Asmaa described the added challenges she has to overcome as a woman, “An employed woman has to bear additional burdens, and this was the biggest challenge for me, I tried to achieve harmony between my work and my family, and to succeed as a mother and a teacher. I have tamed all odds and challenges in order to reach success; all my children rank first in their classes, and my oldest daughter, Haneen, is studying dentistry, after obtaining a grade point average of 95.4 in high school.”

As for the future, Asmaa is optimistic and believes that despite all the difficult circumstances imposed on the Palestine refugees, the teachers and students are able to adapt and overcome difficulties in various fields. UNRWA and the EU are proud of pioneering teachers like Asmaa, who strive for success despite the challenges and difficulties they face. “I extend my heartfelt thanks to UNRWA for their interest and quest for continuous development. I also thank my school for sponsoring creativity, praising teachers’ performance, and welcoming every creative idea,” Asmaa concluded.

Miss Muammar, winner of the Global Creative Women Award (GCWA) 2021, teaches her students at UNRWA Fukhari Elementary Girls school in Gaza. © 2022 UNRWA Photo
Miss Muammar, winner of the Global Creative Women Award (GCWA) 2021, teaches her students at UNRWA Fukhari Elementary Girls school in Gaza. © 2022 UNRWA Photo