Mental Math Whiz: Noor Eideen Nasrallah’s Story

09 July 2018
Noor Eideen with his hand abacus in his classroom. © 2018 UNRWA Photo by Riham Jafary

Nine-year-old Noor Eideen Nasrallah is from Balata refugee camp, in the northern West Bank. He is a talented third-grade student at the UNRWA Balata Basic Boys’ School and has a special hobby: he excels in the field of Intelligent Mental-Arithmetic.

Discovering Talent

Noor Eideen’s skills have attracted the attention of his teachers, school principal and even the UNRWA West Bank education office. They observed his talent for mental-arithmetic when he was in the first grade. Noor can solve complex equations that have been described to develop both sides of the brain while using the hands and the brain simultaneously. They tested his skills and recommended that he join a special training centre to practice and develop his talent.

Since Noor Eideen’s family could not cover the fees for enrolling at the centre, his teachers, school and the management of the UNRWA education programme in the West Bank came together to cover his fees!

 Becoming a Genius

Noor Eideen can add and subtract large numbers in a matter of seconds and trained to develop his mental capacity and performance by adopting the “Both-Hand Abacus Mental Arithmetic” method. Using fingers on both hands to count simultaneously, this method encourages stimulation in both the left and right sides of the brain. This enables him to solve a diverse range of mathematical questions with speed and accuracy. It has also largely improved his critical thinking skills, all while his fingers snap in the air.

Getting ready for participating in international competitions

Noor Eideen has participated in many national level competitions, most recently a national competition hosted by the Palestinian Technical University Kadoorei where he won first place in a seven level Genius Mental Arithmetic competition. This win will allow him to participate in international competitions.

UNRWA School is Our Only hope

Noor Eideen’s father Mu’mar Nasrallah is proud of his son’s achievements saying, “I would like to thank all of his teachers and the area education officer, Dr. Hassan Ramadan for supporting my talented son. His UNRWA school is our only hope and we only receive educational services from UNRWA. UNRWA has given my son the opportunity to show his creativity and develop his skills.”

“I am very grateful to my school and teachers for their financial and moral support in developing my skills. They allowed me to participate in the Intelligent Mental-Arithmetic competitions,” said Noor.  

Noor Eideen‘s mother, Barehan, stressed the role of his school sharing, “Without the support of UNRWA, my son would be unable to show his skills and creativity.”

North Area education officer, Dr. Ramadan stressed the role of UNRWA in motivating talented students with limited resources like Noor Eideen. ”Noor represents the integrative and coordinating role that the UNRWA education programme plays to ensure support for the local community in nurturing talented students. The school continually communicates with the specialized centre to follow and monitor his performance.”