Heros – Part 2

Grade 5 is also working on heroes.  Their teacher is a bit of a hero for me. Day after day caring about kids who are at the age and stage where education is a nuisance and an interruption to their soccer games/social lives etc.

The hero that she chose to highlight was Malala, the young girl/activist who was shot in the head while going to school, for going to school. I thought this was brave of her. Obviously this was brave of Malala, but I mean, brave for the teacher. Who knows what the views of these children would be about what the Taliban is doing?



Although our school is coed, most schools for Qataris in this country are not. The younger classes are closer to equal in representation of boys and girls but as you get older (our school only goes to grade 8 so far) the families start to pull their girls out preferring that they go to an all girls’ school.

Here in Qatar educating girls is not in question. Sheikha Moza, the Emir’s wife, is a big advocate of education for all. She has even reached out to children in other countries who can’t afford an education. Qatar University, the only government run university, is made up of 70% women and Sheikha Moza herself is a graduate.

So when the teacher introduced the story of Malala a few things surprised me. One, was that they’d never heard of her. I thought everyone had. She quickly became the symbol of the plight of many girls around the world who have to fight their way through patriarchy, poverty, tradition and prejudice to be educated. She is one of many young women in the world who struggle to be recognized as worthy of schooling and equal in her abilities to contribute in a valuable way to her community I have no idea how they missed this story, so close to home. Maybe watching the news here isn’t done as obsessively as it is at home. Maybe it was so awful that the parents shielded them. Yes, let’s go with that.

I was also surprised they didn’t know who the Taliban was. “Who are they? Why don’t they want girls to go to school?”

What was not surprising at all…..?

Teacher: What do you think of that? What do you think about people stopping girls from going to school?

Student (boy): It’s not fair Miss.

Teacher: Why not?

Student: Why should they get to stay home and play if we have to go to school!

Ah yes, the short sightedness of youth is something that seems to be in all cultures.

Luckily there was a very bright girl in the class who said: Miss, if girls can’t go to school they won’t know things and they won’t get good jobs.

Whew! There always seems to be at least one that saves the day. On most days.


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3 responses to “Heros – Part 2

  1. Elizabeth Barr

    From one girl to another, thank you for sharing! 🙂

  2. I’m stunned that they hadn’t heard about Malala and especially the Taliban. Have you read “Half The Sky”? It’s an eye opener.

    We also need to keep supporting organizations like
    ‘Women for Women’
    Supports women in war-torn regions with financial and emotional aid with job-skills training, rights education and small business assistance so they can rebuild their lives.

    And ‘Kiva’;
    Lends money to small business, entrepreneurs so they can support their families, educate the children, etc. You can choose the person(s) and the country. It’s well monitored and you never have to donate more than your original $25 if you choose. As the loan is repaid, the money accumulates until you have the original amount you loaned (you can loan more than the original $25) and then you get to re-loan it to someone else in need.

    We need to be hyper vigilant and sign all petitions to fight violence and prejudice against women and girls. Here are a few stats from the internet:
    -Two-thirds of the world’s children who receive less than four years of education are girls. Girls represent nearly 60% of the children not in school.

    -Parents in countries such as China and India sometimes use sex determination tests to find out if their fetus is a girl. Of 8,000 fetuses aborted at a Bombay clinic, 7,999 were female.

  3. Loved the little boy’s outlook haha!!

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