Palestine: When a School is Illegal

Collection with 15 media items created by Vinciane Jacquet

14 Nov 2014 23:00

November 16, 2014
Khan al Ahmar, West Bank, Palestine

The Khan al-Ahmar School serves the children of the Jahalin Bedouin community in the West Bank and has been declared illegal by Israeli authorities. It is now facing possible demolition. Built in 2009, the school was constructed with mud and tires due to a lack of funds and an Israeli law that bans Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank from building structures made of cement. The children now attend school in poorly equipped classrooms with no heating, leaking ceilings, and little electricity. However, it is possible that even this primitive learning environment could be snatched from them at a moment's notice. Over 140 students are currently enrolled in the school. The nearest alternative school is located about 45 minutes away by car. The school's imminent demolition is part of a plan by Israeli authorities to displace the Jahalin Bedouin living in "Area C" of the occupied West Bank. The Khan Al-Ahmar School and Bedouin community is located in the Jerusalem periphery, between the Israeli settlements of Ma'ale Adumim and Kfar Adumim. While the Jahalin Bedouin have a longstanding presence in this area (they settled in the area in 1948, after being evicted by Israel from their lands in the Negev desert), the community and school present an obstacle to Israel's planned settlement expansion and construction of the separation barrier. The community lives with the constant threat of displacement. Every year, the school administration goes to court in order to postpone the planned demolition of the school. This year they were lucky and the court sided with them. However, the order still stands and next year they may not be so lucky.

Palestine West Bank Bedouin School Demolition Eviction Children Khan Al Ahmar Illegal Settlement Israeli Army Israel Palestinian Israeli Sett... Israeli Sett... Mena Middle East Levant Politics War Education Children Rights Beduin Poor Conditions School Demol... Displacement Bedouin Comm... Community

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Title photo for the collection
Palestine- when a school is illegal 10
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

Children in the 8th grade studying, with the shape of the tires appearing in the wall. The goal of many of the students is often to enter into a profession that is not represented in their community, like medical or legal.

Every year the school administration goes to court in order to postpone the demolition of the institution. So far, they have managed to avoid a final demolition, but the orders remain, and it is uncertain how much longer the school will remain.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 04
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

Among the classrooms built of soil and rubber tires, two are built of sheet metal. These more sturdy structures are sponsored by the European Union. The State of Israel did not authorize their construction and, as a consequence, they are hidden under tents and tarps.

When materials are donated by foreign donors, like the European Union, they are still at risk of confiscation by Israeli authorities when they are shipped into the area. In February of 2014, Italy donated playground equipment. However, the entire shipment was confiscated by the Israeli Army and materials never made it to the school.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 12
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
16 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

The straw and mud structure of the school is not solid. Inside the classrooms, the walls have been starting to fall apart.

While lack of funds is one reason for the poor structure of the school, the other major factor is an Israeli law banning the use of cement for construction by Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank. The school is located in Area C, which is the part of the West Bank under total Israeli military control.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 13
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

Every time it rains, the classrooms get wet and humid, and the water leaks into where the students sit. There is also no heater for the cold winter of the desert.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 11
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

Harema Zhaeqq is the headmaster of the school. She is highly respected by the teachers, as they say that she is always able to find the necessary furniture for the classes, by canvassing companies in Palestine and abroad. Some companies in Palestine are hesitant to donate, because they fear sanctions from Israel. However, Ms. Zhaeqq is usually able to convince them anyway. Here, she stands beside the supplies for science classes.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 09
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

English class. The children study with bowls on the tables to capture the rain falling into the classrooms.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 07
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
16 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

The school of Khan Al-Ahmar has classes from grades 1 to 9. Children from five different Bedouin communities attend classes there. Every year, their number grows. There were 120 children for the 2013-2014 school year. In September 2014, 146 came to register.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 08
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
16 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

English class for 3rd grade children. All the children are eager to learn. They want to keep studying after the 9th grade, and often want to become doctor or lawyers because there are no medical or legal services in their community. While medical services are a basic essential for any community, legal services are significant to the West Bank Bedouin because they need lawyers to help them battle eviction orders from Israeli courts and the Israeli Army.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 06
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

Signs are made visible outside of the classrooms to thank the public sponsors of the school. While thankful for the funds, the headmaster pointed out that funds are limited and they only receive funds from the European Union and Italy.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 05
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

Two young girls are go to class amidst murals used to add color to the otherwise mundane surroundings.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 03
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

Children have to buy their notebooks and school supplies themselves. However, when a family is too poor to pay for school supplies, the teachers gather money to cover the child's expenses.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 02
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

Recreation time at the school. A young boy strikes a pose for the camera.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 01
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
16 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014.
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine.

Teachers run in the rain between their classrooms and the "teachers room" to bring handouts for their students.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 15
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

A young student runs back to class after playtime. The recreation area is muddy and wet due to heavy rain. The teachers wish the children could have a better space to play in because the ground is not suitable for child recreation.

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Palestine- when a school is illegal 14
Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan Al-Ahmar, Palestine

The school playground for the Bedouin children of Khan Al-Ahmar is built of tires, mud, and other scrap materials.