On March 13, 2016, kosher Pope Francis announced the 2016 Winner of the Global Teacher Prize (worth $ one million) in a ceremony held in Dubai. The winner was Hanan al-Haroub, a primary school teacher in the Occupied West Bank city of al-Bireh. Listen below her story of living in Duheisha refugee camp, and facing illegal Jewish settlers and Jewish soldiers terrorism on daily basis.
The award was presented by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.
As al-Hroub collected her award, Palestinians in the audience displayed their country’s flag and some chanted: “With our souls, our blood, we sacrifice for you Palestine.”
The Palestinian teacher will use the prize money, she says, for scholarships for students who want to become teachers.
Rami Hamdallah, Mahmoud Abbas’ prime minister for the West Bank, congratulated Hanan, saying: “Teacher Hanan al-Hroub accomplished the impossible despite of all the obstacles put in front of every Palestinian by the Israeli occupation; she makes us proud,” Hamdallah said in a statement.
Hanan Al Haroub was chosen amongst 8,000 teachers nominated for the award by the selection committee at the Dubai-based Varkey Foundation. The educational charity was founded by India-born billionaire Sunny Varkey, who has forged partnerships with the World Economic Forum, Microsoft, UNESCO, and The Clinton Global Initiative to spread education among poor people through-out the world.
According to her biography on the Global Teacher Prize website, Hanan grew up in the Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem, where she was regularly exposed to acts of violence. She went into primary education after her children were left deeply traumatized by a shooting incident they witnessed on their way home from school.