When you visit the Ras Atiya School in Qalqilia, a question enters your mind: How could such a lovely building be next to such a Wall, Gate and checkpoint?, Students and soldiers, Walls and school halls, a beautiful building next to so much pain.
The Ras Atiya village school for the first through the eleventh grades was built by a grant from the Swedish government with the mission to design a beautiful place for the children to learn. But villagers had no way of knowing that the Israelis would build a Wall next door, destroying the look and design of the school. While constructing the Wall, Israel soldiers also destroyed parts of the school faÃƒÂ§ade.
Teacher Anwar MaraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ba told Palestine News Agency, Ã¢â‚¬Å“This school is just a few meters from the Wall and the kids who come to the school have their eyes sometimes on the teacher and sometimes on the Wall.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t concentrate, there are also a Gate for the Wall and a checkpoint, adding more difficulties to the students, teachers and residentsÃ¢â‚¬Â, MaraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ba said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“You have to put your finger on an electronic screen and from your fingerprint the soldiers get all the information about you.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Abdul-Hamid MaraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ba, a resident of the village said that the press should come, and observe the daily suffering and pain the students and villagers face who live inside this siege
An elderly man, Abu Omar, walked with his children while the PNN was visiting the village. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I want to add one important issue for this school, if it werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t here before the Wall, then hundreds more Dunams of village land would have been annexedÃ¢â‚¬Â, he said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hopefully God will get us away from this pain that the Israelis force us to endure.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The teacher, Anwar MaraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ba, said there are many tragic stories from the schoolÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 450 students. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The school has been attacked many times.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“One of the stories that no one can forget is one of the soldiers at the gate; they detained a mentally ill Palestinian and the soldiers beat him in front of the school kidsÃ¢â‚¬Â
He continued, Ã¢â‚¬Å“When there is any emergency issue for the Israelis, they close the gate and detain the students. They donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t allow them to come to schoolÃ¢â‚¬Â.