| May 25, 2022
There's a new librarian. Welcome Shafeqa!
Library made all colorful
It gives me great pleasure to inform you that the Ibn Rushd Library is thriving. With your support, children from the village and neighboring Tayasir and Tubas are benefiting.
The new librarian, Shafeqa, joined in October 2021. Shafeqa, who lives in Al Aqaba, graduated from Al Najah University with a degree in interior design. She has always loved literature, is a talented videographer and muralist, speaks English, and comes up with new and innovative ways to make learning fun:
- She decorated the library with colorful paintings and mobiles. Her efforts seem to be paying off as the children visit the library regularly. Kindergarten and the school children visit on designated days during school hours.
- Shafeqa holds after-school reading sessions for the children. Kindergarteners listen to stories while older children read to themselves.
- She carries out special activities around these stories. Here's a celebration of Mother's Day.
- Amnah Al Kelani, a noted children’s author, visited the library for a storytelling session along with a representative of the Ministry of Culture.
- Shafeqa believes that art is intertwined with learning, especially for children. “I realized that I can incorporate art into reading activities. Simple activities that we do with children can help improve their psychological state of mind.”
- Shafeqa regularly participates in librarian training organized by the Tamer Foundation. Patricia Toma, a German writer and illustrator of children's stories taught her about Shadow Theater, a favorite activity. The children come up with their own story for the play and then cut-out cardboard and add colored sheets to make their animal characters. A sheet backlit by the window in the library allows them to create their shadow performance!
- Seven children joined Shafeqa in a National Reading Week event organized by Tamer Foundation for the children in Al Aqaba, Harsh Al-Suwait, and Jenin interacting with one another and learning new things.
- The library has become a venue for awareness sessions and training for the community and for fellow librarians in the surrounding area.
- A Facebook page showcases the children's work.
- Shafeqa and the community have plans to upgrade the library and would like to add more novels and ebooks to the library.
- The library is becoming a community space for young girls and boys, especially girls. Though this is changing, most girls get married at a very young age or don’t pursue higher studies beyond 12th grade. Since the library is located in the middle of the village, it is an ideal location for community activities and continuing education.
Ibn Rushd library is a sanctuary for children of the village. Though the village is within Firing Zone 900, and the Israeli Army ostensibly ended live-fire training in 2002 through an agreement with the village, about every three months or so soldiers still conduct training within the village. In January, after 12 years without any demolitions, one new home inside the village was demolished. A High Court ruling against that one house put all the other homes at risk of demolition, especially the unfinished ones. This takes a toll on the children. Shafeqa asked the children to make Pinwheels for Peace. Through their drawings and writings, children shared their love for safe homes and peace.
We appreciate your support in the past and look forward to working with you as we implement library plans for the future and continue to make learning fun for Al Aqaba children.
Book reading session in progress
Kids having fun while preparing for Shadow Theater
A character of the Shadow Theater
Proudly presenting Shadow Theater
National Reading Week
A Mother's Day activity
Librarians participating in a training session