“We have a new homeland”
Ahmad and Mohammad Baker are brothers and both students at Assdod Elementary School for Boys. They participated in the Hope Project, implemented by Palestine Sports for Life in partnership with Generation Amazing, Qatar Charity, Qatar Fund for Development, and the Ministry of Education.
This is what both Ahmad and Mohammad have to say about their success in the program:
- We are the students Ahmad and Mohammad, born in the Arab Republic of Egypt, to a Palestinian father and an Egyptian mother. We lived and were raised in Egypt. We left Egypt during the summer break and returned to Gaza with our father. We knew nothing about Gaza, its customs, traditions, or the accent of its people. We faced some difficulties in dealing with the neighbors' children due to the Egyptian dialect we were accustomed to. The children used to mock us, and we felt isolated from the community.
One day, while sitting in front of the house next to Assdod School, the physical education teacher approached us and told us about a training program at the school. He asked if we'd like to join, and we agreed. We integrated with the students and felt a significant change in our interaction with them. There was mutual respect, freedom of expression, and acceptance among the students. We quickly adapted and made friends with whom we played and discussed various topics during the training. We felt a sense of closeness and integration, and all the students participated in the training without discrimination.
In reality, we felt like we were born again in my father's homeland through engaging in sports activities with the students.
- The trainer later said that at first, the students Ahmad and Mohammad experienced bullying from others due to the difference in dialect and the lack of awareness among the students. This was a difficult experience for them, and they wanted to withdraw from the sessions at the beginning. However, by focusing on sessions that emphasized mutual respect and non-discrimination in play, the situation became easier. The two students gradually integrated into the activities and felt like they were in their second home. This helped them develop teamwork skills, the ability to express themselves, and respect for others.